Working in the charity sector is one of the most incredible career paths you can take, taking on a socially conscious career be hugely rewarding. Whether you are a seasoned employee, suffering from corporate fatigue, or starting out in your employment journey, these do’s and don’ts will give you some tips on how to start a career in the charity sector.
The do’s when you want to start a career in the charity sector:
1. Do show your passion!
The non-profit sector is a unique industry where your passion and personality can take you far. While it is important to have skills, know-how, interest, and understanding, a passion for cause can be a deal clincher in our industry. Charities value alignment with their cause very highly, knowing that passion is driving their team.
Not only will your passion shine to colleagues, peers, and supporters, working in the charity sector, in a job that aligns with your values, can be a personally enriching experience. Knowing that you get to wake up every day and change a small piece of the world will give you the best job satisfaction out there.
2. Do go the extra mile.
Doing that little bit extra, can take you miles in the non-profit world and volunteering can be a helpful way to start your career in the charity sector. Not only does volunteering give you some initial experience of the charity world, it also looks amazing on your CV, showing significant dedication to a cause, and a vested interest in the sector.
3. Do prepare.
Your interview, CV, and cover letter, when applying for a role in the charity sector, are a window to your skills and how they relate to your charity job, so make sure you have prepared for interview and tailored your CV and cover letter to the sector.
Charities want to know how you could add value to their organization, and how you will take on the role to make sure to hit those key points! One top tip when writing your CV and cover letter is to make sure to thoroughly read the application, taking note of those key words, and use them in your application!
The don’t’s when you want to start a career in the charity sector:
4. Don’t worry – you already have skills.
Even if you are looking to enter the work force, you will undoubtedly have some transferable skills. Think about the skills you have gained from a wide range of experiences in your professional, educational, and your personal life and think about how they can be used in the role you have applied for. For example, being part of a sports team can show that you can be a great team player, and you have collaborated in order to succeed.
5. Don’t bring old assumptions to the sector.
The charity sector is a unique one, so, if you’re coming from a job in another sector, make sure you try not to bring too many working assumptions to your charity job. Of course, there are similarities, but it’s a good idea to take some time to get used to the nuances of the charity sector.
A great way to do this is by doing some research, connecting with colleagues, or even getting some mentoring – there is an amazing mentoring culture in the non-profit sector, it is well worth taking advantage of.
6. Don’t stand still.
Proactivity and flexibility are highly sought after personality traits in the sector. The non-profit world is always changing, and being a person who can adapt to new situations, be flexible, and muck in is a pro. The charity sector has many diverse opportunities, and getting to grips with a variety of streams can stand you in great stead for career growth.
In response to being flexible, the charity sector offers flexibility back to its employees, championing flexible working, so it is a win for everyone!