Making the Transition from Non-Profit to For-Profit Work


Ray writes:
I have been in the non-profit world for nearly 20 years as an executive director. I would like to change now and find that my strong resume in the non-profit sector and lack of schooling (I currently have a associate’s degree) seem to spell lack of interest in the stock brokerage or banking industry.

My motivations for change are: 1) more stable hours…8-5 M-F as opposed to 60+ a week; 2) the possibilities of making more money; 3) working a position that allows interaction with people yet does not expect them to “change the entire world” and live on $20K a year and be happy.

Sorry if I sound a bit harsh but I am very frustrated at this point. How do I attract the interest of the financial world impress upon them that I do not expect to start at the top but work my way there and that I am worth taking a chance on?

Thank you for your time once again and for any help you can offer. Your open ear is a wonderful treat.


The Career Doctor responds:
Glad I was here for you Ray. I don’t think your degree or experience in not-for-profit should be such a stumbling block. Perhaps you should have your resume reviewed by someone — have them check both style and content.

Assuming your resume is fine you may have too much experience as many companies shy away from job-seekers who appear overqualified. I think smaller companies are often more flexible so you might consider that avenue. Also if the degree is really a sticking point consider going back for two years and getting a bachelor’s in finance … or perhaps even an MBA. Finally I would consider looking at other not-for-profit organizations.

While I do know of some that take advantage of their employees for low pay I know of others that more paralleled for-profit organizations. Keep looking.