Three Lessons for Returning to the Workforce

All of us have experienced a career transition sometime in our lives.  Some transitions are short-term challenges, while others become long-term struggles that require daily persistence, resiliency, and grit.  Roseline is a PhD in Public Policy and Administration alumna who diligently maintained momentum to get back into the workforce.  She recently received an offer for a program administrator position at a large, nonprofit organization.  What lessons can we learn from her experience?

  1. Networking is the key to success.  Roseline’s road to success started when a former colleague referred her to an opening for an entry level coordinator position at a nonprofit organizationShe was concerned that she would be perceived as overqualified, yet she still followed up on the lead.   Her networking efforts landed her an interview where she was able to share her qualifications and impress her interviewers.
  1. The job search is full of surprises; stay open to new possibilities.  Roseline put in her best effort to prepare for the interview by researching the employer, working with Career Services to develop strong interviewing skills, and utilizing the Interviewing resources on the Career Services Center website.  Her confidence, knowledge, and enthusiasm generated interest in her skills and abilities.  After the initial interview, the employer invited her to interview for a different position as a program administrator!
  2. You don’t need to know everything to have a great interview.  As a career transitioner, Roseline possessed many transferable skills from her prior social work experience.  Her extensive interview preparation helped her provide specific examples of how she would handle conflict situations, and share the steps she would take to research, analyze, and implement policies and procedures.  She impressed her interviewers by translating how she would apply the knowledge from her Walden program to make a broader impact in her new role.  This ability to convey her strengths through specific examples led to a job offer!

As a life-long learner and professional, Roseline is looking forward to future challenges and growth opportunities.  We wish her the very best as she continues to contribute to her field.

Following are resources on the Career Services website to help you learn more about nonprofit organizations:

Upcoming Webinar:  Making Your Case for Salary Negotiation or Promotion
Thursday, May 15, 12:00 noon Eastern.  Register here

Archived Webinar: Building Blocks of Starting a Nonprofit Organization  
ResourcesNonprofit Resources


Written by Senior Career Services Advisor, Dina Bergren