We’re barely halfway through 2020 and the year has already brought a level of upheaval that no one could have anticipated. At the core of it lies the Covid-19 pandemic: a generational event with awful direct consequences and a huge range of economic repercussions.
The charity sector, especially, has been hit quite hard, with less face-to-face fundraising events bringing in the necessary funds to keep things running smoothly. As a result, you may have been furloughed or your role may be drastically different from what it was before.
Even if you’ve been fortunate enough to keep your job, you might be looking to the future with uncertainty. Times of crisis make us think deeply about where our lives are going, after all. Are you sure that you’re following the right career path? How’s your work/life balance? Would you actually be happier working somewhere else or doing something completely different?
It’s difficult to know for sure, but these are important questions to be asking. If you’re thinking it might be time to make a change, here are few things for you to consider.
When lockdown measures were put into place, charities had to scramble to start operating remotely, and it was a major practical challenge at first. Soon enough, they came to realise that the classic office model really isn’t as important as they previously thought. This marked a monumental shift in employment and working life.
Before this, flexibility was really only part of the gig economy. But now, more doors are opening up for self-starters to keep their spending down because they no longer feeling pressured to have conventional offices. This is huge for the charity sector because no office means less money spent on expensive leases and office utilities. And it means you don’t have to be tied down to one organisation if you prefer the flexibility to make your own hours. Remote working means more freelance opportunities and a wider range of jobs. You can work for a company in Edinburgh but be based in London.
Those who don’t need to see people or places in person can work from their laptops and do, well, almost anything they want to. Take your pick of any organisation that largely operates through computer-based work: how much of modern charity work is done through email outreach and social media fundraising? Quite a bit of it.
It’s hard to ignore the financial side of things. You have costs to cover and bills to pay, and doing something different invariably involves taking risks. What if your new choice of career doesn’t work out? What if you burn through your savings all too quickly?
These strange times are having even stranger effects, and people are being affected differently—so it’s no wonder it’s taking a massive toll on our mental health. It all comes down to this: if your job is making you fundamentally unhappy, you need to make a change. Some people are seeing things fall apart and resolving to try new things, accepting that stability is illusory and determining that it’s ultimately better to follow your heart instead of settling for comfort. Others are struggling to support their families and reasoning that they must be logical in taking whatever positions will earn them the most money and/or prove the most reliable.
In the end, you do need to do what’s right for you financially, as there’s no sense in simply assuming that money will sort itself out (it won’t). But does that mean you should stick with your current career path? Well, it depends on what that career path involves, which brings us to our last point.
So many things have gone wrong this year. In addition to suffering a pandemic, we’ve seen international tensions aplenty, police brutality sparking protests, inflamed racial tensions… You can hardly blame people for suggesting that 2020 is somehow an evil year. Who wouldn’t look at the state of the world and hope for better?
Well, you don’t need to stop at hoping. You can do something to help and do so in a way that serves your interests and the interests of others. That’s the magic of working for a charity. It allows you to reconcile those parts of yourself and build a career that really matters. If you’re already working in the charity world but you’re unhappy with your specific role, maybe it’s time to see what other opportunities are out there in the sector.
And if you’re working in the corporate world and tired of putting your energy towards supporting profit-obsessed businesses, this is a great time to consider a move. Charities need help more than ever before, after all. It’s true that there’s a lot of talent on the market due to all the job losses, but if you have a lot to offer then surely someone will take notice of it.
Stevie Nicks is Digital Editor at Just Another Magazine – a website that covers the topics you care about. You’ll find articles about lifestyle, travel, fashion, trends and relationships on our site – each of which is written in our unique style.