For the past 11 years I have been married and worked on writing novels and
children’s books (which have not been published yet). I have a Ph.D. in education
administration and prior to this had a business of my own. I am in the process of
getting a divorce and am trying to get myself retrained to reenter the job market. I
would like to go into the nonprofit industry. I have enrolled in two fundraising
courses to get a certificate in fundraising and am also trying to get a certificate in public relations.
I have signed up to take the fundraising certificate exam. What’s the best way for me to break into the job market?
The Career Doctor responds:
Wow you have quite an interesting background and it will be a challenge to
create your resume to package everything you have done in a manner that
would help you make the career change you seek — but it is certainly not
impossible. It will require identifying and using transferable skills you have
mastered and applying them to the skills required in the job you seek in the
But the first thing you should do? Make a list of non-profits in your area and inquire
whether they need volunteers for fundraising or public relations. My guess is just about every one of the organizations you call will resoundingly say yes.
Once you have your foot in the door and once you complete your certifications
you will then have the transferable skills certifications and current experience (yes
volunteering counts as experience) to make the jump from volunteer to paid staff.
Making career changes is never an easy process but I encourage you to keep
moving forward. Having a career that you enjoy and have passion for is so much
more important than working in a career you dislike but are compensated well.
I recommend taking advantage of all the tools and resources we offer in this section of
Quintessential Careers: Job &
Career Resources for Career Changers.