Considering a Career Change? Be a Non-Profit CEO!

There is a wide variety of career options within the non-profit sector.

Note: this blog contains an excellent online training opportunity with link toward the end!

Considering your career options! As many of my blog readers know, my consulting practice has two arms – diversity and career development. In terms of career development, I have written about the importance of each individual owning their career, and asking themselves those penetrating questions to explore what they really want to be doing. It is so critical that long term career aligns with one’s passions.

Back in 2011, I published a 3-part blog series about managing careers:

Part 1 (link) introduced the concept and career mapping – including look where you have been and key skills you have developed during the journey.

Part 2 (link) provided several tools for career management, including a simple spreadsheet to evaluate a job’s fit with your career desires and goals.

Part 3 (link) emphasized really understanding yourself and taking ownership of your career journey.

Aligning career and passions – a short case study. So looking back and parts 2 and 3, one of the passions that people may have is helping make the world a better place. For many people, perhaps for you, making a positive impact on the world through your profession may be more important than work location, recognition, and even pay! I once had a mentee who was very unhappy in his high paying IT job at a major company, and later found deep fulfillment as a social worker making half the salary. (This is not to say that all public sector jobs come with a pay cut … but do understand if personal fulfillment or high pay is higher personal priority.)

If making a positive impact on the world is one of your highest career priorities, perhaps a non-profit sector job is for you. They can come in a wide variety of options – advocating for under-served and oppressed minorities, protecting the environment, helping develop our children, working within the arts arena, working within health care and personal well-being …. The options are endless.

Sean Kosofsky, Mind the Gap Consulting, LLC

Enter Sean Kosofsky, non-profit sector professional extraordinaire! One of my business partners who I have known personally for many years, Sean Kosofsky is a true dynamic leader in the non-profit area. His previous job was as Executive Director of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, an organization created by the Clementi family which seeks to prevent bullying through inclusion, assertion of dignity and acceptance as a way to honor the memory of Tyler Clementi: a son, a brother and a friend. A few years ago, I interviewed Sean in this role for a blog about him and the foundation (link.)

Now Sean is a “Nonprofit Fixer.” He’s worked in nonprofits for 25 years and served as executive director for four organizations. He is a coach and consultant for boards, executive directors and activists of all stripes. His experience includes communications, victim-services, civil rights, environment, policy, bullying prevention, lobbying, management and much more.

Sean is passionate about building successful nonprofits. He especially wants to build strong boards and strong nonprofit CEOs. Sean learned how to run non-profits the hard way – by watching it be done wrong. Sean told me, “Being an Executive Director is incredibly rewarding but it is filled with unique challenges. It’s easy to be thrown into the deep end and told to sink or swim. Your bosses are volunteers who don’t even work at the nonprofit.

The training opportunity! So Sean is offering this online Executive Director Boot Camp course to fill a real gap in our sector…proper preparation for anyone interested in running a nonprofit. No fluff. No theory. No ice breakers. We get down to business with concrete tools and solid wisdom needed to succeed. Most executive directors would have killed to have this info before they started.”

You can learn more about the course and sign up at https://mtg3.teachable.com/?affcode=206049_qcqnq5vh

Carolina House – Addressing Eating Disorders with a Special Outreach to the LGBTQ Community

Blog author Stan Kimer (at right) with Beth Howard (left) and Rachel Porter (middle) on the grounds of “The Estate.”

For my 2018 LGBT Pride Month blog this year, I want to focus on an enterprise that has a wonderful outreach to the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) community. Our community is now moving from tolerance and acceptance to now having organizations that understand and focus specifically on our needs.

One such organization located in North Carolina (but serving clients up and down the east coast) is Carolina House. Recently I visited and toured their six-bed facility (called “The Estate” ) with Rachel Porter, Clinical Care Advocate and Lead Therapist at the Estate, and Beth Howard, Director of Clinical Outreach. I also interviewed Rachel over lunch.


Stan: What is Carolina House?

Rachel: Carolina House is an eating disorder program, which provides two residential houses in Durham, NC and partial and intensive outpatient programming in Raleigh. We provide a safe and inclusive space for individuals to engage in the work of healing from an eating disorder and associated struggles. We provide an experiential approach to prepare people to return to their full lives. Our original 16-bed facility is called “The Homestead” and exclusively serves women, and our newer 6-bed you are visiting today is called “The Estate.”


Stan: What makes “The Estate” unique?

Rachel: The Estate is Carolina House’s first all gender inclusive residence that opened in September 2017 in Durham, NC. Our clinical and medical team is dedicated to competently and compassionately serving the LGBTQ population who are facing challenges with eating disorders. The Estate is a six bed colonial home that allows for tranquil healing situated on more than 10 acres.


Stan: So are there particular unique challenges that LGBTQ individuals with eating disorders may face?
Rachel: Because the LGBTQ community are so often dramatically underserved and poorly served, very often by the time they get to Carolina House, they have heightened difficulty and are sometimes in a more severe state. Sometimes incompetent and callus care has caused them to not reach out for help. And the gender dysphoria that the transgender community faces may make it even more difficult for trans folks to find peace for their bodies – something that the vast majority of people with an eating disorder can relate to.


Stan: There certainly has been much more focus and discussion lately about the transgender community and many more transgender individuals feel safer with coming about who they are undergoing gender transition. Can you elaborate more on the impact being transgender may have on eating disorders?

Rachel: For many transgender people, they only way they found for their body to match their gender was to starve, binge on food, and use other disordered eating behaviors. Sometimes it is more deeply engrained, further compounding these issues. Getting to a point of recovery can be difficult as they find acceptance for their bodies. The fear of fatness that so much of our society fears is heighten in those with eating disorders and is sometimes even more heightened in the trans and gender fluid community. The gender fluid individuals I have worked with want their bodies to appear in a more ambiguous way, and they don’t have many role models of larger bodied individuals.


Stan: Is there anything else you would like to share, including your own personal philosophy about your work?

Rachel: My philosophy is to believe people for who they say they are, to accept people as they are, and to believe in their lived experience.

Stan: Rachel, thank you so much for your outstanding work with our often underserved and misunderstood community.


For more information about the Carolina House, check out their website, https://www.carolinaeatingdisorders.com/ or call (919) 864-1004.