Career Advice for Senior Leaders


Over the course of a long work life, we all make changes. Often, it is in pursuit of the next logical step: a larger organization, a better fit with our strengths and evolving interests, or a more responsible role. Sometimes we contemplate a bigger leap: should we change careers, roles, sectors? Frequently, this process involves serious soul-searching: what is the impact I want to have? How can I best advance the causes I care most about? For nonprofit leaders, these questions have particular resonance as their work directly engages with some our world’s most critical challenges, from climate change to systemic racism, from the preservation of democracy to the provision of essential human services.

For elder leaders, these questions can be even more complex: what do I want to do next, when I may have one more job in me? What does “retirement” mean to me? Can I afford to retire, and do I even want to? What legacy will I leave behind?

At La Piana Consulting, we have the privilege – and that is exactly how we see it – of advising senior leaders across the sector on critical strategic and organizational questions. As we develop trusting relationships through these engagements, our clients often ask us to talk through more personal questions such as those posed above in anticipation of a next move. In response to these conversations, we have created a brief self-paced resource: The Next Steps Workbook for Senior Executives. The Workbook asks a series of questions that enable a nonprofit leader contemplating a career change to organize their thoughts, reflect on their values, and take stock of the journey they have been on, enabling better decision-making about the future. We invite you to use this free resource, to share it with colleagues, and to send us feedback on your experience with it. And of course, if you want to talk through any of these issues, just reach out.

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