The Job Forum volunteer, Raminder Somal, recently helped organize and spoke on a “Careers in Philanthropy” panel. Raminder is a past panelist and was excited to support The Job Forum again on this important panel for those interested in careers in social impact. Raminder had just joined Alaska Airlines as a Community Relations & Employee Engagement Manager and joined the panel on her second day on the job!
The Job Forum has been a great resource for Raminder and has helped her expand her network to meet other philanthropy professionals in the industry, as well as key nonprofit leaders.
The “Careers in Philanthropy” panel was an opportunity to bring in fellow corporate philanthropy leaders to hear about the types of careers available in social responsibility. It was insightful to learn not only how each organization defines corporate social responsibility – and there’s quite a range – but also to learn what are their giving priorities.
The panelists gave valuable feedback on how to find opportunities in the field, what type of skills are needed and what the role truly involves. In addition, panelists shared tips on how to help job seekers gain the right skills and make their applications stand out!
Here are some quick highlights of some of what these experts in social impact jobs recommend for job hunters:
Information gathering, networking, and learning:
– Use LinkedIn to find and network with new colleagues in corporate philanthropy, community outreach, and social impact.
– You can join LinkedIn groups that are focused on social impact and corporate philanthropy. Once you join the groups, it’s a good idea to post and comment on others posts so you are an active contributor to the group and have a basis of getting to know more people.
– Another great source for learning more about nonprofits in philanthropy is candidlearning.org. (Candid is the merger of two organizations in nonprofit education and support, the Foundation Directory online and Guidestar.) You can search for topics and people and attend training sessions. Another source of information and job listings is philanthropynewsdigest.org/jobs.
– MeetUp groups are another great source (meetup.com) where you can find Bay Area groups affiliated to various causes and nonprofit initiatives.
Conduct Informational interviews:
Ask for 15 to 20 minutes on a Friday afternoon and request insights and advice regarding a career path like theirs.
Transferrable key skills:
These can be particularly valuable to convey
Communication skills, relationship building skills, public, speaking, project and program management skills, budget management, volunteering and affiliation with certain causes or nonprofit groups (may show your lived experience), fundraising experience, sales and marketing experience, board experience, or a record of volunteering.
Participation in employee resource groups (ERG) is also an indicator of your experience and values.
Frame your experiences so that those oriented to nonprofit work can see the applicability of your work experience and its value to them especially in terms of these skills.
In conclusion, the session was a great resource for job seekers to hear from philanthropy leaders on how to navigate a career in corporate social responsibility!
Raminder K. Somal
Community Relations & Employee Engagement Manager
California Public Affairs