Volunteering vs. paid work: which should you choose?

If you are thinking about working for a charity, you are not alone. Thousands of students make the decision to look for charity work each year, but many don’t know where to start, or what kinds of roles are available to them.

There is also a common misunderstanding that charities are only run by volunteers: this is quite simply not the case. There are a great number of paid jobs available in the charity sector, on CharityJob you can see an average of 4,000+ roles available each month!

All of them could lead to a very lucrative and rewarding career. Many graduates find that working in the charity sector suits them better than working for a private business and there are an increasing number of graduate opportunities, training schemes and internships available to students as charities seek to employ the best talents.

However, it is important to determine what kind of charity work is right for you. It may be that a voluntary role for a short period of time better suits your needs. Whether you want to learn new skills, make new friends or try something new, you can choose a role that fits you best as there are plenty of opportunities available, in nearly every category (marketing, finance, project management, education etc).

Voluntary work: a good place to start?

Volunteer work is an excellent way to learn particular skills which may be pertinent to your career path, more general skills such as team building and networking, or to try something you have never done before. Skills gained through volunteering may prepare you for the wider world of work and open your eyes to opportunities which may be available to you.

Volunteering can give you more confidence by allowing you to try something new and even push you out of your comfort zone in terms of what you are used to. Volunteering can also be fun and can be a good opportunity to do something that is not related to your intended career path, but that you have always wanted to try.

Normally, volunteers have a lot of fun and gain a great sense of achievement from their experience, and there are also a lot of opportunities to travel, which is very appealing to many students.

Moreover, volunteer work can also lead to a long-term paid position, and it gives you a chance to try out the sector before committing to a career in it.

Paid jobs in the charity sector: is it for you?

Paid jobs in the charity sector can be an excellent option for students and graduates, providing them with exciting jobs in line with their career aims. Many third sector organisations provide graduate training programs and internships which may lead you to the career of your dreams. The kind of roles you can find in the charities sector are vast and varied, and may include research, campaigning, and lobbying alongside more typical company and business roles.

In terms of what you might be paid, this varies greatly depending on your role but generally this will be a typical graduate salary for a graduate role. There are thousands of roles available, and you can find employment in the charities sector to suit you. This may include flexible working, part-time hours and working from home. There may even be opportunities to travel for work depending on your employer. Even if you start with an entry level role, employers would much prefer to promote a hard worker than to post a new vacancy.

There are thousands of opportunities for paid work in the charities sector – it’s just about finding the right one. Typically, workers in the charities sector experience high levels of job satisfaction, so if you’re looking to kick-start a career in the third sector, have a look on the CharityJob website for a role that will suit you.

Find volunteer and paid jobs with CharityJob

CharityJob is the busiest online hub for exploring your options when it comes to charity, fundraising, NGO and not-for-profit jobs. Whether you’re looking for a graduate position or temporary role, we have over 4000 positions waiting to be explored. Visit our site at www.charityjob.co.uk to find charity jobs AND volunteer roles.


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