After working as a commercial director for most of my career, I reached a stage a few years ago where I needed to make a change. I decided it was time for me to give back to the community, and find a role with a greater sense of purpose that aligned with my own values.
Fortuitously, I came across a leadership role at Stepping Stone House and have never looked back. However, the transition certainly wasn’t smooth sailing. Having come from the corporate world, it took time for me to secure the role and then adjust to the different culture and management style of a not-for-profit (NFP).
It’s now been three years since I joined Stepping Stone House as CEO. In that time, we’ve accomplished a lot, from securing new sponsors, to expanding our volunteer base and building an excellent team, to developing an outdoor adventure program that teaches our at-risk young people life skills and emotional resilience.
We’re also in the third consecutive year of our biggest fundraising event, Sleep Under the Stars, coming up Friday 27th October at Sydney Harbour. This event is a great example of the value of skills-based volunteers who have been carefully recruited to suit particular roles. It’s extremely fun and rewarding to see people come together to drive a positive social impact and help to build a brighter future for our young people at Stepping Stone House.
Based on my own experience transitioning to NFP leadership, I feel that corporate CEOs should genuinely consider taking on a role in the NFP sector, because their skills are transferrable and badly needed. These roles could mean a reduced income, but there are still a lot of high-paying roles in the sector, especially with large charities.
I guarantee that what you lose in income you will more than make up in job satisfaction and a greater sense of purpose. By applying your professional skills to an NFP leadership role, you too can create a legacy that supports people and communities in need.
This blog was first published in Open Forum