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The Nonprofit Career Guide: How to Land a Job That Makes a Difference
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I do hate all career guide books.

Except this one. Short. Focused. Keeping it real. And no worksheets.

As an executive working for top Human Resources management in a Fortune 100 company, I have read many career guides. And I have been asked to recommend career guides by concerned friends, usually for their kids. And they are all padded, boring, time-wasting books. Especially the ones with tests and worksheets. Did I mention I hate worksheets?

Here is a book based on a special perspective -- Shelly Cryer is a professional who is in the streets 24/7 with the real people who really know what it takes to work in the nonprofit sector. She is an expert communicator, and impatient to get her ideas across to you -- you'll feel like she is talking to you as a best friend with inside information as you read. And it is a pleasure to finally read a book not filled with true, but tired tropes about networking and how to inflate your resume.

This book is down in the trenches where a good first impression counts, but communicating accurately and tersely gets you noticed. Nonprofits after all have to do more with less, and that includes less time for fluff. Here are two examples which I know to be true from experience, and have never seen in another career book: Do not use the static-ridden, dead-voice cell phone for outreach, stick with a conventional land-line for important calls to get your human nuances across. And here is a big clue, email is a great way to communicate instantly, but do not take any less time crafting your email than you would a serious business letter. How true; email's spontaneous nature seems to sap politeness and logical structure from so many communications I get.

The index. This book has an index. Why should a slim volume like this (less than 300 pages) need an index? Well you can not live without Google can you? Think of this intelligently indexed book as having a built in search engine. So many books skimp and think they can get by with a table of contents with cute chapter titles.

This book is hard-hitting, with career profiles and interviews with true leaders in the nonprofit sector about their own careers. As proof that Shelly Cryer is saying "yo listen up my peeps!", each chapter has a quick review at the end which makes you really think about what you have just read. Not just the usual warmed-over summary, but a superb safety net to make sure you have caught on.

Want to do good in the world?

Want to wake up happy to go to work every day?

Buy this book; you may find your life's calling here.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
I never thought I would review a career guide, but this one deserves it. As a student, I found this guide to be indispensable. Not only does it thoroughly cover the non-profit sector, but it also offers advice and insights that can be applied to any sector.

Cryer begins by profiling the sector and highlighting future trends. Notable is the observation that salary in the nonprofit sector depends on field of work and size of organization--in certain fields, nonprofit pay is higher on average than that of their private or public sector counterparts. Furthermore, as the sector grows in prominence, more attention is being paid to salary as a means of recruiting talent. Other trends include a growing need for leadership and increased diversity. The meat of the book is in lively chapters covering sector subsections (arts, education, health international, etc.) and job functions (management, communications, development, consulting, etc.). Its snapshots of different people working in the industry provide a good sense of what to expect from the different avenues the sector has to offer.

This book made me see my career options in a new (and organized!) light.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Shelly Cryer has compiled a useful tool for college students who are examining their options following graduation. The Non-Profit Career Guide - how to land a job that makes a difference, serves as a nuts and bolts directory that can prove useful for entry into the world of Not for Profit organizations. This manual is laid out logically and is easy to use. The appendix and endnotes are of particular help to first-time job-seekers or even those making a career change. A must have for your Career Guide Reference Collection!

