Why work for a charity or non-profit business?

März 17, 2023

Laura Holland is one of our Senior Consultants who helps third-sector London businesses recruit mid-senior human resources professionals. These businesses include everything from non-profit, education and arts to membership and regulatory bodies.

Laura is driven by her love for collaboration with value-driven businesses and professionals who are passionate about making a difference in the work they do.

We sat down with Laura to find out what’s driving professionals to change roles in this sector or even join it for the first time.

Why should candidates consider a role within the third sector?

Where do I start, there are so many reasons, but I’ll focus on my main one!

You have the opportunity to make a difference. You can take your skills and experience into a business that would truly value and appreciate the impact you can make. The work is also meaningful – you are waking up each day knowing that the work you do, whether it be directly or indirectly is contributing to a positive cause. This could be for others, or for a cause you really care about.

You’re not just trying to drive higher profits or share prices. You are trying to drive a more positive and promising tomorrow for others and the world you live in!

How can professionals make a difference in people’s lives by working in the third-sector?

Working in the third-sector can be hugely rewarding and can offer a unique opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives in a variety of ways. For example, you could consider working for a business that provides direct services to individuals in need or sustainability (e.g., food banks, human rights, environmental work, housing support, mental health counselling or educational programs).

Even in HR rather than on the front line, your work can directly contribute to these services and help improve the lives of those who use them.

There are also many third-sector businesses that focus on advocating for policy and systemic changes which improve the lives of marginalised communities. You can have the opportunity to make a difference directly in the lives of others by bringing your expertise to a business driving change.

Many third-sector businesses rely on volunteer networks to deliver programs and services. You can make a direct impact by helping to recruit, train and support these volunteers that make a significant difference in people’s lives by offering their time, skills, and resources.

How can professionals improve their personal development at charities?

As someone who has studied positive psychology, I’d say one of the best ways you can improve your personal and career development is by enhancing your sense of purpose by working at a charity or third-sector business.

Two essential elements of our wellbeing according to the PERMA model are meaning (the sense of purpose and direction an individual has in their life) and accomplishment (the sense of progress and achievement in one’s life).

Whilst these can mean different things for individuals, working for a value-led business can provide a real sense of purpose, fulfilment and career satisfaction. Knowing your work is making a positive impact on the world can strongly contribute to your sense of value and worth.

What are the pay and benefits like in the third-sector?

Like the private sector, pay and benefits offered by the UK’s third sector can vary depending on the size, type and location of the business, plus the specific role and level of experience needed.

There are many businesses in the third sector that offer competitive salaries, so it’s always worth investigating or enquiring.

Benefits and perks can also be very competitive – such as pension plans, health insurance, leave allowances, work culture, work environment and flexible working arrangements. Some of the most extensive benefits packages have been with third-sector businesses, but again this will all depend on budget and priorities.

Many professionals choose to work in the third sector because of the intrinsic rewards of the work, such as the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, work for a cause they are passionate about, or develop new skills, personal and business skills, and experiences in a new sector. That doesn’t mean to say though that the pay and benefits will be much lower than your expectations!

Do charities offer flexibility for professionals?

They do! Most third-sector businesses and offer flexible working arrangements for their employees depending on the nature of their work – including full-time and part-time roles. This would typically look like hybrid working, job sharing or part-time work and flexible schedules (e.g., nine-day fortnights and compressed hours).

What advice do you have for professionals considering working for a charity?

Go for it! It can be hugely rewarding to follow a career path in this sector, bringing your expertise into a business that is value driven and where the work is truly meaningful and impacts others. There are so many fantastic opportunities, so if you are interested please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Get in touch today to discuss your hiring needs or career.

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