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Special event: 6 ways to rock your nonprofit career in 2013

We know that many members of our community are looking for ways to take their careers to the next level. To help, we’re co-sponsoring a free teleseminar with leadership experts Rosetta Thurman and  Trista Harris and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network to share tips and resources on how to take your career to the next level.

Can’t make it? Check out other free teleseminars in the Nonprofit Rockstar Series

January Teleseminar Image

6 Ways to Rock Your Nonprofit Career in 2013

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST

Where: via teleconference, dial-in information will be provided upon registration

This teleseminar is co-sponsored by Idealist and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network

Click here to register

Are you looking for ideas to advance your nonprofit career this year? If so, mark your calendar for the kickoff of The 2013 Nonprofit Rockstar Teleseminar Series! Join Rosetta Thurman and Trista Harris, co-authors of How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar: 50 Ways to Accelerate Your Career to learn six practical strategies to accelerate your nonprofit career based on concepts from their popular book.

In this information-packed presentation, you will discover:

  • How to develop valuable nonprofit expertise (even if you’re “just” an intern)
  • Strategies for building a strong professional network
  • Ideas to help you establish a great personal brand
  • Steps to achieve work/life balance
  • Opportunities to practice authentic leadership
  • Tips for when and how to move on up in your career

You will be guided through a professional development planning worksheet that will help you define action steps to take in your nonprofit career over the next year. When you register, you will also receive a free chapter of Rosetta and Trista’s book that will help you gain valuable momentum toward a successful 2013!

Click here to register for free

Space is limited to 100 attendees, so be sure reserve your seat right away. This teleseminar will be recorded, so if you can’t make it this time, you will still receive the replay afterwards!

About the 2013 Nonprofit Rockstar Teleseminar Series

Monthly Conversations about Nonprofit Leadership and Careers

This free, monthly teleseminar series will cover a variety of topics in nonprofit career and leadership development. Each session features experts who will be sharing their knowledge, ideas and experience to help you accelerate your career and enhance your leadership skills. For more information and a full schedule, visit nonprofitrockstar.com.

About Rosetta Thurman

Rosetta Thurman is the President of Thurman Consulting, an education company that provides personal and professional development opportunities to empower a new generation of leaders to change the world. Rosetta is a nationally-recognized speaker and facilitator who has helped hundreds of nonprofit and association professionals improve the way they work, lead and live their lives. Her popular keynote speeches and workshops inspire audiences around the country to build meaningful careers, enhance their leadership skills and live with greater purpose. For more information, visit rosettathurman.com.

About Trista Harris

Trista Harris is nationally known as a passionate advocate for new leaders in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. She is a leading voice for Generations X and Y and seeks to create professional development opportunities throughout the sector. She writes about generational change in the foundation field in her blog, New Voices of Philanthropy and is an international speaker on working across generations to create social change. In her professional life, Trista is the Executive Director of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice.  A native Minnesotan, Trista received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Howard University and her Master’s in Public Policy degree, with a focus on philanthropy and nonprofit effectiveness, from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota. For more information, visit tristaharris.org.

About Idealist

Idealist was launched in 1995, on a shoestring budget but with an ambitious goal: to be the starting place for anyone, anywhere who wants to make the world a better place. Today, Idealist is the most popular online resource for the nonprofit sector, with jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities provided by over 70,000 organizations around the world and 100,000 unique visitors every day. For more information, visit idealist.org.

About the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network

The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) promotes an efficient, viable, and inclusive nonprofit sector that supports the growth, learning, and development of young professionals. We engage and support future nonprofit and community leaders through professional development, networking and social opportunities designed for young people involved in the nonprofit community. For more information, visit ynpn.org.

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Start the year with these professional development opportunities

Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360, Creative Commons/Flickr

Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360, Creative Commons/Flickr

Yes, it’s cliche, but January is the perfect time for resolutions, goal-setting, and making plans to better yourself throughout the year. Here are some events, webinars, and other activities of note to help you with your professional development this month.

Job-Hunting Help. If you’re on the hunt for a new job, and one-third of employees are, look for online resources to help you make the most of social media and learn more about potential future careers.

