Have you been feeling uninspired at work recently? Perhaps you feel your job lacks purpose other than making your bosses more money? Many people can only dream of having a job that they find motivating, varied and challenging – and one that can help change the world. But in the charity sector you can! Here we look at six reasons why working for a charity is so rewarding.
A driving factor for many to work at a charity is wanting to make a difference. We spend so many hours of our lives working, often repeating similar cycles of work over and over. This can lead many people to ask, ‘what’s this all for?’ Charities have a very clear sense of purpose, that’s often laid out in a strong mission statement that aims to drive change and make the world a better place. It can be very rewarding to share in this sense of purpose. Logging off every day knowing you’ve contributed towards changing the world is hugely motivating and can give a deep sense of job satisfaction.
Ask most people employed by a charity what’s the best thing about their job and they’ll tell you it’s the people. Not only will you meet a really broad range of people from different backgrounds and with interesting life experiences, but you’re also likely to have similar beliefs and motivations in supporting a cause and wanting to make a difference.
Fed up with tense competition with colleagues in the corporate world? You’re less likely to find that at a charity where everyone is working towards the same, altruistic goals. This will give you lots of opportunities to make friends and build strong relationships with co-workers, which can have a hugely positive influence on your career.
There’s a huge breadth of options for charity roles covering everything from IT, finance and customer support to marketing, fundraising and data analysis. In fact, you can do almost any corporate job for a charity. Having experience in the charity sector can also make it easier to move from one specialism to another. But not only is there a wide array of job roles but there’s also variety within roles. You may find yourself at your desk one day, cheering on a fundraising event the next day and meeting beneficiaries the day after that. There’s always lots going on in the charity sector and plenty of opportunities to get involved in new things and develop new skills.
While you may experience a small pay cut by moving into the charity sector, your job satisfaction levels are likely to increase, which can more than make up for it! Charities need the best people to work for them, so they’re able to offer competitive benefits packages, such as 25 days of annual leave as standard (often with extra over Christmas) and employee support programmes. Want to know how much you could earn? Find out what your CV is worth in the charity sector.
While salary might not be the biggest benefit of the sector, flexibility certainly is! Around 20% of CharityJob listings are advertised as flexible or remote, which is three times more than the average across all sectors. As well as flexibility with work hours and locations, charities are much more open to flexible working arrangements such as job shares or compressed hours. Plus, work for a national or international charity and you might even get the chance to travel.
Charities exist to move the world forward and make life better. Therefore there will be lots of forward-thinking and really interesting projects to get involved in, as well as chances to be creative and innovative. Smaller charities, where there often isn’t enough staff to have particular role specialisms, can have an ‘all hands-on deck’ mentality. This means you get experience of a wide range of activities that can give you the chance to expand your skillset.
If you’re in a corporate job, but you’re not someone who’s motivated by making a profit, or something just feels ‘off’ and you’re not sure what, you may find your work life is at odds with your values.
Charities value people and their ideas and passions. They need to make money on the fundraising side, but that isn’t their ultimate goal. Whether you feel strongly about a particular political issue, would like some flexibility to spend more time with your family, or just feel it’s important to play your part in something more meaningful, working for a charity can help you live by your own values.
Working in the charity sector can be a very enriching experience, both personally and for your career. So why not browse some charity roles? It could be the best career move you ever make.