By: Ashley Byars
Are you in the corporate world but wish you were having more of a positive impact? Or maybe you work for a nonprofit looking to add to its talent pool on a limited budget. The new trend of “minternships” may be the answer.
Traditionally, interns have been college students studying for a career related to a specific business. Increasingly, experienced employees – especially Millennials dissatisfied with their jobs, are taking middle-career internships or minternships. After spending years climbing the corporate ladder, they are willing to start again at the bottom in exchange for a more fulfilling career. Often this shift in priorities occurs mid-career as many feel burned out by corporate life. They view internships as a way to relaunch new careers before it’s too late. One popular path to personal fulfillment is to work for a nonprofit.
With the right organization, team and position Millennials may find that an entry-level role is a great avenue for turning for-profit-experience into a growing nonprofit career. Nonprofits offer a unique opportunity to align work with personal values, interests and passions. Often, minterns are seeking a more meaningful work/life balance and career flexibility.
With the growth of the nonprofit sector and retirement of Boomers in senior positions comes the need for more leaders to guide these organizations. Joining a nonprofit as a mintern offers the chance to learn the culture and can be very rewarding. It also can open doors to other opportunities by adding nonprofit experience to your resume.
Nonprofits present opportunities for new team members to interact with senior leadership and board members since staff members often “wear many hats.” This same management style may give you the chance to identify a need and offer a business solution which can demonstrate your value to the organization.
Many nonprofits are looking to add younger, more diverse staff members to help engage the next generation of donors. Minternships are a way to get corporate employees in their 30s, with valuable job skills and experience, in the door. Candidates are attracted to these short-term opportunities because they feel they will advance quickly in their new career with the leadership skills they bring with them.
Millennials are leading the way in viewing employment as not only a source of income but a way to improve lives and make the world a better place. Their social-change mindset makes them ideally suited for a shift to a nonprofit career. These tech-savvy young professionals will bring a new perspective and fresh energy to the nonprofit world.