One of the habits that I'm starting to develop as part of my job search is to read more business-oriented literature - part of it is to develop that business sense, but part of it is to take advantage of an obvious gap in my experiences - that of learning how to think like a businessperson coming from the warm-and-fuzzy non-profit arena.
Thankfully, Deidre Mahoney's The Mission Myth: Building Non-Profit Momentum Through Better Business is a revelation - a book focusing on how non-profits need to be more business-like in their approach to running their organizations....and I know that so many people I know will absolutely dismiss this book, claiming that it's not true, that it's too "corporate", etc.
But there's a great lesson for job seekers -that sometimes, we need to develop smarter, more informed ways of being in order to maximize our success. That sometimes, having a mission isn't enough - we have to back it up with solid effort.
In The Mission Myth, Ms. Mahoney discusses how non-profits can (and should) begin thinking more strategically about the four "M"s - Management, Money, Marketing and Measurement. By beginning to take these seriously, and by taking away the attitude of "we're special - we don't do things that way", organizations that take on socially aware causes can better do things to meet those causes.
But how does that apply to finding work? Because too often (at least, looking at some of my peers), there's an obvious attitude of "Hire me - I'm wonderful! I have this experience! Why should I have to network, or change my resume, etc?". Inform them that there are new, better ways to find work, they made subtle yet cynical comments, such as "Oh, you're just gaming the system."
Quite honestly, I can say that I've had quite a few near-misses in this job search...but they've come close. (I've also had some great success). And that's because I've been willing to do the work to back up my sparkling reputation. It means thinking differently about how we've approached things as job seekers....and quite honestly, I think The Mission Myth is not only recommended reading for job seekers and non-profit mavens/gurus/trendy title of the month, but also for professionals. Business people. Because quite honestly, the tone is straightforward, the examples are taken directly from experience, and quite honestly...it proves that I am not alone in my attitude.
It's a great book. You'll get a lot out of it.
Plus, for your information: Spertus is sponsoring a networking event on May 31st. Here are details about the event, and if you want to RSVP, just send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
And as always, if you want to touch base with me, you're more than welcome to connect with me via Linked In (just mention Job Stalker in your request), and contact me via my personal web site at http://www.gordondymowski.com
As always, thanks for reading!