When you go to a nonprofit job board, you may have visions of healing the world and leaving your mark on society. You aren't off-base there. Working for a non-profit organization can be extremely rewarding. After all, imagine waking up and going to work every day with the confidence of knowing that you are making a difference in the world.
Nearly everyone wants to feel that their work is important and meaningful, and it's hard to ignore the fact that non-profit organizations are created to make the world better in some ways. However, there are some things that you may not expect about working for non-profit organizations. Consider these things that may take you by surprise.
Surprise #1: You May Be Paid for Work Others Do for Free
A lot of non-profit organizations seek volunteers on a regular basis, and there may even be competition for volunteer positions. You may find yourself taking on a paid position and working alongside people who aren't paid for doing the same duties you are taking on. It just depends on the organization and its staffing needs. The reasons for this may be numerous. If this is the case, you don't want to be deceptive, but you shouldn't discuss salary or compensation with co-workers even if they are volunteers.
Surprise #2: Your Organization May Be Criticized and Judged
No matter how much good your organization may do, there is likely to be those who judge and criticize it. Some arguments are valid, too, and you may find that you are conflicted if you agree with criticism of the organization that employs you. Try to research a non-profit organization well before you apply or accept a position. That can help you avoid the awkwardness of discovering a deal-breaking fact about an organization after you started working there.
Surprise #3: You Can Enjoy a Great Work-Life Balance
Although you may have imagined that a charity would need you to be available for late nights and weekends, you can typically enjoy a great work-life balance when you work at many non-profit organizations. It's important to replenish yourself, especially when you are doing challenging work that may be emotionally taxing. Luckily, non-profit organizations get this, and you can have a nice work-life balance while still getting ahead.
Finally, keep in mind that working for a non-profit organization, such as from Foundation List, may not be that different from working at a for-profit company. Yes, you may have a much greater sense of fulfillment from doing work for a charity that people recognize as doing great things in the world. However, you ultimately have to assess the professional pros and cons of working there and decide whether it's a great fit for you. With its many perks, many people are finding it's an ideal career path.