Sunday, April 12, 2009

You Are Better Than You Think

I have been in the nonprofit sector for 24 years and am looking for a new career challenge.

What is the best way to do this?

I have been the CEO of a Foundation in Ohio for the past 10 years. I have achieved every goal set for me over the past 24 years. (I have boxes of awards)

Please advise a plan for me.

I am interested in working for UPS but I have done nonprofit work for so long I don't know how to market myself to a for profit company.
With not too much by way of changing some of the variables in the note you see here, the issue raised by this member is not unlike that with which many of our members wrestle and who contact us virtually on a daily basis. And given the current environment in which we find ourselves there are an awful lot of executives worrying about where I could go if.....

Not being a certified career counselor, I am not sure I could "advise a plan", but I guess I could share what I think based on my experience with ExecuNet for the past 21 years and which I have tagged onto the 25 years running around Corporate America before that.

So if I were talking to this guy, I would probably say something like this:

I don’t care if you have been working in the NFP world or not, the fact of the matter is that you have been running a business just like any other CEO has had to and I also suspect that if your organization doesn’t “make a profit” it would be out of business just like a company in the public or private sector would be. Said a different way, I think this is more about mind set than anything else.

I would guess if you thought about it, you would find that many of the problems faced by UPS or anyone else for that matter you have in some form or another faced in your career as well. It is a matter of degree to be sure, but the issues are not all that much different.

I am being a bit simplistic on purpose to try and make the point that the things that have made you successful as an organization head is what you are selling. Where you applied those skills really is beside the point. Yes it will be a challenge in some case to get some people to see that, but with some thought and practice, you will be able to find what resonates with those who in fact can be influenced, be they at UPS or somewhere else.

Is it easy to do? No. Is it possible? Yes.

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