Ask IT Career Coach

I\'ve been working with the donor database The Raiser\'s Edge for the past four years.
I do data entry, management, queries, some exports and reports. I\'m pretty tech savvy, I find myself being the accidental techie in several of my endeavors, so I wonder if this is a possible career path.
I\'m apprehensive though because while I know that there are similar positions in the for-profit sector, I don\'t know how to make the jump.
I\'d appreciate any tips you may have.
Thank you so much for your advice!
Danielle:\n\nYou are very welcome ... please feel free to ask more questions or request for help.\n\nI wish you lots of success :-)

How To Make The Jump From Non-Profit to For-Profit Database Work?

Danielle, you can make the jump or transition from working for non-profits to working for for-profits easily. Please follow my advice below:
#1 - Technical Skills: The technical skills that you use in the non-profit jobs are the same skills that you will use in the for-profit database jobs. For example you may have to write simple or complex queries, model relational databases, design and develop them, create data entry forms or enter the data yourself and write reports.
So technically speaking you will be doing the same type of job.
#2 - Changing Employers: whenever you change employers, the chances that your job description changes also increases.
If you take a job like that of a database analyst from one non-profit to another non-profit, the chances are that these two jobs are different because the management team is different, the business processes are different and the internal / external clients are different.
So, you have to strengthen those aspects of your job that will change across employers.
Your Sql query writing, database design and development and reporting skills have to be good enough for working in any environment regardless of how challenging their environment is.
Perhaps in your current job you are using Microsoft Access, in the next job with a for-profit corporation, you may be required to use SQL Server. If your Sql skills are very strong, you will be able to make those transitions easily.
#3 - Update your Resume: Assuming that your skills are good enough for you to port anywhere, update your resume to get the full credit for your experience.
You need to survey the current job postings for database developers and data analysts and then update your resume to emphasize or highlight skills that are currently in-demand by hiring managers.
Just keep in mind that for database and data analyst jobs or information technology jobs in general, hiring managers want to see as much proof or evidence of your competencies as possible.
So, follow these three simple steps and you will be able to convert your job from the non-profit agency to a for-profit database / data analyst type job.