  • Learn how to leverage the new LinkedIn profiles in a paid webinar from Jason Alba, the author of I’m on LinkedIn—Now What??? on January 17.
  • Join #JobHuntChat on Twitter, Monday evenings from 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST.
  • @HFChat (Hire Friday Chat) also hosts #HFChat with career experts on Fridays at 12:00 p.m. EST.
  • NY Creative Interns hosts Creative Q&A virtual events, and on January 16 at 8:00 p.m. EST, Tina Yip, community manager for R/GA will talk about getting into and advancing in the social media industry.

Local Events. If you live in one of these cities below, check out the interesting workshops and panels taking place during January.

Free Online Events and Resources. No matter where you are located, you can easily attend several free webinars in January related to nonprofit management and operations.

Conferences. Do you have the time and money to attend a conference that’s not in your zip code? Plan ahead with a couple conferences set for early February.

Fellowship and Mentorship Programs. If you’re looking for something a little more in-depth and long term, there are several fellowships and internships in public service, government, and more that have January deadlines.

Management Training. Even if you are a bit farther along in your career or more set at your organization, there are still ways you can grow and learn.

And don’t forget to volunteer. Volunteering during your free time is definitely be one ongoing way you can boost your career, especially when the career is in nonprofits. Martin Luther King, Jr. day is Monday, January 21, and there are many volunteer opportunities available on Idealist and elsewhere for that three-day weekend.

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We’re hiring web developers in Portland, OR!

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Idealist Staff

Idealist is a great place to work, largely because such great people work here. We’re currently hiring for three web development positions in our Portland, Oregon office, and we’re looking for—you guessed it—great candidates.

If you’re a top-tier web developer or operations engineer who wants to join a stellar team, work in a dynamic environment, and play a key role in keeping Idealist.org fast, available, and growing, then check out the jobs below.

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Want to fight human trafficking? Explore these opportunities to make a difference

Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  With nearly  27 million people trafficked each year, people and organizations around the world are coming together to draw attention to this pressing issue. To help you explore ways to get involved, we’ve put together a list of job opportunities and events around the world.

If you want more information and opportunities on human trafficking, set up an email alert based on a search for the term “human trafficking”. Idealist will deliver dozens of jobs, volunteer opportunities, events, and internships directly to your inbox.

Photo credit: thomaswanhoff, Creative Commons/Flickr

Photo credit: thomaswanhoff, Creative Commons/Flickr

Opportunities in Cambodia

  • If you live in southeast Asia, or would like to work there, check out Transitions Global. Although based in Ohio, this organization works extensively in Cambodia and runs a center for girls rescued from sex trafficking. They’ve currently got three positions posted on Idealist, all of them in Cambodia.

Opportunities in the United States

Special events

  • Not in the market for a new job but still want to make a difference? On January 29th in New York City UNICEF is screening Not My Life, a documentary about human trafficking filmed over four year across five continents. After the screening, there will be a panel discussion with advocates from the movement.
  • On the West Coast, the Freedom and Fashion Collective Conference on March 23rd needs volunteers for backstage production and foreground logistics. The Conference will bring together  the non-profit, fashion, business, and media industries to fight human trafficking.

What are YOU doing for Human Trafficking Awareness Day?

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Three ways to take a break this holiday season

When was the last time you took a vacation? While it can be hard to step away from your desk, a little time away can do wonders for you professionally and personally. Read on to learn how to get away.

By Eleanor Whitney

When I worked at a New York City museum I was surprised to learn that some employees who had been working there for years had amassed months worth of unused vacation days.  These same colleagues felt burned out, jaded and disengaged from their jobs.  At another organization where I worked, there was a policy of mandating that all employees use their vacation days within the fiscal year after some workers went years without taking a vacation.

Photo Credit: Kenzoka, Creative Commons/Flickr

This reluctance to going away is understandable: many nonprofit employees are invested in their work and might feel too overwhelmed to take a vacation. However, spending some time away from work can have distinct benefits that actually make you more productive and effective.

Why you should take a vacation

Let’s start with the physical and emotional: several studies, reported on by the New York Times and the Harvard Business Review, find that taking vacation lowers stress levels, the risk of heart attack, promotes good sleep, and encourages family bonding and overall well being.

