You might not think so, but non-profit organizations also have their dose of challenging work in different industries. So if you’re looking for a job, non-profits can be a good option for you. Besides, you will have the opportunity to serve others or a good cause that will have a great impact.
Having said this, you might as well consider the advantages and disadvantages of working in non-profits that Lisa Quast, author of award-winning book Your Career, Your Way!, has outlined:
- Interesting people. According to The Case Foundation, “Non-profits often get to choose between the best and the brightest candidates and to be picky about who they choose to employ. There is something to be said for working with people who have chosen to work toward a higher goal.”
- Growth opportunities. A non-profit employee may find they get assigned to multiple projects at once. “This can lead to faster career development and more varied job responsibilities for those looking to get ahead quickly,” says The Case Foundation.
- Meaningful work. Working for a non-profit can provide “the kind of work that you might otherwise only be able to do on your own (unpaid) time,” according to a UC Davis article. This can be especially attractive for those who have already spent several decades in their career and are looking for work more in line with their hobbies or purpose in life.
- Different types of jobs. “Non-profits hire people to do all the same jobs as for-profit businesses do… they also have additional roles like fundraisers, grant writers, volunteer coordinators and community organizers,” states a recent U.S. News & World Report article.
- Pay. Some non-profits are able to pay competitive compensation as similar jobs in the for-profit sector, but not all can. Benefit packages or other perks might compensate for lower pay, so conduct research to ensure the compensation package is within your target range.
- Hours worked. Alison Green sums it up nicely in her U.S. News & World Report article: “For nonprofits, the goal is to have a positive effect in the world. And staff members are generally expected to share that perspective, which can sometimes translate into longer hours and pitching in wherever you’re needed to help advance the mission.” If you’re passionate about the organization’s mission, longer hours worked may not be an issue.
- Frustrating work environment. Non-profits may not be able to afford the latest technology and getting things implemented can often require meandering through a maze of red tape and approvals. Notes The Case Foundation, “The pace of change is often slower than it is in a for-profit environment, given that so many opinions must be considered and the bottom line is not as clear.”
- Getting hired. As I mentioned in the advantages section, non-profits are often able to choose from a large pool of the brightest candidates. This can make it difficult to obtain a job at a non-profit if you don’t treat the job search process seriously.