1 Question To Ask Yourself If You're Stuck In A Career Rut
Almost everyone between the age of 18 and 65 needs to work, but with the sad statistic that 85+% of us are not happy in our jobs/careers, painting on a smile each day can get a bit soul-destroying. If you’re one of the 85+% in a job feeling flatter than a pancake, and more uninspired than a slice of plain white bread, this blog is for you!
Let’s start by asking a question to wake you up from that haze of ‘blah’ (We ask people this one all the time because the answers they give can be very telling!)
“If you had to do something every day for work, but you never got paid for it, what would you do?”
Say the first thing that comes into your head and pay close attention to what you blurt out because there will be some insightful truth hiding in your answer. In saying that, we could probably divide people's answers into three categories...
The first category is ridiculous fantasy jobs that don’t exist or are so niche that they’re harder to come by than a four-leaf clover basking in the light of a rainbow (we’re talking professional ice-cream taster or J-Lo’s lead back-up dancer)
The second category, although slightly more attainable than the fantasy roles, are jobs including becoming a professional surfer, artist, rugby player or [insert any number of fun, playful, maybe even a little self-indulgent type jobs here]. You get the idea!
The third category, however, is the one we want to focus our attention on today. Yep, we are talking about those special jobs that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. If your answer to the ‘what could you do every day without pay’ question was something along the lines of ‘Working at the SPCA’, ‘planting trees’, ‘building houses in developing nations’ or ‘pitching in on the Sea Sheppard vessels’; you're in luck. We can work with you to build up your CV/cover letter, and help you attain a paid, feel-good, give-back type job that is sure to have you feeling more energised and productive than your current sigh-inducing role!
This third category is so enticing that there is an entire job hosting website in NZ that only advertises such roles! You may have heard of it:
“Do Good Jobs is about connecting great people, to do good. We connect passionate, talented people (aka do-gooders) with work vacancies that aim to create social and environmental change. Job listings are from not for profit, NGOs, charities and social enterprises in New Zealand, which focus on good causes including international development, community jobs, "green" environmental jobs, conservation jobs and more. These listings include paid employment, voluntary roles and internships”. - dogoodjobs.co.nz
One way to get yourself out of a yawn-inducing career rut is to find work at a company whose ethics and mission are so inspiring that it’s hard to have a bad day!
Not-for-profits (NFPs) and charitable organisations tend to attract a passionate, motivated, and enthusiastic crowd who believe in what the organisation stands for. In general, these workplaces are reported to have higher levels of job satisfaction, retention, and more positive, collaborative workplace cultures. So what’s not to love? Well, one potential con is that salaries for jobs in these organisations might not be quite as high as you’d find for the same position in a private or government organisation, so there is that! Although, some might argue that this difference in salary is not a big deal when you’re working for a place in which your values closely align.
Is it not better to be happy in a lower-paid job, than hate every second of a well-paid position? #foodforthought
So how do you tailor your CV for a role in an organisation where the company isn’t motivated by making a profit for themselves? How do you get in on that feel-good action when you have little to no experience working for an NFP business?
Here are our top tips to ensure you pique the interest of the NFP hiring managers! Hint: The key is to demonstrate and give credibility to your passionate, empathetic, open-minded, community-focused nature (or other skills and attributes which the company is seeking). This does NOT mean simply writing that you ARE passionate; as we have said many times in the past, words like passionate, honest, and trustworthy shouldn’t appear in your CV. (Steer well clear of ‘em!)
VOLUNTARY WORK + COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
If you don’t have any voluntary experience to speak of, it’s time to get out there and get amongst it! There are quite literally THOUSANDS of ways you can pitch in to help out in your local community; all you need to do is ask. Some ideas to get you started:
Check out local (and national) volunteer Facebook pages and websites
Ask around local charities in your area (such as animal shelters, Salvation Army and Red Cross organisations; even local schools and fire stations would probably be grateful for an offer of help)
Follow your interests as a guide. What do you like to do? What are your strengths? What skills can you share?
Volunteering opens up the door for some seriously creative, fun, and altogether interesting experiences. You might choose to volunteer your skills as a mentor, a tutor, a fundraiser, a facilitator, a graphic designer, a writer, a builder, a gardener, a security guard, or an advocate – the list is endless! Add this experience to your CV and highlight to NFP employers that you can walk the talk.
HIGHLIGHTING RELEVANT HARD + SOFT SKILLS
If your background has been as a competitive, wheeling and dealing sales manager, your experience might not read as highly charitable at first glance, BUT you will likely have a host of fantastic transferrable skills.
Personable relationship-building abilities, persuasiveness, and a talent for upselling and soliciting large sums of money from people are very useful skills for an NFP role that requires you to drum up support and fundraise for a cause. It’s all in the way you look at it!
Try making a list of your expertise and strongest personality traits and circle the ones that can be used to sell you into a role where these skills are useful and highly prized in an NFP environment.
MENTIONING THE CAUSES YOU CARE ABOUT + SUPPORT
Maybe not entirely relevant for most job applications, but if you are applying for a role with an NFP or other charitable organisation; it’s not a bad idea to mention the causes you care about (There is even an area on LinkedIn that lets you add such info, so absolutely use this too!)
Causes you support might not mean you volunteer for them, but that you support them in other ways including spreading awareness on social media/other channels, donating funds and/or other things such as clothing, books, toys, presents, or food.
If you would like some help wrangling your CV, cover letter, or LinkedIn page, we are right here ready to swoop in and get your profiles polished; prepared for the leap into a career that makes you feel motivated to get out of bed and contribute something a little extra special to the world! If you want to see what is out there job-wise, feel free to check out the vast range of exciting roles on offer at some of New Zealand’s most inspirational organisations via Do Good Jobs here at dogoodjobs.co.nz
Please note: We are in no way affiliated with Do Good Jobs.