It never hurts to come back to work happier and healthier. Additionally, in my own experience, one of the greatest career boosting elements of taking a vacation is the clarity you develop around your work:

  • You can reflect on your accomplishments and identify next steps for yourself
  • You gain perspective and new ideas by trying something completely outside of your daily routine
  • You can find new ideas or solutions to an old problem: Ideas often appear when you are relaxed and your mind can wander

So how do you set yourself up for vacation success?

Plan before you go

Before stepping away, prioritize essential business, delegate tasks that still need doing, and communicate where your colleagues can find any information that they might need while you are away. Trust your colleagues to handle situations that come up, knowing that you would want them to put the same trust in you.

Start small

If you are traveling, chose a trip that has a low stress level. For example, unless you are an adventure seeker, traveling to the wilds of Alaska in winter might not be for you.  If you are traveling with family make sure you have time to bond and do things together, but also make time for yourself.

Limit connections

If you just can’t cut the chord on your smart phone, set a limited time each day to check in, say 15 minutes to skim your emails and check your voicemail and respond to whatever is pressing, and then leave the rest.

If you take the risk to let go, you’ll find that your break, whether its several days or several weeks, will enable you to come back to work energized and refreshed, with greater perspective, new ideas, and perhaps an improved attitude that your coworkers may appreciate as well.

What are your strategies for preparing to “get away from it all” and what are some benefits that time away has brought to your work? 

Eleanor C. Whitney is a writer, arts administrator and musician living in Brooklyn, New York. She currently is a Program Officer at the New York Foundation for the Arts and is the author of the forthcoming book Grow: How to Take Your Do It Yourself Project and Passion to the Next Level and Quit Your Job, which will be released in the spring of 2013 on Cantankerous Titles

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Can an MBA boost your impact and career?

In October, Curtis Chang at the Stanford Social Innovation Review shared a few management tips for nonprofit leaders based on lessons taught in MBA programs. While he notes the challenges in pursuing an MBA – including cost and time – we know that many people are considering graduate school to help them develop these skills and we are excited to see that MBA programs are expanding their offerings to include a greater focus on social impact. To explore this topic more, we’ve invited Net Impact — a nonprofit that helps business school students and professionals leverage their talent for social change — to share more about the growth of these programs and how we might use them to increase our impact.

By Kyle Skahill

Net Impact, Business as UNusual

If you’ve never really thought an MBA could help you amplify your impact, consider this: more and more business schools are restructuring their programs and incorporating sustainability and social impact issues into their curriculum. In fact, the number of programs featured in Business as UNusual, our guide to impact MBA programs, has grown 170% since we first started publishing it in 2006. That means the tools, opportunities, and connections you gain from today’s impact MBA programs offer newfound potential to create the change you want to see.

Here are a few other ways an MBA might help you advance your career and ability to make a difference:

1)     Expand your impact opportunities

Innovative cross-sector collaborations are opening new avenues for change, so a working understanding of other sectors may be an eye-opener. Business models are changing rapidly, from the rise of B-corporations to unconventional start-ups to cross-sector partnerships – so options abound post-graduation for nontraditional integration of business skills into your career for good.

Who knows, you might even discover opportunities you never considered. Kirsten Tobey was a teacher focusing on experiential education when she realized her interests were increasingly drawn to the bigger-picture issues around food accessibility. So she enrolled in business school, attended a cross-disciplinary product design class, and graduated with the idea for Revolution Foods, which has now served more than 50 million healthy meals to school children nationwide.

This year’s Business as UNusual suggests Kirsten isn’t alone: while entering MBA students came largely from traditional corporations and nonprofits, students’ aspirations post-MBA shifted markedly to include start-ups, social enterprise, and other mission-driven companies (see graphic). It’s clear that the MBA experience opened students’ eyes to a wider set of paths toward making change.

2)     Build your impact-making skills

Nonprofits demand leadership, innovative thinking, and responsive problem solving skills if they expect to make progress on the world’s most serious issues. And they need hard skills like project management, finance, and strategy to galvanize that progress. MBA programs incorporating social and environmental issues give students the chance to develop those skills, while applying them to the issues they care about most.

As one Business as UNusual student respondent wrote about his program, “a deep dive into sustainability through all sectors of the curricula, as well as leadership development, prepares one to implement social and environmental policy in business, one’s community, and our planet’s future.”

