How to Keep Pluggin’ along in your Nonprofit Career

I am definitely not using this post to say that I am an expert in career advice.  I have not been around the block a few times… I don’t even know where to turn on the block, yet.  At least I don’t think I do.

But, in my short 3 year career in the nonprofit industry, I have learned that it takes a certain mindset to keep plugging along.  Again, I’m not an expert, and I can’t compare this to the FOR profit world either.  However, speaking from the short experience I have and what I have learned from others in the industry, is that you can come up to a few roadblocks to keep your career from moving forward and growth happening.

1) Complacency

2) Frustration

3) Lack of motivation

flickr photo by greg westfall.

These are 3 things that, I think, pop up in any career, in any city and in any department.  But, here are three solutions that I suggest to combat these roadblocks.

1) Ask how to get better – a GREAT way to stop feeling comfortable and complacent with “the way things have always been done” or”I’ve done it this way, and it was fine” is to ask someone how THEY do things.  It’ll get the wheels turnin’, trust me.

2) Take some time off – If you are feeling frustrated… take some time off.  Even if that isONE DAY!Take a day off, have a “stay”cation.  Maybe you can use that day to set up a coffee, lunch, and after work drink meeting with 3 mentors that you feel comfortable asking how to handle certain situations at work.

3) Volunteer your time in direct service of your organization.  This may be the most important one.  The other two can be vital, but not much else can get the motivational juices flowing, than directly working with the people your organization is serving.  And while you are volunteering, ask clients questions.  By getting to know them, you may find a new tweak on a project or a new idea for a program that can be the fire behind you to keep you moving forward.

It has been a great transition for me into a new organization and a new position.  I have met these roadblocks in my short career, but serving those in need in the Indiana community has always been the fire chasing me.  Make sure to find yours and then find the best situation to harness that!

What do YOU do to stay motivated?
How do you avoid complacency?
Have you ever been frustrated when coming to work?
Comment below!