Becoming a Nonprofit Manager

- guest blogger, Jessica Journey
management.jpgIf you aspire to be a manager in a nonprofit organization, now is the time to prepare:  build up your work relationships, your experience, and your portfolio. 
  1. Does your current boss think well of you and your professional contributions?

    This is the number one thing that you can do to prepare yourself for management. This relationship impacts your current work experience and responsibilities. If your boss trusts you, you are able to take on new projects that challenge you to learn and grow. If your boss respects your work, you are able to benefit from a strong professional recommendation.  And if you invest in your relationship with your current boss, that provides more hands-on experience in how to make a supervisory relationship work well.

  2. Do you collaborate well with peers and colleagues in other departments and organizations?

    Your ability to coordinate efforts among various people, places, and projects is a huge asset in becoming a manager. Be sure to take on a project that requires this type of significant work and include it in your portfolio. Prepare yourself to discuss (for a future interview or promotion meeting):  the primary objective, the barriers to success, how you rallied the troops, and the results. Consider also discussing lessons learned and skills built. 

  3. Do you have experience as a supervisor?

    This question may seem misplaced in a blog post about aspirations to be a manager, but this question is intentional and important. In the nonprofit world, there are several opportunities to serve as a supervisor before you ever have the word 'manager' in your title. Seek opportunities to have others report to you. Advocate for yourself and your career aspirations. Ideas include:  serve as committee chair for a nonprofit board or advisory group, bring on an intern at your organization, launch your own side hustle where you are the boss, or take on a part-time for-profit job where you are shift manager. 
All of these ideas will improve your work relationships, enhance your experience, and build your portfolio. Good luck!

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