Interview – Nicole Hard
General Manager of Non-profit – Nicole Hard
What do you consider the most rewarding and challenging parts of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is watching how individuals change over the period they are with us. It’s great to really see people’s attitude and confidence change and to watch them develop personally and professionally. I love it when they tell me “I’ve leaving because I have a job”.
The most challenging part of the job is raising funds. I need to raise over $350k each year to keep the doors open.
If people were considering working in a non-profit organisation what advice would you give them?
Go for it, everyone has a skill they can share and that skill can really impact and change the course of someone’s life.
What qualifications or experience is required to become a general manager of a non-profit organisation?
I don’t think there are any set rules. I’ve found in my experience having senior management experience in large business has really helped me strategically plan. Having a strong vision and the confidence to take risks has enabled me to position Suited to Success for the future. It also helps having solid financial skills. I’m a big fan of constantly learning new skills, challenging myself and expanding my thought concepts.
What path did you take to become a general manager of a non-profit?
I worked for a not for profit statutory authority for 8 years where I gained management experience working in many different department. I was fortunate enough to then go on to consult to large multi site not for profits and commercial businesses nationally.
Is this your first career? Can you see yourself remaining in this line of work forever?
No, I started in the mail room part time at WorkCover Queensland when I was studying at University.
I was very ambitous and wanted to work in every department and learn as much as I could.
I was initially attracted to the people management side of the business but I then became a bit of an expert in complex forecasting calculations and auditing.
I moved into roles where I was consulting to large employers in complex environment and worked on some multi-million dollar projects all over Queensland.
I always had an underlying want to give back to the community so in 2013 I quit my professional career to do some volunteer work while I figured out my next step. After volunteering I realised that I had so many skills that could be applied to further benefit the community and I loved it so much that I stayed.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What are your standard hours?
38hrs per week. I strongly believe in a work life balance. I make sure that my health and wellbeing are looked after first and foremost, that way I’m much more mentally switched on, efficient and effective in my role.