Explain to a young person the benefits of pursuing a career in nonprofit marketing.
One of my most satisfying career ventures was teaching at Rockhurst, Kansas City’s well-respected Jesuit university. For several years I taught the class Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations.
Although I’ve earned my master’s degree in marketing, the classroom where I learned the most was the one where I stood at the front as the adjunct professor. I say that not to extol my talents as an educator, but rather to underscore the intrinsic value of explaining something to someone else. As Joseph Joubert said, “To teach is to learn twice.” I certainly understood marketing much better as I taught it to inquisitive college students.
Likewise, one of the best ways to appreciate my chosen career path has been to explain its benefits to a young person considering his or her career options.
Here are several things I would like for a young professional to know about a career in nonprofit marketing:
- Marketing is more than a job. It is a career path, a high professional calling.
- A marketing career can be a life-long pursuit and not necessarily a springboard to becoming the CEO or something else.
- Nonprofit marketing should be a stand-alone profession that is not subjugated to fundraising.
- Not everyone can do marketing, even though most people believe they are pretty good marketers.
- The best marketers combine their natural talents with formal training. There’s no substitute for a solid education.
- Don’t quit learning. Although marketing principles will remain unchanged, the tools and technology you’ll be using in10 years probably haven’t been invented yet.
- A good mentor can help you learn and grow. Find one.
By the way, later this month I have the privilege of returning to the university as a guest speaker. The invitation to speak came from the class instructor, whom I’m proud to say, was one of my star students in the very first class I taught.
This idea was originally created as part of the Rejuvenation Project, a month-long challenge to find one actionable idea per day that could help me to 1) keep my batteries charged, 2) remain focused on career priorities and 3) rejuvenate the creative spirit.