Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A day in the life of a nonprofit worker

1. What is your name, organization and job title (you don't have to give your name/organization if you don't want to- it can be anonymous)
Stephanie Jacobs, Consulting Associate at Fieldstone Alliance

2. What is the first thing you do when you get in the office?
When I walk in the door, I say hello to my co-workers who are already hard at work. Then I turn on my computer and check my email, Twitter, Facebook, and calendar.

3. How do you spend your lunch break?
I like to eat lunch with my co-workers. Sometimes we are all too busy to have lunch together, but we try to eat together as often as we can. There are picnic tables right outside of our office, so in the summer we eat outside almost every day.

4. Which part of your work do you enjoy most?
I enjoy learning about what makes nonprofit organizations tick. In my work, I get the chance to interact with and learn about organizations all across the country. It’s amazing how organizations can appear so different on the outside in terms of industry and culture, but they face many of the same issues and challenges. While the organizations may share struggles, the people who work at these nonprofits also have their passion and dedication for their work in common. It’s their passion that keeps me going and makes me work harder.

5. Please finish this sentence: If someone wanted my job, they would have to…..
Know how to manage time and personalities. I’m often working on many kinds of projects (organization and life stage assessments, strategy development, collaboration) involving many different people (the consultants I’m working with, the clients, and sometimes the organization’s stakeholders). Not only do I need to assist with the tasks of the project, keeping the client’s needs and unique situation in mind, I also need to be a team player, working with the consultants and the client to ensure the project is successful. It takes good time and people management skills to get things done.

6. What advice or tips do you have for other nonprofit professionals in your position?
Network, network, network. There is nothing like having a group of peers to turn to in good and bad times, peers who understand what you are going through. More and more of my closest friends are from the nonprofit sector. Not only are they smart, fun people, but we also share the same values, talk openly about what’s happening in our jobs, and create connections for each other we might not have made ourselves. We are laying the foundation for solid partnerships for the future when we are the leaders in the field.

If you want to share a day in your life, please email me - kristen@advancementcompany.com

3 comments:

ASinykin said...

I have to say, I love reading your "day in the life". They always end up giving me good ideas to think about. Thanks for sharing Stephanie and thanks for posting Kristen. I look forward to each of them.

Stephanie Jacobs said...

Amy, it was a pleasure to share my experiences on this post. The sector is lucky to have people like Kristen who reach out and make connections between those of us working in nonprofits. I also learn something new every time I read about another nonprofit worker's experience. Thanks, Kristen, for the opportunity to share! -Stephanie

Jack said...

Nice insight into life in the nonprofit sector. For some additional perspective and perhaps some inspiration, I invite you to check out this brief video -- ahamoment.com/pg/moments/view/5207 -- which explains the "aha moment" of one young woman that led her to leave the corporate world to follow a calling to work in nonprofit. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks,
jack@ahamoment.com