NSCN Member Success Story: Margaret

Read how Margaret's experiences with NSCN Volunteer Career Coaches was helpful in her job search.

Margaret was unemployed for a total of 16 months. With previous experience in fundraising and as a director of advancement, this new job as an administrator is similar to positions that she has held in the past, but with upgraded skills.

Margaret learned about NSCN through a nonprofit organization in northern New Jersey that helps find employment opportunities for candidates seeking entry-level to senior leadership positions. As with many other job seekers, Margaret experienced challenges in her job search such as staying positive and focused.

With the aid of two NSCN Volunteer Career Coaches, which Margaret found to be a particularly useful aspect of NSCN, she realized that she had good opportunities to explore some tough HR questions she had. She participated in both a 5-week group focused on staying emotionally balanced as well as small group coaching. The small group coach helped confirm “what I absolutely cannot say in the interview process” and how to turn “my specific requests into a negotiation once the job offer came through.” Through the other, she learned ways to “make my life more enjoyable and to stay positive.”

The job she landed met her overall requirements. She will be setting up systems and working with the head of a new nonprofit startup. The job is close to home, “which is a huge bonus for me as I am used to commuting 3-4 hours a day.” The job also offers other flexible work arrangements that Margaret was seeking, including some work-from-home opportunities. The salary is not as high she would have preferred, but she knows she will receive annual raises.

When asked if she had advice to share with other NSCN members, she said: “Keep focused, be persistent, and stay positive.” She also noted a general need for people to improve their job search techniques. “While Indeed is good, not many people know how to use it effectively.” And based on what Margaret learned from many interviews throughout her job search, she has decided to volunteer as a career coach herself so that she can share her “method of using keywords and customization for the nonprofit sector.”