You Review: Bethany Pruitt reviews The Nonprofit Career Guide

Nonprofit professionals don’t want jobs that pay the bills, they want jobs that change the world, or at least their communities. The Nonprofit Career Guide: How to Land a Job That Makes a Difference is written for people who want to and believe they can make a difference.

Reading this book was a pleasant shift from the countless hours I have spent staring at my computer, hoping to find all the answers to my job search hidden somewhere on the internet.

While the book’s tone could become tedious for someone who is not the typical idealistic nonprofit job seeker, the author undeniably knows her core audience. This book is not trying to sell the nonprofit sector to anyone; it is a realistic guide for idealistic job seekers.

The Nonprofit Career Guide reads like a good textbook with information clearly labeled and well organized. Because it addresses all levels and kinds of nonprofit job seekers, it is easy to make this book into a type of “choose your own adventure.” Experienced professionals who already know the particulars of networking, for example, may skip those sections in favor of more sector specific information. The college student or recent grad with little focus will find abundant information including profiles and interviews detailing the career path of real nonprofit professionals.

Reading this book was a pleasant shift from the countless hours I have spent staring at my computer, hoping to find all the answers to my job search hidden somewhere on the internet. The not-so-surprising advice of The Nonprofit Career Guide to get off the internet was a much needed reminder for me. The idea is not necessarily just to read more books, but to diversify research and information sources, and above all, to interact with more people.

Most of the guidance contained in the book is similarly practical, sometimes as basic as a reminder to stay positive throughout the typically arduous job search process. Many sections provide more concrete tools such as appropriate search strategies and in what order they ought to be employed. One section contains specific ways to gain relevant experience, and throughout the book there are lists and lists of resources, both print and non-print.

One theme that runs through the entire book is that any well-prepared job seeker has the power to find and choose his or her own ideal job. This clear rejection of the “beggars can’t be choosers” attitude was difficult to accept given the current economic climate. Although we all know that jobs are hard to find right now, we can also recognize the increased need for the kind of work nonprofit organizations do.

The Nonprofit Career Guide points out that a unique feature of the nonprofit sector is its ability to shift its resources quickly to address new and urgent problems. More than ever, nonprofit organizations need creative and passionate individuals. Perhaps that knowledge is enough for the idealist in each of us to persevere in this job hunt.

– Bethany Pruitt, via NextGen Fort Wayne

Bethany Pruitt is a Fort Wayne native and recent graduate from Elmhurst College interested in the social service side of the nonprofit sector.


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One thought on “You Review: Bethany Pruitt reviews The Nonprofit Career Guide

  1. Thank you Bethany! Good review. After recently hiring someone at the Dance Collective, I realized how lucky I was not to be trying to find a job in this economy. It wasn’t particularly easy back in 2006, but I think it’s much worse now.

    Everyone: If you’re a recent college grad trying to get into the nonprofit sector, do come check out NextGen Fort Wayne. It’s laid back, fun, and you meet a lot of good people in great NPs here in town.


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