It’s a tough time to enter the job market or to transfer from one sector to another, but I have pulled together some advice and resources to help you make the transition into the charity sector.
I interact with scores of people searching for new jobs and am often approached by people who are looking to get into charity sector. Recently there have been more enquiries than ever! So many people are recognising that they want to make a difference in the world and to find a role which offers more meaning, with a sense of purpose and enjoyment.
Getting into the charity sector takes perseverance. Historically, volunteering or taking on temporary assignments were a good route. However, the truth is, there aren’t many temporary jobs at the moment and charities are less likely to take on someone who has no sector experience for a permanent role. What we also have to consider is that it is a candidate rich market and therefore very competitive. That said, we do expect the temp job market will pick up again in the new year as teams will require support to manage with pressure and workload.
But what can you do in the meantime? Here are some tips and advice…
A SWOT analysis is useful in many situations, and this is one of them. Think about your transferrable skills, your strengths, what kind of working environment do you want to be a part of, what are your passions. Thoroughly investigate your reasons for your career pivot and what would you like to be doing during your working day. Don’t forget to review areas of weakness, what’s holding you back, then you can assess how to overcome the obstacles and what actions to take. Keep a note of opportunities to gain experience or skills as they arise and be mindful of threats within the sector that may impact your search - keeping an eye on the sector press such as Third Sector, Civil Society, UK Fundraising and the Charity Comms blog may be useful.
Build your network; connect with and speak to as many people as you can who are involved within the charity sector. This could be trustees, staff, volunteers or suppliers. Asking for a 15 minute virtual coffee for advice may be a good place to start.
Manage your expectations, it can take 6-12 months to make a transition, even longer if it involves studying or training. Ask yourself, ‘What are you willing to invest to change your work life/career for the better’?
A quote comes to mind ‘never stop learning, because life never stops teaching’.
We have put together detailed guides below for new charity sector candidates to explore further: maximising your social media presence, job-seeking tactics and presentation of CV’s and cover letters play a major part in your job search. If you need any additional advice please get in touch and we will connect you to the specialist consultant that is most relevant to your job search. We cover Finance, HR, Fundraising, Marketing, Data, Digital, Communications, Projects, Office Support and Senior Appointments.