But in addition to your own skill building, an understanding of the models and language fundamental to the business sector will be an asset in conversations with partners, sponsors, and stakeholders. Dan Winterson, program director at the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, describes his work on initiatives like the foundation’s Forever Costa Rica effort involving multiple funders and NGOs. “We talk about applying Wall Street principles to conservation because it’s a big project to finance,” he explains. “It’s a big ‘deal,’ essentially, where there are number of conditions that need to be in place before the deal can close. That’s an example where a business background and financial skills are crucial. And I think you see more and more of that in the environmental conservation field.”

3)     Build a network for lifelong impact

The fact remains that a large part of business school’s clout rests on the students and alumni you meet and the doors that this cadre of professionals can open for you. And if you’re an aspiring impact-maker, you’ll find more like-minded students in your MBA cohort than ever before. In this year’s guide, 77% of business students reported that their peers are also prioritizing impact careers in their post-graduation job search. These contacts often translate into future volunteers, partners, employees, and donors instrumental to your organization’s continued viability.

On the first day of that cross-disciplinary product design class, Kirsten Tobey had already started thinking about how to get students eating healthier. So when a classmate – who would become her future business partner – held up a less-than-nutritious lunch she’d just purchased and wondered if there was a better alternative, it was kismet. “We looked at each other across the room,” says Kirsten, “and that was the beginning of a great friendship and partnership.”

With so many MBA programs addressing social and sustainability issues (Business as UNusual 2012 features more than one hundred) to choose from, it’s safe to say that business school is no longer the exclusive domain of the corporate world. The b-school now offers social sector professionals a way to build valuable networks, hone critical skills, and discover new opportunities for impact – and that is a change for the best.

Kyle Skahill is the Community Program Fellow at Net Impact, a leading nonprofit empowering a new generation of leaders to work for a sustainable future. Business as UNusual, the organization’s annual guide to impact MBA programs, can be downloaded free at: netimpact.org/bizschoolguide

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7 tips to consider if you want a career in human rights

On Friday, we shared a list of opportunities and organizations to explore in human rights, in honor of Human Rights Day. However, breaking into this field can be a bit challenging, so we invited Akhila Kolisetty, a law student and blogger who has worked at various human rights organizations, to share a bit about her journey and experiences.

by Akhila Kolisetty

Photo credit: ind{yeah}, Creative Commons/Flickr

I first developed a passion for international development and human rights as an undergraduate at Northwestern, where I studied economics and political science. My time studying development economics in London and working with an international access to justice NGO in Geneva hugely influenced my worldview, convincing me to work at the intersection of access to legal services and women’s rights in the global South. After graduation, I chose to work at a civil rights law firm and also to fundraise for a start-up NGO in Afghanistan that sought to open legal aid clinics promoting rule of law and women’s rights throughout the country.

Having spoken with women and girls in Washington D.C., Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, I’ve noticed the interrelated nature of poverty and violence against women and the impact a passionate legal advocate can have on the lives of the poor. And yet, legal services work remains underfunded in the international development realm. This interest has eventually led me to law school, where I’m hoping to develop the skills to be a better human rights advocate not only through fundraising and running an NGO, but through direct representation of the poor – especially women, girls, and refugees.

Is a career in international human rights for you?

Getting into international human rights can be a challenge; it is a difficult field to enter and can be especially competitive, particularly in today’s economy. In addition, there are many things to consider: how willing are you to travel abroad, live away from your family and friends, acclimate to a completely new and unfamiliar environment, and sometimes live in rough environments? The more flexible you are, and the more passionate you are about living abroad and learning from poor communities, the better chance you’ll have to breaking into this field.  Here are a few tips to help you get started.

1. Volunteer and intern as much as possible

Unpaid internships are essentially a requirement to get into the development and human rights field. Check out a start-up social enterprise’s website and email them offering to contribute something: a social media presence, website development, event planning or grant writing. These things can go a long way for a small NGO! In fact, small organizations can actually be more receptive to your help, and more willing to give you a significant role than large NGOs. At the same time, internships with well-established NGOs can be vital in giving you credibility and valuable experience. Try everything you can to gain experience, skills, references, and a strong sense of what work setting you thrive in.

