Jobs in Charity Sector

If you think working in charity is for retirees with nothing else to do, think again. More and more young people are choosing to work in non-profits and charities, some even making it their long-term careers. The charity sector is less competitive, more hands-on, and often just as fun and challenging as the corporate world, and its workforce is decidedly more passionate about their cause.

Charity sector jobs may not be at par with corporate jobs in terms of pay, but they offer a world of other benefits. For one thing, there’s less competition as the groups tend to be smaller, and jobs are more results-oriented than profit-oriented. This takes a lot of the pressure away from the work and makes for a more relaxing work environment. You may even get to travel more than a typical cubicle employee, as help needs to get around all the time. Indeed, many young graduates pick jobs in charity sector precisely because of the travel possibilities.

A common concern among charity workers is professional growth. The organizational structure in most charities is horizontal, meaning people perform different tasks but are more or less on the same level. You may be given more responsibility, but not necessarily more authority. This contrasts with the typical company in which everyone has a boss, who in turn answers to a higher boss, and so on. This works well if you’re more comfortable working with a team rather than managing one.

There are dozens of charities in every city, from small local outfits to international organizations. The key is to find something whose cause you care about and whose views you share. After all, working in charity is largely about passion. If you love animals, you’d do well in an animal-rights group or an animal shelter, even if your job involves mostly paperwork. Just knowing that you’re contributing to a meaningful cause makes the job even more enjoyable, and makes you a valuable member of the team.

The most important thing about charity work is that it’s always for a good cause. Charities are founded and run by people who want to make a difference, and helping them is your way of giving them a hand. Few other people can say that they’ve helped make the world a better place, even if it was one week of work. Whether or not you make charity your career—and whether you do paid or volunteer work—it’s the kind of experience you’ll take with you long after you’ve left.

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