How much do you really know about the Charity Sector?

What do you imagine when you think of “charity work”… high street shops? Volunteer work? Low Salary? No serious career prospects? Well, get ready to ditch all your assumptions, the charity & not-for-profit sector is a fantastically unique and diverse sector where many dedicated individuals have sought long and fulfilling careers. It is not necessarily volunteer work, and is not necessarily just high street charity shops, which if anything are often a minor element of a charity’s operation.

Rather than a quiet time on your local high-street, a charity sector career could be your ticket to a great profession where you really get to make a difference in the world. There is wide variety of paid work available in a number of different areas, each of these can be a rewarding alternative to a corporate career. You could find yourself working in education, youth, housing, disability, environment, the arts and many other exciting areas. Now there is a lot of volunteer work available, and this kind of work can be extremely fulfilling, if that is what you are looking to do, it can also be a great way into the sector. However, there are many paid career options in the charity sector, which could be your route into a job you truly love.

There is no single type of charity job, so if you have some image of a “charity worker” you may want to get this out of your head! This is because there is no standard charity occupation, there are an endless number of things you could end up doing, and if you’re serious about working in the sector you might want to have a think about which of these you’d like to do. This could include fundraising, campaigning, marketing, advocacy, policy, governance, international development and volunteer management. Alternatively you could end up working in a more familiar career path but within the charity sector, there is significant demand for accountants for example, though admin, business development, finance, HR, IT, legal and management positions are all common career paths.

As the leading job board in the sector, we are acutely aware of the exciting range of opportunities which come to us on a daily basis. Check out a quick look and you will see we have 4000+ jobs a months in all possible jobs types within the charity sector, on the UK’s busiest site for charity, fundraising, NGO and not for profit jobs.

What you want to do should guide your search, but you should also consider the demand and types of jobs that are available, for instance there is great demand for fundraisers, but relatively few paid positions in international development. You’ll also see how diverse the work can be, and this could reflect your nature or interests. You may find it surprising how varied charitable organizations can be, they can range from very specific local organizations to multinational development organizations which you’ll recognize immediately. You can find opportunities ranging from local youth charities to medical research associations, these could be jobs with organizations you may not even think of as being charities, such as Teach First, Citizens Advice, St John’s ambulance: but really you could find yourself working anywhere from animal care to homelessness.

If you work for a large charity, you will most likely ending up doing a very specific job: while a position with small local organization with few staff members could require you to take on more tasks and therefore could be a chance to learn more. You’ll meet an assortment of dedicated and interesting people working in this sector, and will most likely want to find a way to keep in touch and network with sector specific individuals. If this interests you then go ahead and check out Charity Connect, the professional network for the charity sector here charity professionals gather, as well as people looking to get into the sector and advice is freely exchanged in job-specific groups.

So get ready to drop your assumptions about working in the charity sector, head on over to CharityJob for amazing paid and volunteer positions, and sign up to CharityConnect to join the sector’s largest network.


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