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As we start to ease out of Covid restrictions, not-for-profit organisations are starting to hire again. After the hiatus caused by the pandemic, they want people who can hit the ground running, who are able and motivated to work from home. That means looking internally, or at least from within the specific sector.

So, if you’re looking to move within this environment, what can you do? Here are six areas to focus on, whether you’re looking to move now or to prepare for the future.


  1. Enhance your qualifications

You may be part or fully qualified, but there is more you can do, particularly if your qualifications were earned some years ago. Things change, and it’s good to stay relevant, demonstrate a willingness to learn as well as giving employers additional reasons to hire you.

One to consider are the regular training courses carried out by CPD – a body that allows learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive. Charity Finance Group highlight the courses that lend themselves best to non-profit finance professionals:


  1. Leverage your network

As the old adage goes, it’s not what you know it’s who you know. Your network can be a great source of knowledge, advice, introductions and even job opportunities.

Nurture the relationships with influential industry figures. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for advice – people are usually very pleased to be asked.

It’s worthwhile seeking out active professional communities, such as on LinkedIn. Here are some examples:

And of course, don’t forget your recruitment consultant! It pays to maintain and build relationships with good recruiters – those who specialise in your industry, have demonstrable market expertise and good contacts with a range of your target employers.

If you would like any advice on enhancing your LinkedIn profile, please get in touch!


  1. Know your market, competitors and worth

It’s never a good idea to go into a job search blind. You need to know what the recruitment market is doing, what sort of organisations are hiring, where the shortages are, where you add value and, of course, what the market is paying.

Good recruiters are the best source of impartial information. Many put together salary guides, can advise on benefits and know what skills are in demand.

You can also research vacancies yourself online to get a sense of how busy the market is by regularly checking in with job boards. If jobs are on there for weeks, it’s likely there is a shortage in that area. Take note of what is being asked for and think about how you can tailor your CV or application to meet that need.

Here are some useful not for profit job boards:


  1. Ask for a promotion or pay rise

Do you know what your market value is? When was the last time to received a pay rise? Do you feel a promotion is overdue? Don’t be afraid to ask for more if you feel you’re entitled to it.

But – do your preparation. Make sure your request is justified. If you think you’re being paid below market value, use your research as evidence. If you’ve gained further qualifications, taking on additional responsibilities or delivered on additional projects, gather the data and present it accordingly.

The worst that can happen? Your employer can say no. but, in the process, you’ve demonstrated your ambition and commitment to your career.


  1. Demonstrate your willingness to learn

Ok, if you don’t have any reasons to be promoted just now, make a plan to change that. Show enthusiasm, put in extra effort, become indispensable.

You could ask to shadow a more senior colleague, or someone in another department, to learn new skills. If you’ve finished your work, proactively ask if anything else needs doing. Volunteer to take on projects that will raise your profile and allow you to gain new skills. Ask HR about company training courses.

Don’t forget to make sure your progress is being monitored through official channels too. Ask for regular feedback through formal channels, such as your appraisal process, and informally during one-to-ones and catch-ups.


  1. Stay up to date

There are many sources of information to make sure you’re up to date, not only with what’s happening in your specific area but the wider industry. Most of these publications run excellent events with well-known speakers offering quality content – and in today’s climate, many of these are help remotely making it even easier to attend.

Some of the industry publications we monitor include; Charity Finance Magazine, Charity Times, Third Sector, Civil Society, Inside Housing and Social Housing. You can also find useful news by using google alerts and registering for newsletters.


There are many things you can do proactively to advance your career, even in downturns. One of the best is to work with your recruitment agency and build a solid relationship with the recruiter responsible for your particular skill set.

Having worked within the not-for-profit market since 2016, I am happy to provide advice to anyone looking to move their career forwards – you can contact me on 3800 0767.

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