Are you an up-and-coming young professional looking to make your mark in the social sector? Then Trista Harris, executive director of Headwaters Foundation for Justice, and Rosetta Thurman, nonprofit consultant/blogger/tweeter extraordinaire, have written the book for you -- How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar: 50 Ways to Accelerate Your Career.
Back in December, Rosetta gave a talk at the Foundation Center-Washington about some of the ideas presented in their book. And recently Regina Mahone of our PhilanTopic blog did a short interview with Trista to highlight some of their best pieces of advice. Here it is:
According to Harris, you can advance your nonprofit career by following these six steps:
- Develop expertise. Learn everything about your current position by talking to people who have your job and by staying informed with what's happening in the field.
- Build a strong network by attending conferences, joining member organizations like the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) or EPIP, and doing informational interviews with leaders in the field.
- Establish a great personal brand by influencing what people say about you when you're not around. According to Harris, the best way to do this is to change the way you talk about yourself to others.
- Practice authentic leadership. Mimic other leaders that you admire. In the book, Harris admits to having an imaginary mentorship relationship with Claire Huxtable, fictional mother on The Cosby Show. What a great idea! As Harris and Thurman explain in the book, "[Mrs. Huxtable] is a great example of how to balance a successful career with a thriving and happy home life."
- Plan for balance. Instead of focusing on creating the perfect work/life balance every day, Harris recommends planning out how to strike the right balance over a lifetime.
- Move on up. Even if you love what you're doing now, think about what you hope to be doing in ten years. Because opportunities often are found in unlikely places, Harris also suggested sharing with others what your goals are as soon you know what they are.
To get more tips from these two nonprofit rockstars, visit the Foundation Center-Washington library to borrow a copy of their book. But we only have one copy available, so come by soon!