As we have announced, today PCDN launched the Social Change Career Helping Line. This idea has been germinating for a long time. Over the many years PCDN has helped to provide the resources, tools, connections and opportunities for individuals seeking to advance careers of purpose, we’ve encountered countless students and professionals around the world who aren’t sure where to go to find their next right step.
We’ve made very strong efforts to help in this area, through our Resource Guides, Career Series, Webinars, in-person workshops and more. But we have consistently found that we need a space where people can ask questions in real-time (24 hours a day) and get actionable suggestions and wisdom from their peers.
While many people might have peers, university professors or career counselors, it can be beneficial to expand one’s circle and some are not lucky to have professional and peer support around careers of purpose.
In our first day of the Social Change Career Helping Line, we’ve had many people join (we are looking forward to many more) and numerous questions raised (and some answers coming in).We’ve selected a few of the questions people have asked and put them into this post and provided some initial thoughts. We strongly encourage everyone who is reading this to join the Social Change Career Helping Line Facebook Group and add your own thoughts/questions, etc.
The Career Helpling Line live activity will take place in our Facebook Group. The PCDN team will regularly select key questions and answers and put them into blog posts on our site.
Here are some of the key questions from today (feel free to post your thoughts here in this blog) or better yet join our Social Change change Career Helping Line to be part of the live action. As indicated the career helping line is both crowd and expert sourced. Each month we will select a few of the most critical questions and ask select members of our career advisory board to share their unique insights. Please also keep the questions coming and let others know about the platform.
Here are some of my thoughts to the initial questions based on my many years of working on, researching and mentoring people in careers in change.
3) How does one present short-term positions across multiple orgs in a positive way?
One key is to ensure that you not only describe what you did at a particular organization, but also try to show where possible the results of your work. Can you show for example that you work helped contribute to a positive change? Also focus on what skills you have across consultancies or short-term positions.
- Get as much practical experience as possible through internships, fellowships, get concrete skills in communication, fundraising, evaluation and related sectors.
- Use social media (blogging, Twitter, etc.) as a way to build a track record of writing and find network
- Join professional organizations (it is usually cheaper as a student) and attend conferences (sometimes you can get in as a volunteer)
- Make sure if you’re still in school to focus not only on academic skills but get applied projects.
- Be humble but show you have skills and something to contribute to the world.
- Plan but don’t overplan
- Grad school is a whole another topic and we will be covering that in September as the focus of our career series.