Assess Your Interests, Skills
The first step in beginning your career journey is to assess your interests, skills, strengths, goals, values, and self to better understand your story and give you career direction. Then, we can help you reflect on your story and create career exploration goals.
Interests: Know your interests, as they may help to align you with organizations and possible job titles representing a match based on your likes/dislikes. Use these tools below to clarify your interests and possible career ideas based on interests.
MyNextMove - Explore career options and interests by keyword or industry, or take their short assessment to find potential career matches based on interests.
Strong Interest Inventory (SII) - The SII is a widely respected career interest inventory designed to help people find a fit between their personalities and work. It compares your interests and preferences to people in general and to people who have been happy and satisfied in their careers. The results from the SII identify careers that best fit a person’s interests.
Values: Know your values, as they may help to align you with potential work environments and organizations that match your passion(s) and core belief(s). Use these tools below to clarify your values and identify possible career ideas based on your values.
Imperative - This on-line tool will help you evaluate how you can bring meaning and authenticity to your work, as you identify your passion and core values, around work. The initial assessment is free, and can be brought to an appointment with us, for more conversation.
Skills/Strengths: Know your skills and strengths, as they may help to align you with well suited job titles, work tasks and work environments. Use these tools below to clarify your skills/strengths and possible career ideas based on your talents and skills.
Career Onestop - Take this short skills assessment to learn more about your skills and how they match up to potential career ideas.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - The MBTI is a self-report questionnaire designed to make Jung’s theory of psychological types understandable and useful in everyday life. It is one of the most widely used instruments for understanding personality differences and is widely used to understand people in terms of their decision-making styles, preferences for communication and work environments, and for career development and exploration.
CliftonStrengths - The CS helps you to discover your top talent themes. By becoming aware of these talents, you can grow them into strengths. Strengths can be utilized in all aspects of your life, including career planning and during the career search process. The assessment is all about focusing on your natural talents to maximize your potential.
Want some coaching on where to begin? Not sure which Career Track is right for you? Make an appointment on Handshake for “Exploring Options”. We’ll be happy to talk more about your Career Track options and explore your interests and skills together, in a coaching relationship.
Before Your Appointment: Explore the tools on our Assess Your Skills and Interests page; Create a LinkedIn account; Create a profile on Handshake.
Explore Your Track
Nonprofit work includes a broad range of career paths: from education to the environment; from the arts to healthcare; from community action to international service UofM students have developed careers that allow them to pursue their passion and create change. While there are similarities with each career path there are also unique characteristics that define the work and therefore the job/internship process.
There are a number of resources for exploring nonprofit career paths:
Vault: A research library that includes career overviews and career specific resources.
Idealist Careers: A resource for exploring nonprofit careers, building strategies for gaining experience and gaining job/internship tips and advice.
Article: 5 ways a Nonprofit Job is Different from a For-Profit Job
Article: 10 Myths about Working in the Nonprofit Sector
Here is some information to get you started:
People working in nonprofits often wear multiple hats with responsibilities across several areas of the organization. This requires a great deal of flexibility and an ability to work with teams.
Article: What Top Nonprofits Look for in Applicants
Article: 3 Reasons You Should Work for a Nonprofit
Typical Entry Level Jobs
Entry level positions in nonprofit organizations vary. Typically there are two paths: operations (functions that maintain the organization) and programs (services provided by the organization)
Article: Nonprofit Job Titles
Article: Vault Career Guide to Nonprofit Careers (page 27)
Connect with Professionals
Armed with some background information and ideas, connecting with professionals can offer next level insights and answer more specific questions.
UCAN (University Career Alumni Network) -- Search and connect with U-M who have volunteered to chat with U-M students about all things career-related!
Resource: Networking Resources on the University Career Center website
Article: How to Network on LinkedIn
Beyond just joining Linked-In, groups are a great way to expand ones network, contribute to a community, and get questions answered. Checkout groups geared toward nonprofit work. See what the members are doing, participate in discussions, uncover resources, and even ask your questions.
Article: 21 Linkedin Groups Every Americorps Member Should Belong To
Professional Associations provide resources and services to member organizations. They are also a great resource for students exploring careers and often include a student or career section on their website.
Society for Nonprofit Organizations
Young Nonprofit Professionals Network
Maize Pages Learn more about the field by working with other students who share your interest in nonprofits. Maize Pages is a searchable database of registered UM organizations. Search based on your passions and join an organization that will also help to develop the skills we highlighted earlier
Want some coaching around navigating your Career Track? Interested in talking with a Career Coach about your exploration of a Career Track?
Attend a Career Center Program/Workshop to learn more about your Career Track in group formats.
Make an appointment on Handshake for “Exploring Options”.
Before Your Appointment: Explore and engage with the tools and links in Explore Your Career Track; Complete the 3,2,1 reflection exercise; Attend a Career Workshop/Event related to your Career Track.
You have been exploring your Career Track, and may be wondering “What Next?” This short exercise will help you clarify your question(s) and identify strategies to answer your career exploration questions.
3 - What are three take-aways from your exploration of this Career Track?
2 - What are two questions that you have/ what are you questioning now?
1 - What is 1 specific action step you plan to take, to answer your 2 questions?
Launch Your Job or Internship Search
Job Internship Search Essentials
When job searching it’s important to understand the hiring process from the organizational perspective. It directs your job search efforts, identify timelines and best job search strategies. Nonprofit Job/Internship essentials include:
- Just in time hiring: Nonprofits hire when there is a specific opening rather than annually hiring a group of new staff. It's one reason that nonprofits typically don’t attend career fairs or on-campus events. This also means that nonprofits do not have a specific “hiring season”.
- Limited HR staff: Nonprofit human resources are often limited and may be a small part of a staff member’s responsibilities. This means hiring timelines may be extended with limited follow-up.
Connect with Professionals
A referral from a contact goes a long way when looking for a job. Utilize the groups you have been contributing to on LinkedIn as one valuable referral source.
Internship Posting Sites
A well-written resume connects your skills and experiences to the needs of the organization. The articles below (combined with the “Necessary Skills” outlined in this track),will help you develop a strong resume
Resource: The Career Center’s Resume Resources
Article: Presenting Yourself On Paper: Resumes and Cover Letters Article: Want a Nonprofit Job? Change your resume in these 3 ways
Resource: The University Career Center’s Interviewing Resources
Article: What do hiring managers look for
Article: Presenting yourself in person
Visit The Career Center website for more information on resumes, interviewing, and networking.
Want some coaching around launching your Career Track? Interested in gaining experience including securing Internships or looking for Jobs?
Attend a Career Center Program/Workshop to connect with employers and organizations that represent opportunities in your Career Track.
Make an appointment on Handshake for “Internship Search”, or “Job Search”
Before Your Appointment: Explore and engage with the tools and links in Launch Your Career Track;Complete the 3,2,1 reflection exercise; Attend a Career Crawl/Workshop related to your Career Track.
You have been launching your job/internship search, and may be wondering “What Next?” This short exercise will help you clarify your question(s) and identify strategies to answer your job/internship search questions.
3 - What are three take-aways from exploring the resources in "Launching Your Job/Internship Search"?
2 - What are two questions that you still have/what are you questioning now?
1 - What is 1 specific action step to help answer your 2 questions?
Photo Credit: Tiago Gerken