Butterfly Careers offers professional career coaching and resume review services. We specialize in helping individuals find meaningful work in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

May 2, 2013

May Day, May Flowers … May conjures up images of springtime growth.

Flowers

Why not use this month as a springboard to energize you career in one simple way.
Can you pick one new thing to do this month to spice things up in the career realm of your life?
Here are 10 simple suggestions:
1) Take a class  —  Is there a University Extension course offered in a subject you have been meaning to explore? Or perhaps it is time to brush up on your computer skills? Check out the bounty of technology classes on Lynda.com.
2)  Attend a Webinar — Find an expert in your field who offers a webinar or look on  Careerealism‘s website which is chock full of options on various career management topics.
3) Got to a Conference — Perhaps it is time to tap into your professional development stipend and plan to attend that industry conference you have been meaning to check out. For example, this month in SF the following conferences will be held: CloudCon Expo, Mobile Gaming USA West 2013, 2013 Conference to Eliminate Health Disparities in Genomic Medicine, International Conference on Software Engineering.
4) Listen to a Lecture — Ted Talks are a good place to start for inspiration.
5) Read a book on a subject that is foreign to you — Why not choose one of those business bestsellers everyone always talks about and that you’ve heard about a thousand times but haven’t found the time to read. Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence Others comes to mind.
6) Attend a gathering posted on Meetup.com. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about topics that you are curious about, but do not know much yet. This is also a great way to meet new people and expand your professional network.
7) Invite a Mentor to Lunch — everyone has to eat sometime and why not make it a memorable meal? Ask a few provocative questions. Probe a bit between bites to find out his/her real story. Gain insight on how to succeed in your field.
8) Check out a book on tape from your local library and listen to it during your commute or while you run errands. (For female readers of this post, I suggest, Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do, by Marcus Buckingham. He is British and has a lovely accent. It is a pleasure to listen to him present the book.)
9) Ask to work on a special project — go outside your comfort zone and seek to work with someone you haven’t had the opportunity to before, or take on a task that is outside your area of expertise. This will teach you something new and give you new perspective on your company and coworkers.
10) Volunteer at a special event for a cause you care about — Helping out at a fundraiser feels good, does good, and gets you out to meet folks you might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet. Try  HandsOn___(your city) for charity ideas. For example: HandsOnBayArea.org. It’s a win win.
  The options are endless…see what happens when you try one new thing…

April 5, 2013

Recently the Nonprofit Finance Fund issued the results from its 2013 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey.  NFF surveyed 6,000 respondents from a variety of nonprofit organizations across all 50 states to get these results. The survey covers a number of different issues. For today’s blog, I am just focusing on the employment related findings.

Point: Hiring New Staff Positions?

* 35% of respondents plan to hire in the next 12 months (this is down from 45% who responded favorably in 2012).

Point: Reducing Staff?

*8% of respondents plan to reduce staff which is an improvement from the 19% of respondents who said they anticipated reducing staff in 2012.

Point: Retain all existing personnel?

* 41% of respondents plan to retain staff which is an improvement from the 34% who responded last year on this point.

Point: Give Raises?

* 35% of respondents plan to give raises this year, which is just 2% lower than the 37% who responded positively last year.

Point: Freeze or Reduce Salaries?

* 11% vs. 17% responded that they intend to freeze or reduce salaries in 2013. This is a 6% reduction in the number of nonprofits planning to freeze or reduce salary (promising).

Point: Improve Staff Benefits?

*11% of respondents indicated there would be an improvement in staff benefits (it is unclear what those benefits entail exactly). This is 1% higher than the 10% of respondents that indicated benefits would improve in 2012.

Point: Reduce Staff Hours?

* Only 5% of respondents indicated that staff hours would be reduced this year compared to 8% in 2012.

So, what can we say about these results?

