Discover Whether the Charity Sector is the Right Fit for You

4 minute read

So you’re intrigued by the charity sector, but the thought of doing good for a living sounds too good to be true. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

Perhaps you like the idea of having a more meaningful career but you’re not sure how your skills could be used in a charity context. Maybe you’re skeptical about a potential change in salary, or simply daunted by the thought of leaving your old network and starting from scratch.

And you’d be right to have these concerns. It would be ill-advised not to have the full picture before taking the plunge. So what would a shift into the third sector actually involve? And practically-speaking, how could you do it? Let’s find out.

Discover Whether the Charity Sector is the Right Fit for You

First things first, is it financially doable?

With every decision to embark on a new career, weighing up the salary is an important part of the process, and the charity sector is no exception. You might hear some grumbles that charity workers should be paid a pittance and work purely out of the good of their own hearts. But we believe that those who work in the sector deserve a fair salary for the world-changing work that they do. Which, thankfully, is often the case.

It’s hard work and you can’t expect people to work full time for free. If you want results, you need to hire talented people (which means paying them for all those skills).

Earlier this year, we launched our 2019 Charity Sector Salary Report in collaboration with charity recruitment specialists Harris Hill. In it, we investigated what the different roles in the charity sector actually earned. And the results might surprise you.

Want to see how much you could earn?

Explore our 2019 Charity Sector Salary Report

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Although there will always be a slight pay difference compared to the for-profit world, it’s less than you may have assumed. In the 9 to Alive episode below, we explore how certain roles compare to the private sector. Check out the video to see what’s influencing salary increases in the charity sector and what you might be likely to earn:

How to ‘crack’ the sector

If there’s one main fear for those looking to move into a new sector, it’s how to get your foot in the door. It’s true that the charity sector can be as competitive as any, and while it’s very possible to make the clean switch from corporate to non-profit, relevant sector know-how is still often preferred.

The truth is that people generally look to the third sector with too vague an idea of the job they’d like to. A desire to simply work for a particular cause, or to ‘do good,’ whilst being a great springboard to start with, is too broad on its own.

We picked the mind of Rich Wall who leads Charity Fast-Track, a 12-week gateway course for career shifters to learn the ins and outs of the third sector and help them with their first steps. Charity Fast-Track believes that context is everything. So, in a collaborative environment run by industry experts, you’re taught all the complexities of how charities operate so that you’ll be able to pinpoint where you and your skills would best fit.

Want to hear more of Rich’s insights on how to transition to a non-profit? Catch the full interview here:

And finally, get inspired by someone who did it

It’s one thing to tell you that you can get a job in a charity. It’s another to show you someone who’s already done it. When you listen to real stories, you learn what works and what doesn’t—and how to tailor your application to your own experiences.

Want to hear the story of someone whose career trajectory changed almost entirely due to Charity Fast-Track? Meet Francine. She spent most of her twenties bouncing from job to job, never quite finding the role that made her feel inspired.

So she took a breath and mapped out all the things she wanted from her career. What she realised was that everything pointed to the third sector, but she had no idea where her point of entry might be. Fast-forward to several months later when she landed her dream position at Child.org, looking after their donors and coordinating one of their major international fundraising events.

Want to find out how she managed it? Listen to her story in full:

If that sounds like where you’d want to find yourself, find out more about Charity Fast-Track. It might just be the steppingstone you’re after.

And if you’ve done a bit of research (and a dash of soul-searching) and you still think the charity sector is right fit for you, it’s time to dip your feet in the water and see roles are out there. Good luck!

Rose Wexler

Rose Wexler is a Marketing Intern at CharityJob. In her spare time, enjoys putting things on plinths and calling it art.

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