If you are passionate about helping people, then you might be suited to a career in the charity sector. The charity sector is a fantastic place to develop interpersonal skills and learn about an issue that you are passionate about.
You should ensure that you have your CV available online on job websites and that you have a strong LinkedIn profile. Many charities hire executive headhunters to find their staff, so you need to make sure that you can be found online.
Most paid positions require experience, and to get that experience, you will probably need to work for free. Volunteering is a fantastic way to gain experience and get yourself known. You should look for positions relevant to what you want to do or look for positions in the charity you want to work for.
You can also ask the people you work with to recommend you on LinkedIn, and you can use them as references when you apply for paid positions.
Some jobs might go out to volunteers first so you will get a leg up over the competition, furthermore, you should already have proved yourself to be a hard worker. For a more in-depth guide on turning volunteering into a career, click here.
Charity internships do exist, and depending on what you want to do will depend on what opportunities are available to you. There are options for both local, national, and international work. Do research into your sector to see what’s available. You can find some opportunities here.
Fundraising jobs are high in demand and are a great way to break into the charity sector. They can be hard work, and some people find it emotionally draining. You may need to be out in the public speaking to strangers, many of whom don’t want to speak to you. However, it is worth it to get a bit of experience, and many people don’t do it for very long. Others love it and make good careers out of it.
Develop a skill.
Many charities are looking for people who have experience in accountancy, IT, and administration. These jobs might not be what you want to do long term, but if you take some time to develop a skill outside of the charity sector, you could become a valuable asset. Once you are working for a charity, you stand a better chance when going for other jobs.
There are lots of free courses online in things such as equality and diversity, and safeguarding. Build up your skills and qualifications.
If you are looking at doing a degree, consider degrees such as policy and research or international relations. Many charity jobs will have a preference for people with a degree, although it is still possible to get a job without one, depending on what you want to do.
The charity sector can be competitive. But keep persevering and working hard. You may need to study and do a lot of work for nothing, but it will all be worth it to land your dream job.