It's common when doing a job search to get ahead of yourself. We all have visions of how we want our career path to track. Unfortunately, these career goals aren't always met immediately. It's important to realize that your first nonprofit job might not be ideal. This doesn't mean you shouldn't set your aim high. You should try as hard as you can to get the job you want, but you should make sure to temper your expectations.
There is no doubt that these are tough times for our economy. The job market is seemingly stagnant and the competition is fierce for the jobs that are available. You are probably not going to get the best available job unless you have credentials that are off the charts. So when you begin your job search, here are some realistic job goals you should set:
- Be prepared to accept a job that might be less than ideal. It might not be the most enthralling work you will do, but even the most boring non profit work can eventually lead to better opportunities.
- Make a list of what would be acceptable salaries to you. You are going to want to be paid appropriately for the work you do. If it's an entry level job, for instance, you shouldn't really expect more than $30-40,000 a year (and even that might be a bit high).
- Know your strengths. Don't apply for jobs that you think might be too much for you. And remember, there is no such thing as "too easy" of a job. You have to start somewhere, right?
- Be proud of who you are. The worst thing you can do is oversell yourself in a resume or cover letter. Nonprofit managers value honesty, so you shouldn't say you can do a job you can't handle.