– Plan ahead. If you want a new career at 60, start working on it at 55.
– Focus on the skills you have–be it in finance, IT or sales. Odds are they can be used by not-for-profits, too. You might be able to hone them for the nonprofit sector with just a course or two, e.g., accounting for not-for-profits. (Seton Hall University maintains a searchable list of nonprofit management courses across the country.)
– Volunteer. Find an organization or two whose mission appeals to you and raise your hand. Offer to manage a project. Do pro bono consulting. Serve on a not-for-profit board or boards. Participate in charity auctions and 10k races–you’re networking while doing good.
– Create a nonprofit-oriented resume. Consider hiring a career coach to help you think through your next steps and to fashion a résumé and cover letter that highlight how your experiences directly apply to the organizations you’re interviewing with.
–Hone your elevator pitch. Nonprofits want to hear a convincing story about your passion and commitment to their cause. It’s okay to wear your heart on your sleeve if you’re sincere and succinct.