Everything you need to know about working in the charity sector

Amy O'Neill

Everyone loves to give back. But when it comes to finding jobs in the charity and not-for-profit sectors, not everyone knows where to start. 

This year has been particularly hard on so many across the UK, leading many individuals to pick up volunteering wherever they can. But what if you're looking to do more than just volunteer? For those looking to start a full-time career in charity and not-for-profit organisations, we've put together a quick overview of the industry and the roles you might find there. 


Why people want to work in the charity sector

Many graduates and professionals are drawn into the charity sector because they want to make a difference. Working with a charity whose ethos and values align with your own can be incredibly rewarding; it makes you feel that the work you're doing is worthwhile and really helping to improve people's lives. 

Another reason lots of people love to work with charities and not-for-profits is the social aspect of the organisations. Like many other work environments, you'll meet people from a range of different backgrounds and experiences and work together towards a good cause. Networking and making genuine connections are also big parts of a charity role, and you're likely to come across international job posting that could take you to any part of the world, opening doors that can lead to all kinds of inspiring and rewarding work.


What kind of roles you might take on

Charity and not-for-profit careers are incredibly diverse. Because charities exist in almost every sector of employment, there are roles out there in almost every area imaginable from more logistical roles like IT and communications, HR, and finance and accounting, to public-facing positions like marketing and PR, fundraising, and frontline aid. 

This wide range of available roles means that graduates and other hopefuls can come in from basically any degree or employment background, and use their existing experience to shape their own position within the charity or organisation. Additionally, many charity jobs offer remote roles or flexible working hours that you're a little less likely to find in more grounded industries. 


Where to apply for charity roles

When looking to apply for charity roles, it's important to know where to start your search. Many charities advertise their vacancies on their websites - so if you have a particular cause or organisation that you're passion about, make sure you're staying up to date on their social media and checking their site regularly. 

LinkedIn is also a great place to start your job hunt, since you can also "follow" certain organisations that are not yet advertising for candidates and be notified as soon as a new job is posted. Then there's also job boards and career platforms (like us!) that work with select organisations and advertise their roles for them.


What to do while searching for charity jobs

While looking out for charity and not-for-profit roles, the best thing to do is start (or continue) volunteering. Charities are looking for candidates that truly believe in their mission and are looking to make a real difference. When thinking about your resume or future application, it's not enough to just say you’re a "passionate environmentalist" or an "avid animal-lover". You need to show it through your volunteering efforts.

This doesn't have to always be a boots-on-the-ground scenario though, anything you can do to raise awareness of your chosen cause can be seen as valuable experience. If you're not able to find any in-person volunteering in your chosen area, then writing up a blog or running a social media page where you use your platform to educate your audience is a great way to get your foot in the door. 

Above all, stay passionate and look out for ways to help while searching for that coveted full-time opportunity.




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