Q. I have been in technology for over 30 years and looking for a change. I have been trying to find a career coach in the greater Lowell, Mass area but no luck so far. Do you have suggestions? I am thinking I might like to work for a non-profit company and would like to know the best way to research job openings.
A. Having a background in technology can offer you many opportunities in different industries, and working with a career coach can help make the entire career transition and job search practice more efficient.
To find career expertise look to your alma mater. Does your college or university offer services to graduates? You don’t need to be local. Through Skype and phone, you can receive great career coaching for an effective transition. If you would benefit from face to face support, and are no longer local, ask if they have any kind of reciprocity with a local college.
ACP International, the Association of Career Professionals International (acpinternational.org) is a professional organization of career consultants with a broad range of expertise. You can find an experienced career consultant specializing in your career transition needs and your geography. They list a number of different areas of expertise to help you find the most effective person for your job search needs. You might want a career change expert, or someone who specializes in non-profits.
Becoming familiar with the non-profit world can start with publications to identify what types of organizations exist. Non-profit organizations come in many denominations and can include public, and private education, health care, government, religiously affiliation, or social services. You might refer to the Chronicle of Philanthropy for development oriented organizations involved in a range of fundraising activities. Higher education jobs can be found in The Chronicle of Higher Education, and on the National Higher Education Recruitment Consortium web site (HERCjobs.org). There is also a resume bank where you can submit your credentials for consideration for positions which may be appropriate. There are a number of sites dedicated to non-profit jobs, and a simple Google search will provide you with a comprehensive list of jobs and organizations.
Volunteering with non-profits can give you exposure to the culture, the issues and the drivers. Networking with people with years of experience in the field, will help you narrow the type of non-profit you might find yourself drawn to. Many people working for non-profits are mission driven, and are happiest working for organizations supporting their cause. You may find that the desire to work at a non-profit organization is driven by which mission compels you.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.