Tag Archive: Employment


Before leaving Crisis Nursery, my job was announced.  The announcement was placed on Crisis Nursery’s website, two local job banks and promoted through Twitter.  Within a week and a half, over 90 people had applied to be the next Communications and Marketing Manager for Crisis Nursery.

The candidates ranged from new graduates, nonprofit professionals and individuals who had extensive experience managing large corporate communications or marketing departments. Obviously there is no shortage of qualified individuals.  My supervisor was impressed by the people who applied. Many people have the skill sets to do my job and some of the people have exceptional experience to do the job maybe even better than me.  There’s no doubt that people with skills are out there, but I believe that the three determining factors for the candidate who gets my job are these: 1) a basic understanding of Crisis Nursery and it’s mission; 2) a passion for working with vulnerable populations; and 3) a good fit for the department and organization. 

During these difficult economic times, people are looking for work and considering work in different industries.  I’m amazed at the amount people switching from corporate careers to nonprofit.  I can pretty much say that I am a nonprofit “lifer.”  I can’t imagine working anywhere, but nonprofit.  I’m not going to count out working in other industries, but I love knowing I belong to a career that makes a difference.  Additionally, nonprofit work is never mundane.  Whether it’s working with difficult issues or people or trying to figure out how to fundraise to keep the lights on and the doors open, it’s a challenge and I LOVE IT.

If you are considering a career in nonprofit out of necessity (you will take whatever pays money) or because it’s your heart’s desire, remember there’s more to it than a paycheck.  When you work for a nonprofit, you work for children, men, women and communities who need your services.  Your job is more than just about you. 

With that being said, if you want to truly consider working for a nonprofit, figure out what causes your passionate about and apply for positions at nonprofits whose missions aligns with your interest.  There are many nonprofits to choose from–arts, children, health, community, elderly, education, drug prevention, schools, universities, faith-based and the list goes on and on. 

In your cover letter state why you want to work for these nonprofits. If you have a short personal story of how the nonprofit impacted your life or the life of someone you know, share it.  Getting a job in nonprofit is not just having the skills to do the job.  It’s apparent there are many people out there with skills. But what will set you above the rest is to demonstrate your understanding of the nonprofit, why their work is important and why it’s important to you.

I think I’ve kept everyone in suspense long enough. 

Drum Roll…PLEASE!

Today, I formally submitted my resignation as Communications and Marketing Manager at Crisis Nursery, Inc.  My last day will be April 14th.  On April 19th, I will start a new venture in my life and I’ve accepted the new Director of Fund Development  position for Central Arizona Shelter Services.

Crisis Nursery has been a big part of my life since I’ve moved to Arizona over four years ago.  I consider my co-workers as my family away from home and I appreciate each and every one of them.  It’s hard to leave them, but I know this is an opportunity I can’t pass up.  I am very excited for this new opportunity and I’m ready for this challenge.

I’m sad to leave my co-workers and friends at Crisis Nursery, but I will keep in touch (whether I like it or not).  My supervisor has locked into a 12 top table for their 7th Annual Breaking the Cycle Luncheon.  So if anyone is interested in attending the luncheon, please let me know.  I have space available at my table.  Seriously! The 7th Annual Breaking the Cycle Luncheon, is on October 19th, Camelback Inn at noon, RSVP with me 🙂

You can expect more blogs about my new endeavors; however, now it’s time to celebrate.  In the next couple of weeks there will be series of Happy Hours.  I’ll keep you posted. So please come out and help me celebrate. 

Woohoo!!

I sometimes look back at my career in disbelief.  I’ve worked in nonprofit for OVER 10 years. 

When I decided to pursue social work, my intentions were to work with adults and families.  I enjoyed working in homeless services, but what I realized early on is that I didn’t like working with the individuals themselves.  Defeats the purpose of working in social work, right??

Most people go into social services with the mindset of helping and working directly with people.  I knew I wanted to help others, but learned early on I did not want to work directly with people who needed therapy or counseling.  Case management was an option, but it really didn’t peak my interest.  As I researched career options in social work, I became more interested in the administrative and community development side of social work or also known as macro social work.  I knew that eventually I wanted to work towards leading my own program or nonprofit. 

After receiving my Bachelors in Social Work, I went straight into the Masters in Social Work Program at Saint Louis University (SLU).  I had three concentrations to choose from 1)  Family-concentrated on social workers who wanted to go into therapy or counseling; 2) Medical-focused on social workers who wanted to work in the medical field such as hospitals or hospice; 3) Community-targeted social workers who were interested in administration, community development and advocacy. 

Looking back, community was the obvious choose for me. At that time, people really didn’t talk about nonprofit management as a career option.  But today there are so many programs like the ASU Lodestar Center that have nonprofit management degrees.  More and more programs are popping up every year and it’s a true testament that nonprofits are concentrating more on the “management” side of running an organization.  If nonprofit management programs were available to me as I was pursing an advanced degree,  I would have most likely pursued that, but back then (9 years ago) it really wasn’t an option. 

The summer after I graduated from Creighton, I moved back home with my parents.  My neighbor, Mr. Brooks, who I’ve known since I was five years old asked me a day after I arrived in St. Louis what I was going to do.  I told him pretty nonchalantly that I was going to grad school and I was going to spend the summer relaxing until it started up.  He then asked, “What are you going to do for work?” I thought, “What, work??? I just graduated.”

I opened the door…it was a great opportunity for him to lecture me.  Mr. Brooks and his wife had no children of their own and in some ways I think he thought of me as his daughter.   Mr. Brooks told me that in order to be successful and to get ahead in my career, I needed to start gaining work experience.  He believed having education is only part of what makes one successful in their career. Having initiative and producing results are equally as important.  I won’t admit this to him because Mr. Brooks likes to be right, but he was a huge influence in developing my work ethic and a major reason why I am doing what I’m doing today.

Anyway, little did I know, Mr. Brooks was scheming. He told me that he wanted me to apply to at least seven jobs a day. He also wanted to see my resume.  When I told him that I didn’t have one, Mr. Brooks told me write one up and he would be over the next day to look over it.  

Call it naivete, but I did what Mr. Brooks told me.  I know I didn’t do it because I thought he was right or someone I (at that time) looked up too.  I think I did it partially to keep my crazy old neighbor off my back. 

The next day he called me and said that he was bringing a friend over and to have my resume ready.  I had parts of it done, but it wasn’t completely finished.  I quickly worked on it and as I was printing out a copy, the doorbell rang.  Mr. Brooks was there with his friend, Jim Shiels, little did I know he would later became my boss. 

Jim was the Executive Director at the Jefferson County Community Partnership (JCCP).  He told me that they had openings for site coordinators.  As he explained the job, I became increasingly more interested.  The site coordinator’s role would be to work with communities in Jefferson County, a rural county just south of St. Louis.  The site coordinator would help community stakeholders assess their current status and find out  how as a community (both public and private stakeholders) can come together to make improvements.  The job was true grassroots organizing and community development.

Jim passed my resume on to his Program Director and the next week I had an interview.  The day after my interview I was offered one of the site coordinator positions.  I worked there an entire month before starting the Masters program at SLU and I’m glad I had that experience to draw from because it helped me to choose my concentration in graduate school.  I continued to work at JCCP while I attended SLU.  It allowed me to apply my work experience to the concepts and theories I was learning in school which complemented each other well. 

I firmly believe things happen in life for a reason.  I didn’t know it then, but that summer really set the foundation for my career in social work. I like to give credit where credit is due.   Thank you to Mr. Brooks for lecturing me.  I think it was the kick in the butt to get me going.  And thank you to Jim Shiels for giving me a chance.