Gabriela A. Cipollone
Reference Librarian, Iona College
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a recent high school graduate, I felt I was having a small mid-life
crisis. I knew vaguely what I wanted to do with my life, I suppose: I knew I wanted to help people who really needed it. However, I had no idea what my job would actually entail, or how to go about getting my foot in the door. The more I tried to research my options, the more I realized that the career I want is one that is not discussed to any great extent, let alone one that is the focus of great self-help books. The books that I could find were difficult to read, and weren't really aimed at people like me who are just beginning the job hunting game. And then, luckily, I flipped through Shelly Cryer's book "The Nonprofit Career Guide: How to land a job that makes a difference". This book was different from the others I'd read in that it seemed to be geared towards a less knowledgeable audience-students like myself who know they want to help people on a personal level, but don't know much more than that. The "Career Guide" was easy for me to read and follow, but still gave valuable information. Most of my general questions about working in the non-profit sector were addressed in the very first chapter of the book. Even a question that I felt a little guilty even considering; namely, "Yes, it's great that I want to be a part of this sector, but how will I earn money to support myself in the process?". After my basic questions were cleared up, I felt free to flip around the rest of the guide and consult the chapters that I felt were most relevant to me. My favorite features of the book were the 19 profiles of actual people who work in the non-profit sector. It was really nice to read about someone who is actually doing what I want to do with my life. The interviews don't feel stiff, and I had my more specific questions answered on what felt like a more personal basis. Questions like, "What do you know now that you wish you had known?", "What do you look for when hiring a new employee?", and "Describe a workday" made the interviews extremely helpful to read. The profiles also highlight the career and educational paths followed by the individuals, which is incredible information to know if you're wanting to follow in their footsteps.
After reading "The Nonprofit Career Guide" by Shelly Cryer, I feel prepared for, rather than intimidated by my career of choice. Not only do I know what I need to do to get there, I know what I'll be doing once I'm working and how to make sure I succeed when I land my dream job.
Kelsey T.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
As both a career counselor and retirement transition coach, I have found Shelly's book to be an invaluable resource for both clients and me. We think we know nonprofits because we come in constant contact with them. But, if you haven't actually worked or volunteered extensively, there are many things you may not know about the inner workings of this world. Organized in a very thoughtful way, this book explains all aspects of nonprofits. Individual stories are also included to provide first-hand knowledge of the people connected to them. It's easy to read, but also easy to find information if you're bouncing around. Whether you are entering the world with a first-time career, or reinventing your life, this book is a great resource.
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on June 7, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
A good primer on the sector and some good sources and info to orient you, but ultimately it's such a broad sector and most of the job positions cover so much because they tend to have small staffs. They all also seem to require a lot of experience, only some of which you can get through an internship. I recommend learning stuff about fundraising, even if it doesn't sound fun. Learn Raiser's Edge or something.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Nonprofit Career Guide: How to Land a Job That Makes a Difference

For anyone interested in learning about or pursuing a career in a nonprofit organization this is a must reading. The book is clearly written and provides a wealth of information about the nonprofit sector. Most people would be surprised to learn about the wide variety of fields that nonprofits serve -- from the traditional role of providing services to the underserved to developing affordable housing for the poor and groups with special needs to the Arts and Cultural Affairs to health care organizations and organizations involved in promoting social entrepreneurship. A nonprofit organization may be a one person effort to help their community or a mega corporation like the United Way or the College Board.

This guide is useful for college students who are exploring career choices and for more seasoned professionals who may be considering a career change. It is also useful for individuals who want to remain active after their primary career is over and "give back" through service and are looking to learn more about the nonprofit sector.

The book reminds us of the importance of service and serving others. It highlights how important mission and purpose of organizations that make up the nonprofit sector in the US.

I will be using it as part of my course on nonprofit management for undergraduates to help them gaining a deep understanding of the organizations they will work at while completing a 150 hour field work requirement.

At $16.50 this book is a great bargain.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
The nonprofit career guidebook was an easy to read manual and would be helpful for any student or recent graduate who is interested in exploring the nonprofit sector. The guidebook did a great job of providing a general overview of the types of nonprofits, included details about the various positions that exist in the organizations and testimonials/advice from professionals who have worked/work in the nonprofit field. The book made me realize how a variety of my interests and skills can easily be used in the nonprofit field and also gave me great tips to use when applying or interviewing for a job.
I definitely recommend this book, especially because even after a full read, I still use it for a quick reference when I am applying to jobs or wondering what a specific position entails.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
The author breaks down each possible career path within the nonprofit sector, explores each career, and offers advice for obtaining each job.

The jobs go from the bottom rung all the way up to executive positions. This book is thorough and is a must have for anyone new to the nonprofit world who wants to be informed and has a desire to advance.

Great Book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is a fabulous read for anyone wanting to break into the nonprofit sector. I would highly recommended it!
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