2. Learn and think critically about development and human rights.

If you’re just starting out in international human rights work, educate yourself! Even if you’re not majoring in international relations, development studies, human rights, or a related subject, you can still learn by reading relevant books (check out works by Bill Easterly, Paul Collier, Dambisa Moyo, and Amartya Sen – among many others) and useful development and human rights blogs (such as A View From the Cave, Chris Blattman, and How Matters). More than anything, I think it’s valuable to think critically about your involvement in international human rights, and about how you can realistically contribute and best make an impact as an outsider in this work.

3. Study or intern abroad as an undergraduate, and learn other languages.

Studying and interning abroad can give you critical “field” or in-country experience that can help you get your first international human rights job. Studying or working abroad can give you a much better sense of the issues facing the country or region you live in, and can also impart valuable language skills. Knowing another language and having the ability to speak thoughtfully about the politics and economics of a region can be a real asset. Spending time abroad will also give you key contacts; maintaining these contacts can help you find a job down the road, or perhaps even apply for programs such as the Fulbright, which allow you to devise your own research project.

4. Learn concrete skills relevant to NGO management.

Most NGOs appreciate skills such as grant writing, fundraising, research and writing, communications, program implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. If you can develop concrete skills in writing grants, hosting fundraising events, researching and writing human rights reports, or marketing organizations effectively through web design and social media, you will be able to contribute concretely to the needs of most non-profit organizations. Learning valuable skills in school – such as strong writing, research, and economic analysis – can also be very useful.

5. Blog, write, and engage in social media.

Personal branding can be useful in the development and human rights field. Starting a blog and contributing your thoughts on human rights and social justice work can be a useful exercise in honing your knowledge, increasing your awareness and understanding of key issues facing your field, and also getting your voice heard. Combining blogging with social media such as Twitter can be extremely useful in making connections that can eventually lead to a job, considering the importance of networking.

6. Have a specific goal if possible, but also be flexible.

Focusing on a specific subject matter area – such as women’s rights, environmental justice, refugee rights, economic development, or post-conflict reconstruction – can be helpful, although it is not necessary. Having an area of focus, however, can allow you to develop particular expertise and knowledge in one area. At the same time, flexibility can go a long way. If you’re willing to take on a lower salary or relocate to a new country or city, for instance, you’ll have a lot more opportunities available to you.

7. Consider graduate school, but be careful about the cost.

I chose to go to law school because of my particular passion for the intersection of law, human rights, and development and my desire to learn direct client representation. A Master’s in International Affairs, an MPP, or even a Ph.D. from a top school can also be helpful in breaking into the field. However, many graduate degrees are extremely expensive, and you should consider carefully whether the degree will be worth the cost.

Ultimately, a career in international human rights can be incredible; it is deeply inspiring and energizing to see grassroots movements, the positive impact of aid and development, and small victories that add up to broader social change and justice. At the same time, it can be truly frustrating and challenging, with constant international travel, time away from family and friends, and the seemingly slow pace of change you want to see happen. Following these tips will help you break into the field – but it’s up to you to decide whether this is the right path for you, and the right way to make an impact!

Akhila Kolisetty

 

Author Bio: Akhila Kolisetty is a first year student at Harvard Law School and a graduate of Northwestern University. She has worked with human rights and legal non-profits in Washington D.C., Chicago, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, and is passionate about issues of gender-based violence, access to justice, and rule of law.

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What kind of volunteer opportunity is right for you?

Datatel Volunteers Shelving Picture Books at Centreville Regional Library (Photo credit: Fairfax Library Foundation, Creative Commons/Flickr)

During this time of year, many people want to give back. But whether you are looking for a one-time opportunity or are eager to jump start a long-term volunteer experience, you should take some time to figure out what kind of volunteering you would like to do.

  • Hands-on: activities where almost anyone can show up and, with minimal training, get started (taking tickets, cleaning up parks, planting trees)
  • Skilled: tasks that depend on a volunteer’s particular skill set or experience (using graphic design skills to help an organization redesign brochures, building or maintaining a nonprofit’s website, providing legal advice for an immigration support agency)
  • Direct service: volunteering on the front lines of the organization and likely having direct contact with the population served (delivering meals, packing food bank boxes)
  • Advisory: serving in a more behind-the-scenes role to help build an organization’s capacity to reach their mission (providing feedback on strategic or fundraising plans, helping organizations learn more about using social networking sites and tools, serving on a committee or board whose role is largely oversight and governance)
  • Online: completing projects that you can do from anywhere in the world as long as you have email or internet access (translating materials, blogging, developing websites, advising on strategic plans)

Action steps

  • Think about what kinds of activities you really enjoy or have always wanted to try.
  • Do a skills assessment to see how you might be able to lend your personal and professional expertise to an organization, issue, or cause.
  • Think about where you want to get involved—behind the scenes, on the front lines, online.
  • Don’t forget to consider what you would like to gain from this experience—and what kinds of activities are likely to help you reach your own personal or professional goals.

