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.