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7 Reasons to Work for a Non-Profit Organization After College

By Guest Writer

Updated April 9, 2021 Updated April 9, 2021

Guest post: Hasibuddin Ahmed

Are you graduating from college? Congratulations. The usual question that comes after that is, “When are you going to get a job?” Then the conversation stretches to questions regarding exactly what job, and which sector. Choosing your first job after college is an important step, and for many young people, it’s important to do something that will be meaningful and make a difference to society.

Even if you’re not convinced that working for a non-profit organization (NGO) is your long-term aim, there are lots of reasons to work for a non-profit at least for a short period of time. Here are seven reasons that will hopefully convince you to apply for non-profit jobs when you graduate, and maybe even attract you to develop a career in that sector:

1. You probably have the right transferable skills. 
Career skills

When applying for a job, the key determining factor will be whether you have the skills needed. For work in non-profits, many of the skills required are transferable skills that you will have gained in college. There are lots of non-profit jobs which need the same type of skills that you acquired in college, such as good organization, research and communication skills, so it is possible to fit in without any extra training.

The same goes for when you move from the non-profit to the for-profit sector. The skills that you gain while working in a non-profit organization can transfer well when you move to a for-profit organization.

2. Your work will really matter.

Millennials are brave, can seamlessly work in a diverse work culture and environment, and above all, they follow their interests. As a millennial myself, I’ve always followed my passion rather than running after money. So when it comes to ‘work that matters’, non-profit jobs offer the opportunity to be a part of something that will profoundly impact society.

Apart from that, there are numerous challenges that make working in non-profits particularly interesting. And you could be working for a very well-known organization – the biggest NGOs have higher recognition across society than many for-profit organizations.

3. Network with the bosses. 

In a for-profit organization, it is almost impossible to get access to the top bosses, let alone get to interact with them. In most non-profit organizations, you can get easy access to the higher managers and also get to interact with them. This will help you to gain valuable experience and connections.

4. Non-profit doesn’t mean a low salary.

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the non-profit sector. Many people confuse the “non-profit” term as meaning “no money”. That’s not true at all. According to research from Urban Institute, the non-profit sector contributed an estimated $905.9 billion to the US economy in 2013.  

It has also been seen that the starting salary, when comparing a for-profit organization with a non-profit one, is the same on average. So, there are ample opportunities for fresh graduates, and it can be just as profitable as working in the for-profit sector when you do not have any experience.

5. Lots of opportunities for new graduates. 

Many for-profit organizations think twice before hiring fresh graduates. Some of the biggest names in the for-profit sector tend to hire only those with the best skills, paying less attention to someone’s passion for the industry. But it is the opposite in the non-profit sector. NGOs are often willing to hire fresh graduates as long as they are passionate about the organization’s mission and show the dedication to perform well.

6. You may get the chance to take on more responsibility.

In non-profit organizations, you might get the chance to be in a position with a fancy title like Communication Leader or Assistant Director of Development. To move up the ladder, you need to be convincing and show certain leadership traits, which you have probably acquired if you’ve gained experience in student politics or leading a student society. This is often impossible in for-profit organizations because they have a more rigidly fixed hierarchy.

7. You will gain more experience than you think. 

When you work for a non-profit organization, you get to meet diverse people from various backgrounds and experience different situations. You are not in a fixed environment, where the things happen the same way every day. So you can get to learn new things while you are working on different projects. In the end, you will find that you have learnt a lot more than what you expected.

If the above reasons are not enough, then there is always the attractiveness of travelling to new places (if you work for an international NGO), along with the ability to create your own career path. Life is too short to get stuck in a hamster wheel! Working for a non-profit organization will make you feel positive about your work and how it has contributed to society, instead of just being another cog in the wheel.

 

Hasib is a professional writer working with one of prominent job portals in India – naukri.com. As a career coach, he helps professionals in making decisions related to career and job opportunities. He is an avid reader and lives for two things – football and food. If he is not involved in any of those, you can find him contemplating existential issues. Follow him @ twitterGoogle+LinkedIn

This article was originally published in June 2016 . It was last updated in April 2021

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