What kind of volunteering do you enjoy?

This post is republished from our volunteer center.

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Go beyond a resume and create a career portfolio

Photo credit: scottkellum, Creative Commons/Flickr

With only one month left of 2012 (!), now is the perfect time to reflect on your career growth this year. To capture your accomplishments, why not spend some time creating a career portfolio?

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a professional scrapbook of sorts where you can neatly store any and all artifacts of your past work and volunteer experience. While traditionally people use binders, you could also create an online portfolio with documents to download, or links to work you’ve done online.

Your full portfolio could include artifacts you’ve saved, like copies of work and writing samples, thank-you notes that speak to your impact, survey results, white papers you’ve written, meeting agendas and training outlines you’ve created, action plans you’ve implemented, photos and screenshots of your work in action, volunteer position descriptions you’ve drafted, policies you’ve written and more.

You can divide your portfolio into sections that work for you, for example:

  • An introduction that includes your most recent position description and positive performance review, your resume, and general letters of recommendation.
  • A section for each transferable skill set with a cover page featuring photos of you in action followed by related work samples and what you’ve been able to accomplish as a result of your skills.
    • Think broadly about what skill sets you possess — you can include skills you’ve built through travel and personal experiences (such as developing a travel itinerary, managing your family’s budget and purchasing, redesigning your child’s bedroom, etc.).
  • An education section (if relevant to you) with academic artifacts such as transcript(s), certification(s), relevant course or workshop descriptions, published academic papers, reflections, etc. (Note that any professional experience that you gained during college or grad school you can present in your skill set section.)
  • Other sections such as awards, hobbies, news clippings about you and your work.

How can I use a portfolio?

To a job interview, bring a mini-portfolio with items only relevant to the position. You can use a small presentation folder — sliding your work samples into plastic sleeves. Or you can use a file folder.

Referring to your portfolio contents can be challenging during an interview. If you can, practice ahead of time — but otherwise focus on the conversation more than your portfolio.

At the end of the interview, you should plan to leave behind copies of your most relevant work samples. For example if you apply for a fund development position, you may leave behind a narrative you wrote for a grant proposal (with any proprietary information blacked out). For a communications position you could leave behind screenshots of a professional blog you edit, a postcard you designed, and an example of an e-newsletter you created.

Have you created a career portfolio?

This is article is republished from our career center.

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More than a pipeline: a new vision for nonprofit leadership development

Photo credit: pratanti, Creative Commons/Flickr

When it comes to leadership development, organizations often envision employees as talent in a pipeline that needs to be developed in order to move up. But is this the best approach? Rusty Stahl, Idealist board member, doesn’t think so:

First, pipelines generally transport oil, not people. I will admit it: a pipeline takes an asset from its starting place (at least the place where people drill the oil up from the ground) to the ultimate destination we define for it, where it is transformed into new forms of energy and burned into oblivion. Career pathways similarly deploy talent assets from their youth to be transformed into productive workers that turn their values, intelligence, creativity, sweat and relationships into the life energy of social causes. And, ultimately, at the least, the physical manifestation of that energy is used up.

But nonprofit workers are not oozing liquid that simply goes with the flow. There is much more agency, choice and give-and-take amongst people as we move along our career paths; sometimes we pursue employers, other times they recruit us. We proactively build up experience, and sometimes opportunities appear unexpectedly as a result of preparation — and luck. Most careers do not move from point A to point Z in a straight line with scientific precision like the pipeline.

Instead, he argues that nonprofit careers develop like links in a chain: “Mentors and teachers pass ideas, knowledge, and practices from hand to hand. This ensures that knowledge from the past remains alive in the present and morphs into the future as each generation innovates, adapts and adds new meaning and method to an evolving cannon.”

Read more on Rusty’s blog and chime in: how should we approach career and leadership development in the nonprofit sector?

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