Our "On the Move" series highlights members of our YNPN Boston Leadership Team who have recently transitioned into new jobs. Beverlie Sopiep, a YNPN Boston Ambassador, shares her reflections on her recent job search.
Current Job: Digital Marketing Coordinator at the Boston Bar Association
Last job: Administrative/Technical Assistant at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)
How did you find your job and prepare your application and for your interview?
I found the job advertised on Idealist and Craigslist. As for the interview process, I always try to convince myself that it’s just like any other networking event or I’m meeting a friend of a friend. Somehow it works and I manage to calm myself down during the actual interview. It also helps that I put a lot of care into my cover letters so I can use that language during the interview.
For this particular job, I printed out the top 50 interview questions and during a 10-mile walk with a friend, we went through all the questions. We brainstormed responses, examples, and anecdotes. A few days later, I wrote all my answers down, tweaked, and rehearsed them. Afterwards, I did another mock interview with a different friend to test my responses. It is a time-consuming process, but it definitely reduced my stage fright.
Did you negotiate your offer? If so, how did you prepare for this?
I probably should have, but at the time I wasn’t sure if negotiating was an option. [Editor’s note: Negotiation is always an option. Here are a few tips from the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan.]
What were you looking for? How did you know this was the right next job?
I was aiming for positions that somehow intersected nonprofits and technology. I don’t have a formal background in IT, web development or coding, so this was quite the transition for me. The job is all about web development and management with plenty of learning opportunities. During the interview process, I was sold on the office environment and the people I would be interacting with (as well as the many office perks).
Tell us a little bit about the transition.
This was my first time giving notice and I was very anxious about it because I really did enjoy working at NCLC. My boyfriend wrote me a short script to help me break the news to my supervisor. I told one of my supervisors in private about the job offer and she was sad but supportive. I had been thinking about leaving my job for some time, so I had already started a lot of guides to prepare the next person taking over my job. In my last two weeks, I did my best to teach my co-workers the core functions of my job and tie up any loose ends. I also made sure they had my contact information in case they needed additional help.
What advice do you have for other young nonprofit professionals looking to make a big move?
If you are an introvert like me, try joining a group or volunteering regularly in order to develop a network. It is best to do this before you are desperately looking for a job. After a year, you will get to know people professionally and personally. Having a network is great for things like resume and cover letter editing, informational interviews, and mock interviews. The key is to leverage your network: don’t be afraid to ask. This is one of the reasons why I joined YNPN Boston and I am very grateful to have been able to use my YNPN Boston team as a resource during this process.