Working for a charity is incredibly rewarding – it’s a career path that focuses on driving change and helping to improve the lives of others. Here are some compelling reasons why it could be the ideal career move.
1. A sense of fulfilment
Given the significant proportion of our lives we spend at work, knowing that the time you spend makes a difference to others is a crumb of comfort. There are many reasons people work for a charity. Some choose a particular organisation because they’ve got a real interest in its ethos. Having a passion for a charity’s ethics and values can place a candidate above others when it comes to an interview. Candidates should also consider how the charity’s cause personally affects them when making an application.
One of the positives of working for a charity is the overwhelming sense of driving change. It can be stimulating and rewarding work, with a real sense of fulfilment. Your role will focus on enforcing the message of doing good by others, and employees will have an ethical and moral code to follow as a representative of that charity. The work should be varied, too – one day you might be helping out at a homeless shelter, the next you could be assisting in fundraising activities. The work is value-driven, prioritising ethics over profit so you always know you are supporting a good cause and helping the lives of others.
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2. Meeting a wide range of people
Charities are full of inspirational people from different backgrounds, each one with a story to tell that is sure to keep motivations high. Social interaction is a big part of a charity role, and there can even be opportunities for international postings and the chance to travel, opening doors that lead to all kinds of inspiring and rewarding work.
Interacting with different kinds of people can also be a great opportunity for personal and career development. Charities value people who can turn their hands to many tasks, especially as they rely on funding and can sometimes be understaffed, so there will be many chances to move around internally within a company and develop skills.
3. Job stability
According to Tori Utley’s article for Forbes magazine in 2016, charities are less likely to take risks when expanding, so are less likely to suffer financially compared to companies that focus purely on profit. Many non-profit organisations do not have private owners, and they do not issue stock or pay dividends as rewards. That said, charities have their own challenges. According to a 2017 Lloyds Bank Foundation report, uncertainty surrounding Brexit and overstretched local authorities are big stumbling blocks, and there are concerns that the UK’s departure from the European Union will result in the loss of European funding, which could impact job stability. According to this Civil Society Media article, both medium and small charities are vulnerable when local funding is cut.
4. Job satisfaction
Job satisfaction, career opportunities and varied working days are all reasons to work in the charity sector, as well as the sense of fulfilment that a job in the third sector brings. If a target-focused and highly pressured working day no longer appeals, the flexibility offered by charity work is a positive – especially given the nature of UK working hours and how they are changing. According to a recent YouGov study, more than half of those surveyed were working flexibly or job sharing, or working compressed hours to juggle other commitments. Charity work can offer similar flexibility while giving a jobseeker a fresh start to revamp their career, and the opportunity to stop and assess where they want to be, giving them real job satisfaction.
5. Good pay and benefits
The average charity sector gross salary was £32,673 in 2017 – £628 a week compared with the UK national average of £550. Charities want people to work for them and stay working for them, so the benefits are usually very positive. Home working and flexible hours, a good pension scheme, generous annual leave (at least 25 days is common), and good parental leave are all positives that cannot always be expected in other sectors.
Charity work requires dedicated people with true passion, and working for a cause you believe in is extremely fulfilling. This sector has many specialised areas, so do your research and find the right charity for you.