The trends are mostly going in the right direction for nonprofit employees. On the bright side, in 2013 we can anticipate there may be fewer staff reductions, higher staff retention, less salary freezes and less reductions in staff hours.  However, 10% fewer nonprofit organizations plan to hire for new staff positions this year. In addition, there is a slight reduction (2%) in the number of raises that will be given across all the participating nonprofit organizations. Looks like more organizations maintaining the status quo and fewer organizations hiring for new programs or positions.

March 13, 2013

Did you hear the good news?  According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% in February, the lowest rate since December 2008!  The US Economy added 336,000 jobs in February which is even better than the 119,000 workers hired in January. But wait, you haven’t felt the good fortune?  Yeah, I hear you.

While the news is encouraging, I can attest that not everyone has been offered the job of his or her dreams  just yet…(Check out CNN’s Map of unemployment by state for a comparison look at how your state is faring.)

Today’s blog post is focusing on some of the tougher aspects of being unemployed. I’ve found some great pieces that offer expert tips & tricks and resources to help you in your job search. (Think Elephant in the living room kind of topics.)

Advice for the Job Search Blues – Are you feeling down by the constant rejection you’ve faced during your current job search? Or, perhaps just the frustration of sitting at home unable to exercise your true talents? I suggest you read Dr. Tom Denham‘s What To Do for Job Search Blues.  He offers some candid advice on tangible steps to fight your feelings of pessimism.

Handling Rejection – Folks often feel down during a job search especially when they get rejected from the “perfect job.” Check out this piece on the upside of rejection from Michael Spinale on How to Handle Rejection. He illustrates how being gracious even in the face of defeat can lead to new opportunities.

Answering Why You Were Fired – Here’s a topic everyone hopes won’t come up in an interview. However, we all know, a hiring manager is going to probe any applicant on why they left their prior employer. Better to be prepared than act like a Sagehen…Check out Alison Doyle‘s Top 12 Best Answers to Why You Were Fired.

Wrongful Termination – Has your job been terminated?  Are you at a loss as to what to do? In some cases, legal action may be required. Check out MacLeod Law Firm’s blogpost for a 360 degree Perspective on Employee Termination. It offers some helpful information and terminology.

I hope these offer you some new information and useful advice.

Statue Of The Elephant-headed by Sorapop

Statue Of The Elephant-headed by Sorapop

February 12,2013

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’ve decided to dedicate today’s blog post to helping you find a job you love.

photo by Michal Marcol

“Valentine’s Heart” photo by Michal Marcol

Who doesn’t want to love their work?

Today I am sharing some useful content I recently discovered from a variety of career blogs & websites to help you land your dream job:

  • 10 smart phone apps that help you land a career  — Who couldn’t use a little help from the latest technology when searching for a new job?  Kelsey Libert compiles an impressive list of helpful apps. Even just one of these smart phone apps may provide you with much needed support during your job search. 
  • Infographic on Interviewing — I was really struck by the startling numbers embedded in this infographic. BrianLee from LifeHack.org put this infographic together (be sure to scroll down the page a bit for the full view). The biggest shocker, “65% of bosses said clothes could be the deciding factor between two similar candidates.” Yikes make sure you  havea suitable interview outfit and avoid any fashion faux pas. It would be terrible to lose a job opportunity due to attire!
  • 10 Personal Branding Trends of 2013 — When you think about how to stand out from the pack, consider these ideas by William Arruda on how to best cultivate your own brand. Of course I am a fan of content curation… These ideas are insightful and timely.
  • 13 Tips to Help You Discover Your Purpose — Still unsure which direction to go to find a job you can love?  Check out this blog post from Under30Careers by Melissa Krivacheck. She offers a logical but refreshing approach to thinking about your preferences across different aspects of your life to help you determine your work passion.

As you pursue your life’s purpose, just remember not to neglect your personal relationships.  Happy Valentine’s Day.

photo by Michal Marcol

January 29, 2013

If you work for a nonprofit, be sure to encourage your nonprofit organization to participate in the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s annual “State of the Sector” survey. It is a great chance to contribute important information which provides us all an important snapshot of the nonprofit sector.

Here is the link to the survey: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/2013SectorSurvey/