Networking over Climbing Career Ladders: Brian Allbritton’s Job Search Story
Everyone’s job search story is different, but each individual story can inspire countless careers. We share the stories of job seekers’ successes to inspire you in your own career, get ideas for new approaches, and to help us all better understand the local job market!
Brian Allbritton has had several distinct careers over the course of his working life. When he decided to make a transition into the nonprofit sector, he knew he had to leverage his network. Here’s Brian’s story.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
I’m the Executive Director of the Oregon Energy Fund (formerly known as HEAT Oregon.)
I used to think a career meant climbing to the top of the ladder in one field; spending your entire career in one industry. Looking back, my career has been anything but predictable.
I’m actually a recovering engineer. I spent roughly 15 years in high tech, working and living in the US, Europe, and Asia. For two years, I took a break from tech to start up a small retail operation on NE Alberta St., then moved to London for my MBA. That led back to tech for another few years before I returned to Portland and made the jump to nonprofits in 2014.
Making the transition from a for-profit to a nonprofit has been a life-changer. I’m ecstatic to be working for Oregon Energy Fund to provide utility assistance to Oregon residents. I sleep better knowing that I’m helping keep the lights and heat on in homes across the state. It makes me feel better knowing that people who are forced to choose between electricity, heat, rent, medication or food, have one less thing to worry about–especially when temperatures drop.
How long did it take you to find this job?
I spent about six months on my most recent job search, as it was important to me to find a position and organization where I could make a significant impact in people’s lives.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
My current role came about through a combination of networking and online job boards, including Mac’s List. I have been lucky enough to establish a superb network of contacts in Portland. In the end, it was a contact through the American Leadership Forum of Oregon (a phenomenal organization in its own right) that introduced me to Oregon Energy Fund.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?
Finding patience? It’s hard to really take the time to find the right fit. There are lots of opportunities out there, but finding a place that you can really impact isn’t easy.
What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?
Build your network every day.
Why do you love your job?
Because it matters. Oregon Energy Fund is about helping your neighbor. With my job, I get to put my own energy into work that makes a difference.
Want to learn more? Connect with Brian on LinkedIn