Career Tips from a Charity Champion: Megan Veronesi
Megan is Head of Service Development and Communications at Royal Trinity Hospice. Since joining in November 2014, Megan has been responsible for building the external profile of the hospice, developing new partnerships and initiating new service models. Prior to joining Trinity, Megan worked in the service development teams of national healthcare charities, Terrence Higgins Trust and Marie Curie. Megan is Vice-Chair of the Lambeth Elfrida Rathbone Society, a charity supporting adults and young people with learning disabilities in South London, and a mentor for the non-profit graduate management scheme, Charityworks.
Fun fact? “I speak Italian with a Scottish accent and share my birthday with Winston Churchill.”
About the Royal Trinity Hospice
Royal Trinity Hospice provides free, skilled and compassionate care for people with progressive, life-limiting illnesses and those close to them. We support people living in our central and south-west London community, at home and at the hospice. Our vision is to be the local hospice of choice for all those who need us and an example of excellence in end of life care.
“A career should be like a pyramid. Don’t worry about trying lots of different types of roles. In the end you will end up with a sound base of experiences on which you can build you career. When you reach the top, you might just find that those odd skills you picked up here and there early on might just come in handy .”
How did you get into the charity sector?
“I graduated in Law and Italian and originally wanted to be an immigration lawyer. However after spell volunteering in the Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland and at a legal advice clinic for asylum seekers in Wales, I knew I wanted to have an impact further ‘upstream’. I applied for the Charityworks Graduate Scheme and haven’t looked back.”
What made you stay and progress within the sector?
“It’s been a combination of things really. I’ve worked with some amazing people who make work enjoyable and I’ve also been fortunate to have had some great managers who have invested in me and encouraged me to progress. The feel-good factor at the end of the day knowing that your work hopefully benefitted someone else is also pretty gratifying.”
What’s the one thing that the charity sector provides that you can’t get anywhere else?
“Diversity, both in terms of the role and the people you encounter. One morning I can be looking at a contract for a new service, in the afternoon I’m speaking to producers about a documentary, and in the evening, I’m running a death cafe. I don’t think I would get that elsewhere. And charities tend to draw a whole range of people to the cause, meaning you come into contact with people that you wouldn’t ordinarily meet which I love.”
A range of #career experience can help your progression - Megan Veronesi explains why! #charity #NFPClick to Tweet
Have you seen any major shifts in the way that charities and not for profits recruit?
“I think there has been growing investment in tapping into the graduate talent pool through schemes like Charityworks which is great to see. When I was on the programme in 2010, there were 10 of us and now there are over 100 graduates in the scheme across a huge range of not for profit organisations.”
Why is it important to challenge ourselves and experience a number of different roles?
“Personally, taking on new challenges definitely helps to keep me motivated. You might learn you have a talent for something you never knew about. I also think having tried various roles means you have a better understanding of the impact of your decisions in the context of the wider organisation, which can only be a good thing.”
How can building a diverse skill set help with career progression?
“In the charity sector more than most, funding constraints means charities are looking for staff who bring a wide range of skills and can turn their hand to various tasks.”
What would you say to encourage someone who is considering moving to the charity sector and isn’t sure what role suits them?
“Volunteering is a great way to get a feel for a role before you make the leap. You could also have a chat to someone working in a charity as there are lots of roles specific to the sector which people don’t know about, like fundraising or volunteer management.”
Does your current role resonate with your own values? And how did your values guide you in your career?
“I’ve always been someone who fights for the underdog and that’s been a pretty consistent theme throughout my career. Even now, one of the most interesting parts of my work is trying to challenge some of the inequalities around end of life care.”
What’s the next step for you? Where would you like your career to go?
“Who knows?! I’m not too prescriptive as I like being open to what comes my way. One day I’d like to be involved with an organization with an international focus as I’ve always been a big traveller and I love meeting people from around the world.”
Ready to put Megan’s advice to the test? Challenge yourself with a career shift by looking at the amazing opportunities that CharityJob has to offer…