If you are thinking about switching to a nonprofit, there are a few things to consider.
1. It’s a lot of work
If you’ve come to know a nonprofit by volunteering or serving on its board of directors, you may mistakenly believe that your volunteer experience will translate into employment experience. Unfortunately, it isn’t going to happen. The majority of nonprofits are underfunded. As a result, you may find yourself working for more than 40 hours a week to help your organization achieve its goals, including nights and weekends. Your professional experience will likely be nothing like what you did as a volunteer.
2. It’s not always a pleasant experience
People sometimes make the mistake of assuming that just because you work for a reputable organization, you will always be valued. Even those you’re attempting to help will have days when they display displeasure or dissatisfaction in a way that makes you second-guess your job choices. This isn’t to suggest that there aren’t good days; nevertheless, just like any work, there will be terrible days.
3. Even if you aren’t constantly aware of it, it makes a difference
Your days will be spent focused on challenges such as raising enough funds, recruiting enough volunteers, and providing enough services. However, there will be times when you take a step back and realize how much of a difference you are making. This might be someone telling you about how your organization’s work impacted their lives. It could be community partners or leaders expressing their gratitude for all of your efforts. It might also stem from the knowledge that you are making a positive difference in the world.
4. You will never be sorry if it is for you
Working for a charitable organization is not for everyone. Compensation often lags behind comparable for-profit jobs. Fundraising jobs are comparable to sales occupations, however, they don’t pay commission. And to be successful, you’ll have to go above and beyond. But, if you’re comfortable with it, there’s something about working for a nonprofit that makes a difference in the world that gives you a sense of pride and fulfillment that you won’t find at many for-profit businesses.
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