CAREER DEVELOPMENT / FEB. 24, 2014
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How Working for Nonprofits Can Help you Grow

The nonprofit sector – neither private nor governmental enterprises - is growing rapidly. Recent findings from the recent Chartered Professional Accountant Symposium project a growth in US nonprofit organisations in 2014. 76% of nonprofit professionals surveyed at the symposium expect their nonprofit organisation to grow this year.

The nonprofit sector increasingly gains momentum as it provides high job satisfaction and a set of valuable skills crucial for developing yourself, becoming more socially aware and expanding your worldview. If you have set a goal to find a more meaningful job this year, the nonprofit sector might be an optimal place for you to begin your research.

Here are some beneficial aspects about a career in the nonprofit sector that you have to take into account:

A Nonprofit Job Will Boost Your Job Satisfaction

Although budgets and resources in the nonprofit sector are not as big as in the corporate sector, many find working at nonprofit organisations extremely rewarding. Previous studies have shown that 97% of not-for-profit workers feel they accomplish something worthwhile through their jobs.

Sara Pardys, communications manager for Zonta International, moved to the nonprofit sector from her corporate work in public relations and internal communications - and in the process, her outlook on life became much more positive. "Every day, I'm able to look at Zonta's members and the people we've helped and know exactly why I'm doing what I'm doing. That feeling is priceless," she said.

When you're working with a mission in mind and are able to see the impact of your organization's work on the community, your job can be more than a paycheck. It allows you to tap into your passion and purpose. In a non-profit organisation, you are ‘paid’ by the satisfaction of doing something good for the world’s benefit, whether it is saving lives, reducing poverty, making education affordable, bringing enrichment opportunities to children, or some other worthy cause.

Nonprofit Salaries are Improving

The pay you earn at a nonprofit organization may not measure up to a corporate salary, so you might have to consider some lifestyle changes. Despite this, it’s not all bad news. Nonprofit salaries are improving, and many nonprofits are adding value for employees through generous benefits packages and organizational culture initiatives focused on improving employee satisfaction.

Meanwhile, low income will force you to focus on your personal finances and learn budgeting techniques as well as to track your expenses.

You Will Broaden Your Skills with Multiple Responsibilities

Because most non-profits do not have the resources to comfortably achieve their missions, a lack of resources like capital and staff requires everyone to perform more than one function. You could therefore engage with multiple responsibilities simply because there aren’t enough specialists to perform specific tasks. This situation in turn, will help you become more multi-skilled and improve your multitasking skills.

You Will Meet Talented and Passionate People

While working for a non-profit, you will have the opportunity to surround yourself with some of the most talented and influential people you will ever meet. This is an incentive for you to improve yourself by seeking the company of people who are the best in their field. Get to know the people who sit on the organization’s Board of Directors because they share the same goals and often bridge the gap to the corporate world.

Working for a non-profit organization isn’t for everyone, but it also isn’t only for the rich who have little need to build wealth for their family. Through a nonprofit job, you can have a socially active and rewarding life. You will also get to build a significant amount of social and cultural capital as well as numerous other soft and hard skills, which can prove invaluable for your career progression.

If you would like to connect with the non-profit world check out the Volunteer Marketplace provided by LinkedIn. This will allow you to join hundreds of nonprofit boards and find unpaid civic work opportunities. 

 

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