Myrah Abrar, blogger and computer science graduate, shares insights on an overlooked area for career development
On leaving college, graduates receive a plethora of advice regarding your career, job, and future growth. But, unfortunately, 99% of them completely ignore the non-profit sector.
Misconceptions like low salary, poor growth, and lack of exposure in non-profits are common. However, recent stats show how the non-profit sector is successfully growing.
Let me share some research with you:
- In the UK and wales, there are 167,100 non-profit agencies that have provided employment opportunities to 909,088 million people.
- Collectively, this sector contributed £18.2billion to the economy in 2017 – 2018.
- On average, non-profit sector employees earn 85,000 GBP.
If you are still wondering why non-profits should be the right fit for you, have a look at the 8 compelling reasons below:
1. Your skills can bring a positive change
When you work for profit-making firms, your ultimate goal is to generate maximum revenue and the focus is less about societal issues, environmental problems, and community development. However, the goal is different when you work for non-profits. Here, you will work to bring a positive change in society. In both cases, you will be utilising your skills, but your goals will be different.
When I was working with an NGO last year, I arranged a campaign regarding gas safety and obtaining a gas certificate. I was surprised to meet people still unaware of the importance of gas safety. However, through hard work and team effort we convinced them to take appropriate preventive measures. In this way, I gained satisfaction that I have used my skills to bring a positive change and save lives that may have been lost due to unsafe gas usage practices.
2. An opportunity to perform multiple roles
For-profit organisations assign duties related to a specific business area. However, this is not the case in non-profit. In addition, since the teams are small, one employee often needs to perform multiple roles. This, in turn, brings an opportunity for employees to learn and gain experience in multiple areas.
While working for a foundation, I used to perform three different roles at the same time. These roles included budgeting for operations and events, business plans for new services, and communicating with community firms. After working for three consecutive years, I am now proficient in all three areas. Besides this, I have built great connections in these fields, and I can show my experience in any of these fields to potential employers.
3. More responsibilities can help In fast career development
Do you prefer working as a trainee or want to be hired for a highly responsible job? Since they have a low budget at hand, non-profits train employees at a much faster pace. Therefore, they give newbies a chance to work in good positions, which is a golden opportunity for fresh grads. They can utilise it to kick start their career.
Although it will be difficult in the beginning, nothing is impossible. Many successful non-profit employees started from the bottom and worked their way to the top. Since new grads are full of motivation, this is an ideal opportunity for them to work hard, gain experience, and learn new skills.
4. Connected working environment
In comparison to for-profit firms, you have more access to higher managers, executives, and directors. This will help you gain more experience and exposure. Additionally, when you build connections with high-profile personalities, you get an opportunity to showcase your talent. This, in turn, helps in career advancement. Apart from just monetary gains, we can learn many soft skills from the top-level employees of non-profit organisations.
5. Academic options for higher studies
After completing a graduate program and before starting your Master’s degree, you can enrol in a non-profit firm. This is what I did, and I got amazing benefits from it. Similarly, you can choose a program related to charity, awareness, or societal issues for getting a higher degree. Thus, in this way, you gain practical experience of what you learn in an educational program.
6. Opportunity to be creative
Since the budget of non-profits is limited, this works as an opportunity for employees to learn the best use of available resources. Additionally, non-profit employees also know how to get the work done within a minimum budget. This appropriate utilisation of resources and budget cannot be learned from a profit-seeking firm.
7. Opportunity to create your job
When you are working for a non-profit, you have the opportunity to create your own job. If you are passionate about the field you work in, you can make your pitch, ask for funding and get your own team. The only thing is you should have the right skills and right talent. So, if you dream of achieving your entrepreneurial goals, non-profits can be the right track for you.
8. You can earn well even with non-profits
Working in a non-profit sector doesn’t mean compromising your salary. On the contrary, you can still get a good salary along with multiple benefits while working for a non-profit. In fact, some non-profits pay market-competitive salaries to get the best talent. Besides, the starting salary of fresh grads in both for-profit and non-profit sectors is almost the same.
So, why not step inside the non-profit industry at the start of your career?
In conclusion, life is short, and doing something for others brings a feelgood factor. Working in a non-profit firm will give you much more than monetary gains. The experience of spreading awareness, raising funds for change, creating employment opportunities and helping others is exceptional.
Furthermore, the non-profit sector provides multiple opportunities to the fresh grads. Besides providing job openings, they let you work for different roles. You can even work for the role of your choice or create a project for bringing a positive change - plus, you can also do more research and experience career growth once you step inside this industry. Good luck in whatever you do!