In recent years, the nonprofit sector has seen tremendous growth, and many of the organizations that populate this sector have evolved and become more sophisticated. According to a Nonprofitquarterly.org infographic entitled What is Driving Nonprofit Sector’s Growth?, the nonprofit sector is the third-largest labor force in the United States (the other two being retail and manufacturing). Job fields within the nonprofit sector include charities, healthcare, education, associations, think tanks, and many others. Due to certain misconceptions that exist around nonprofit work (such as low pay and a less professional atmosphere), many don’t think of this category when considering gainful employment. But employment at nonprofit organizations, especially in this day and age, proves to possess advantages that many job-seekers desire. Below are five benefits you are likely to experience in working for a nonprofit organization:
1. Accommodating advantages other than pay
While people working in the nonprofit sector tend to make less than those employed by for-profits, many nonprofits today pay more generous salaries than in the past to ensure they employ people with the right skills for the job. And any pay that is sacrificed is often made up for with advantages in other areas, such as more vacation time, a less rigid work schedule, and a more casual dress code. Since the nature of the work in certain nonprofit positions can be more sporadic and less structured than a job in the corporate world, it is often easier to fit in commitments and obligations outside of work.
2. Development of a Broader Skillset
Since many nonprofit organizations tend to have less funds and therefore employ less people, the people they hire are often handed a valuable opportunity for growth. Regardless of the specific job an employee is hired for, it is likely they will need to perform duties outside of their department at some point. This allows employees to be a lot more hands-on than they would otherwise be and therefore gain skills that are sure to spice up their resume.
3. Exposure to More Influential and Interesting People
Since many nonprofits have a smaller internal structure in their staffs, it gives employees a greater opportunity to meet and work closely with more experienced professionals and higher-ups they can truly learn from and network with. Also, nonprofit workers often attend or are involved in more community events where they are likely to encounter influential people such as Fortune 500 executives or government officials.
4. Motivation through Passion
There’s nothing more rewarding than the feeling a person gets when they are able to see for themselves how their efforts have changed someone’s life, or even just their day, for the better. To acquire an income on top of it all results in a day well spent, and a richer quality of life. Many nonprofit employees approach their work fiercely driven, particularly if they are passionate about the cause that their company benefits. But while this attribute can be a perk, it is not necessarily a requirement, as Alison Green refers to in the article 10 Myths About Non-Profit Work. When discussing passion as a qualification for nonprofit work, the author states, “While many nonprofit workers are passionate about their organization’s mission, you’ll also find workers who aren’t quite as evangelical but work where they do because it’s a strong professional fit.”
5. Modern Business Experience is Valued
Just like the rest of the world, nonprofit organizations have grown and matured in their methods of achieving their end goals. As a result, successful nonprofit organizations often operate in a similar manner to thriving for-profit corporations. Many nonprofits today are in need of employees that possess state-of-the-art technological skills, as well as creative and analytical qualities that are so highly valued in business. Individuals coming from different job sectors can always use their skills to benefit the nonprofit world as well if they ever decide to make a career change.
When job-hunting, it can be difficult enough just to find a job, let alone the right job for you. So it can never hurt to expand your options and be open to possibilities in other areas. The nonprofit world needs just as much attention as other job sectors, and you never know, the perfect fit could be waiting there for you in plain sight.
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