529: Nonprofit Career Change: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Stay in nonprofit or explore new industries? Karen was at a career crossroads when an open role at another nonprofit presented itself in the most unusual way and ended up being her ideal career.



Karen Senger, Chief Philanthropy Officer

Karen had spent her entire career in nonprofit. When a new person was unexpectedly hired to be her supervisor, she reached out to their previous organization to apply for the open position.


Imagine this: Your company is hiring for someone that will be reporting to you, but when they hire the new person, they are actually given the position above you. So, the person who was supposed to be your direct report is now suddenly your boss.

Hang on though, because it’s about to get interesting. Turns out, this odd turn of events might just be the best thing that could happen.

Karen was in this exact situation, but luckily she had already begun doing to hard work to figure out what she really needed to thrive in her career, and whether or not she should stay in the nonprofit sector or move to a different industry.

So, when this new employee showed up as her new supervisor, she realized that the job they had just vacated at a different organization seemed like the perfect fit for what she was looking for in her ideal role.

Karen reached out to that organization inquiring about the open position and ended up landing a role that was the perfect fit for her! Talk about a plot twist!

This episode is a front-row seat to Karen’s journey, showing us how a bit of introspection and being open to unexpected opportunities can totally steer your career ship in the right direction. If you’ve ever wondered about changing lanes in the nonprofit world, this is the perfect episode for you. Who knows? You might just discover your dream role where you least expect it.


  • An inside look at exploring the unexpected twists of changing roles within nonprofit.
  • How to navigate the career crossroads of staying in nonprofit or exploring new industries
  • How to identify new roles in unexpected places 

Success Stories

Scott took the time to really hear my problem, to understand, and offer solutions to help me transition to where I am and where I’d like to be. That is why I decided to sign up for Happen to Your Career. I used to work in the legal industry and now I work in the nonprofit industry for a nonprofit that helps people change their lives!

Cesar Ponce de Leon, Online Campus Manager, United States/Canada

All the stars aligned and I ended up finding the right thing at the right place at the right time, and it was you guys! Everything that you said was speaking to me and the things that you had done in the job that you had transitioned out of and into. Also how finding work that you love is your passion for people! Honestly, it was you Scott, I mean, the way that you talked about it, how passionate you were, I was like, there's no way he's gonna put out a faulty product. So I'm gonna try it, you know… I recommend you to all my friends, you know, even if they don't realize that they're looking for a new job, I'm like this is the first step, let's do this! Even if you maybe don't move out of this career. This is going to help!

Maggie Romanovich, Director of Learning and Development, United States/Canada