Working for a small nonprofit is a big change, especially if you have only worked for larger organizations in the past. Whereas large workplaces can sometimes allow you to slip into the background, your work will be front and center in a small organization.
You should make sure that you have the following four traits before applying to a small nonprofit:
- Self-Starter: Since small agencies have less employees by definition, you will need to be comfortable working on your own and thinking creatively to solve problems.
- Collaborator: While you will sometimes have to work on your own on projects, a small nonprofit will only have success if everyone communicates and gets along. When you are working with such a small group, one negative attitude can bring the whole team down.
- Can-Do Attitude: You should be comfortable attending to all types of tasks, both big and small. In addition, you should be willing to help your colleagues with tasks if they need assistance.
- Passion: Small organizations need employees who aren't just satisfied with working 9-5. You should be ready to commit extra hours if that's what is needed to fulfill the mission.