Be prepared to enter a vibrant and thoughtful sector where you can really make a difference. The UK charity sector has a significant role to play in the wellbeing of the nation whether you want to work for a social welfare charity or environmental organisation. The number of charities and variety of their work is a tribute to the dedication and resilience of people working in the sector and the support they receive from the public.
The key to achieving your perfect charity job is to really think about your current skills and experience and how they can be used effectively by the charity you wish to work for. For example, fundraising is all about raising money. This is not dissimilar to someone in a company chasing leads, selling their products and creating sales for their company. There are obvious cross overs in accountancy, marketing and senior management. Apart from thinking carefully what your transferable skills are you should also know as much as possible about the sector you wish to work in. For example, there are dozens of homeless charities. Find out the facts about homelessness, why it exists and where the money comes from to support these organisations. The more you know about your chosen sector the better the chance you have of getting the job you want.
There are lots of online resources. Please check out thirdsector.org.uk and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). NCVO also runs courses covering a range of subjects. Even if you are well qualified it might be worth gaining a voluntary sector qualification.
The salaries in charities are as broad as the career path you choose and fairly competitive with the private sector, except at a senior level. Salaries ranging from £30,000 to £60,000 for management positions are common. Job satisfaction is one of the driving forces why so many people choose to work in the sector. However, remember every charity is different. So as always, make sure you do your research. Check their accounts and ask questions. Carrying out due diligence is always worth doing.
Most employers are interested in your recent successes. What changes have you made within your role and the wider organisation. How did you perform against your targets and what legacy are you leaving behind.
How to get your dream job
Charity Careers Advice Tip: Pick up the phone and make the call, because most people don’t.