Top 100 Keywords for Public Service Careers

One of the best suggestions I’ve seen in a while in the job search comes from Martin Yate’s new book, Knock ’em Dead – Secrets and Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World. He suggests creating a Target Job Deconstruction. This entails: Going to any job board, such as,,,, etc., and … Continue reading

LinkedIn for International Relocation

On occasion, I work with job-seekers who want to make a major career change or relocation to another country. LinkedIn can do wonders for rapidly expanding your connections in a new field or location, if you know how it works. The way it works is: * You need to use the Advanced Search of People … Continue reading

Starting a Career in International Development

Many people dream of helping people in developing countries to lift themselves from poverty and improve their lives. Motivations for a career in international development range from starry-eyed idealism or a desire for cross-cultural experience and travel, to a specific desire to use one’s skills in a particular region. Because so many people find international … Continue reading

How to do a reference check—on your future boss

How to do a reference check—on your future boss When you go through the job search process, it seems every piece of your life is under scrutiny. Your work history, references, credit history, and so on are all fair game for background checks. But have you considered doing a reference check on your future boss? … Continue reading

Both/And, not Either/Or

Both/And, not Either/Or I recently worked with a job seeker who wanted to relocate fromSeattletoCaliforniato increase her intake of sunshine. She’d been trying to make the move happen for at least two years, mainly through traditional means—applying for open positions listed in her geographic area of interest. At some point, I suggested a more creative … Continue reading

When offered 3 choices, choose the fourth

The Fourth Option One of my alumni recently had “the good problem”—too many job offers. She had three offers to choose from, each with different job functions, missions, salaries, and benefits. She sent me a note asking for my advice:   The first job was in a professional association for the insurance industry—a mission she … Continue reading

Who else could hire you? How program staff can switch mission areas

In the public service/nonprofit/government employment realm, there are two types of jobs: mission-specific, and non-mission-specific support roles. Mission-specific jobs are usually related to programs delivered by a particular type of agency, such as jobs directing programs or delivering direct service. Some examples include running a homeless shelter, working as a forester, delivering arts education, or … Continue reading

When is a $10,000 raise a pay cut?

It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into when accepting a new job. As a mentor of mine once said, “don’t be seduced by the job offer.” It’s very exciting to receive an offer, especially if you’ve been looking for a long time. But if you are choosing between different offers, or have an … Continue reading

Has your grandma read your resume?

Helping people switch careers from one thing to another– from an aerospace engineer to a nonprofit executive, a corporate attorney to a philanthropy consultant– requires a lot of translation. Terminology that made sense in your last career no longer applies in your future career. You could submit your resume a thousand times, but if you … Continue reading