Many students enter communications with the hopes of landing a glamorous, high-paying job that allows you to be creative and wear a power suit without feeling ridiculously overdressed (which isn’t a terrible aspiration whatsoever). However, I’m going to make a case for why you may want to consider a less glamorous, but highly rewarding career in the non-profit sector. If any of these characteristics describe you, you can pretty much be sure that you’ll find satisfaction working for a non-profit.
1. You Enjoy Working in a Casual Environment.
I’m not saying that all non-profits have casual work environments or that all for-profits don’t. What I am saying is that most non-profits are likely to be more relaxed and less formal in terms of management style, work attire, and overall work environment. If you like wearing jeans more than once a week, consider working for a non-profit (that’s a pretty compelling reason, right?).
2. You are a Fierce Advocate.
If you are extremely passionate about a certain cause and are determined to create change, the non-profit sector is made you. For me, one of the best things about working for the Canadian Mental Health Association is being surrounded by people who are motivated by more than a paycheck, but by a mission (how epic is that?!). These are professionals who have been personally touched by mental illness in their lives, or in the lives of loved ones, and have found a greater purpose from their suffering. That is nothing short of incredible.
3. You are Compassionate.
We all know that the field of communications is quite broad—you could find yourself promoting anything from businesses, to products, to entertainment. But if you want to improve the well-being of people, directly or indirectly, you should seriously consider working for a non-profit. Non-profits are people-centered hubs for those who care deeply about the plight of others.
4. You Love a Challenge.
Non-profits typically don’t have the financial capability that larger businesses enjoy, and this can sometimes pose a challenge to employees who work with limited resources. However, this will push you to exercise your creative juices and be resourceful when solving problems and working around these limitations. If you’re up for the challenge, apply for a position in the non-profit sector!
5. You Want Meaningful Work.
When you work for a non-profit, it’s almost guaranteed that your efforts will contribute to making the world a better place—and that makes the occasional stress well worth it. I personally love knowing that every tweet I draft helps a person learn about mental health services that are available to them, or that every dollar raised from a fundraising campaign helps a young personal living with mental illness or substance use issues get a post-secondary education.
If you, like me, have decided that it is not enough to make a living by marketing toothpaste (just kidding—where would mankind be without toothpaste?) and are looking for a rewarding career that allows you to make a difference in people’s lives, then, I repeat: work for a non-profit.
Beyond the Blog
Check out Celine's personal blog, RealTalk