The Benefits and Challenges of A Foundation Job Search

11 Jul by Worldhide

The Benefits and Challenges of A Foundation Job Search

OK, let’s start with the benefits of foundation job seeking:

Foundation Job Seeking 101; first it always best to know what the challenges are, and what you get out of seeking a job at a foundation/nonprofit…

(1) They are attractive to work at because they are mission driven and they offer a do-good feeling from working at them.

At a foundation you can work someone you actually care about. And because of this (in the job-seeking stage) they also expect you to offer more than just a resume match.

To secure a position you will need to demonstrate a personality fit, and your proven passion for their mission.

Even your outside activities all matter to foundation employers.

Bottom line: foundations are looking for people who care about their purpose as much as they do.

As long as you are active in pursuing your interests this will help you, but in situations where job seekers have been passive about volunteering, or working in for such a purpose this will work against you.

(2) Another Big Benefit Are “The People” In The Sector.

We are progressive, open to change, and care about our communities; where else can you find this?

In general foundation employers truly care about their staff and are normally open to committee decision making.

This is different than for-profits. For-profit companies are top down only decision makers (traditionally) and normally do not “discuss” their decisions openly before they are made in the same way. This is a great strength but also a great challenge. For this reason expect the hiring process to take a bit longer. grouted micropiles

Though the process is time intensive, it is also offers stability, reliability, and employee buy in. Things that are very important when considering foundation leaders are responsible to boards, and many times must justify their decisions. Another benefit of difference in seeking in the foundation sector is that it allows us to passionately work in an area without appearing like “fanatical jobseeker.”

If you approached a for-profit with as much direct experience as many foundation jobseekers do, you would probably be labeled a stalker or out for personal gain. Honestly, try telling a Finance Director at Gap Inc., that you watched them speak at the most recent event at a conference, that you volunteered at their two last gala/events since 2012, met their personal assistant at an art show last week, read the last three publications they had written, that you are very devoted what they do, and really want to work with them. They will be either terrified of you, or expect you to do their laundry.

Foundations are different. You are expected to network in their area of expertise, read their works, meet their employees, and volunteer at their events. In fact that is fastest way to get hired at one.

Unlike for-profit corporations the information you need to secure a job lead is very available in the foundation sector. You always hear people say this, getting a job is all about networking. For better or worse, finding the best job for you often comes down to knowing the right people. Maintain relationships from past jobs, internships and volunteer experiences.” Thus, having the correct experience volunteering, and the right approach is a strong way in.

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