Not For Profit Jobs

Some of the greatest careers occur in one of the largest employment sectors in the Western world, and one of the least recognized: the not for profit sector. It includes not only charities, but support organizations dealing with everything from chronic medical conditions to homelessness and unemployment.

The range of jobs includes everything you'd expect to find in commercial employment and more. Everything from A to Z, literally from administration to zoology, is possible in this sector. In career terms, some of the most respected people in their fields also work exclusively in not for profit organizations.

Not for profit jobs don't get the same profile in the job market as the commercial jobs. People tend to overlook these jobs, which is a pity, because some of the best careers, both professionally and in terms of personal value, are available in this sector.

Career paths in the nonprofit sector

The nonprofit sector is one of the best organized of all employment sectors, in terms of career paths. It's definitely one of the best run employment sectors in the world, geared to cost efficiency and service provision. The emphasis on functionality needs to be appreciated as a career asset, because jobs in this sector are all about employer services.

Not for profit sector jobs include these employment areas:

  • Aid organizations
  • Animal welfare
  • Charities
  • Children's services
  • Community services
  • Elderly care
  • Employment services
  • Environmental groups
  • General social services
  • Housing
  • Medical research
  • Medical support services
  • Outreach groups
  • Rehabilitation organizations
  • Shelters
  • Special interest associations
  • Welfare services
  • Women's services
  • Youth services

Within each of these organizations is a working business administration unit, management, and specialist service. In many cases, the organization is based on local, regional, state and national levels. Many not for profit organizations provide multiple services, including housing, unemployment, and the other functions as part of their business.

The job opportunities are obviously many and varied. But the career opportunities, particularly for dedicated people in their fields, are extraordinary. The big advantage for professionals in the not for profit organizations is that only these organizations do the professional work they do. The work itself is rewarding and socially helpful, as well as personally fulfilling. It can be very hard work, particularly working in the disadvantaged parts of the world, but there's nothing else like it.

That work experience quality translates to all parts of a nonprofit organization. A group like Medecins Sans Frontieres, for example, includes not only doctors, but a support group, administrators, and the entire daily function of the organization. Not many commercial administrators can say they've helped rebuild a nation or relieve poverty in their hometown.

Two personal characteristics are required for nonprofit careers: dedication and responsibility. These jobs come with big demands. Lives sometimes depend on them. The glamour levels may be low, but the rewards are huge.