One Cause At a Time – Archive

An Archive of Chicago Now One Cause at a Time Posts

Archive for April 2013

Net2Chi & NTEN – Know the Difference!

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As the organizer for Net2Chi (aka “Chicago Net Tuesday” or
“Chicago Netsquared”), I often hear about other organizations that are doing similar work….and the conversation always turns to the obvious question:

“Why don’t you work with NTEN?”

This is a very ironic question, because both organizations are branches of a larger non-profit….and both branches are doing some incredible work in Chicago, driving initiatives towards integrating tech and web solutions into driving social benefit. So in an effort to help those who may not be aware of the subtle differences between the two, here is a brief explanation (and hopefully, motivation to check out either organization)

  • NTEN is a membership-based organization (a full-on 501c3 in its own right) focused specifically on non-profits, with a specific focus on education and training. Members of NTEN focus primarily on activities that help a specific subset of social change agents (non-profits) develop and maintain the necessary technical skills to foster their activities and further their mission.
  • Netsquared is the community development offshoot of Tech Soup (which is also a 501c3 focused on building non-profit technological capacity), and is a volunteer-run organization which fosters collaborations between like-minded organizations and individuals, focusing on community development and engagement around technology and software and taking a more “open source” approach to organizing.

Regardless of whether you’re into basic engagement around tech and social good, or you want to immerse yourself, there are plenty of opportunities to do so in Chicago….but both Net2Chi and NTEN are great organizations for taking those immediate first steps, and both have a strong Chicago presence. Please visit their sites for more information.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to leave them below, or contact me either via Linked In or my web site’s contact page.

And as always, thanks for reading!


BOOK REVIEW: How To Get Your Next Non-Profit Job

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(Full Disclosure: a complimentary copy of Ms. Kay’s book was provided for review. My opinions are my own)

One of the many challenges for social change agents (and the rest of us) is finding meaningful work. I have written about my experiences for Job Stalker (and I encourage you to consider taking over that blog), and know first-hand that many business-based job search books don’t quite capture the unique nature of seeking non-profit jobs and other work in the social sector.

Thankfully, Andrea Kay’s This is How To Get Your Next Job from Amacom Books is a great how-to guide, focusing as much on the job seeker’s inner work as on the inner workings of hiring managers. Although geared towards a more business-oriented audience, This is How You Get Your Next Job highlights the need to understand how You Are What You Seem – and what job seekers need to do in order to succeed.

Based on her own work as a career coach, Ms. Kay provides some great exercises in the early chapters of her book (which is a great, easy read), allowing the reader to understand their unique professional value. After taking an initial skills and value inventory, Ms. Kay discusses the various approaches to engaging potential employers – as well as things to avoid – and discusses how to manage the process. Thankfully, Ms. Kay does not guarantee set results despite the book’s title; This Is How You Get Your Next Job emphasizes inner development and overt effort over a traditional, almost finger-wagging approach to job seeking.

For social change agents, this is a necessary book, especially when determining the unique values that one brings to a job. With its focus on driving a core set of mission and values, the social change arena provides ample opportunities for the candidate who can define their value….and who has a slightly more professional edge. (Example – most non-profit professionals, when asked for leads, opt to send general listings like over connecting to potential hires). With increasing literacy in social media becoming paramount in job seeking, knowing the softer skills – both the inner work and the knowledge of the “business” side – can be very effective in moving forward professionally.

Ms. Kay’s book is a must-read, and you can learn more about her philosophy by visiting her web site.

Thank you for reading – again, if you are a job seeker and would like to consider adding blogging to your skill set, please contact Brendan over at the Job Stalker. (Ironically, I had left to focus on my own job search). If you have questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below, and please forward any personal comments or requests either via Linked In or my web site’s contact form. (When reaching out, please mention Chicago Now in your note).

And as always, thanks for reading!

Written by gordondym

April 2, 2013 at 11:03 am