I want to work for a charity, does anyone here?
I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I recently spent a long time in hospital and lost my job, along with one of my internal organs (!). Since then i’ve had time to recover. I’ve learnt to deal with this new situation but i’m still unemployed so i’m floating around from day to day not doing anyone much good. I’m in a difficult situation at the moment. Basically being so ill has made me realise that the only thing that’s going to make me happy is to help someone who’s not as advantaged as i am. I’d love to be outdoors. I’m sure there are a multitude of jobs of this kind that i never knew existed…
does anyone else do a job where they help people? I’m not talking about working for free – i still need to get paid but i’m not interested in being a “high flyer”. I’ve got a degree in biochemistry so you’d probably expect me to want to work in a lab but after my experience i can’t help thinking that there are more satisfying jobs out there where i can make a real difference to someone who needs it. anyone got any ideas/contacts?Posted 11 years ago
Charities are big organisations, who spend vast amounts. Just like big companies. WHO and Oxfam spring to mind if you want to work overseas, but there are dozens of large ones and hundreds of smaller ones. They’re like any other company as far as getting a job goes.Posted 11 years ago
I work for a charity. its just the same as working for a private sector company, but you get paid less.Posted 11 years ago
Steve, not what i wanted to hear! what exactly is it you do?Posted 11 years ago
some charities are large and corporate, some are small and independent. some are good employers, some are not (see steve austen for example)
i work for a charity which is ok – it’s a smallish (200ish employees) housing association which has some nazi tendencies but they leave me alone to get on with what i do. which is nicePosted 11 years ago
thanks winston, my bubble is in-tact. i quite fancy working with disadvantaged kids, in an outdoors setting. do you know if such a job exists?Posted 11 years ago
I work for a charity and it’s great. It has a few biochemists in there (some ‘doctors’) and by and large we all have a great time…….it’s a science discovery centre in Cardiff called Techniquest. We ejukate kids and adults without them realising it (well, some of the time….)I get out and about visiting schools, occasionally attend science fairs, inflate portable planetariums and guide people through the night sky, do science shows etc.
Shite pay but it’s great work. The folk there don’t work for the money, they do it as it’s rewarding and sometimes so very very funny that undergarments are soiled……….Posted 11 years ago
don’t let my rather cynical comment put you off. I’ve had a bad day
Charity work is great. Very rewarding, just very poorly paid.Posted 11 years ago
Voluntary is the best way in. gives you an option to try it for size. and keep your hand in the world of money
My Girlfriend does some part time youth work, helping to run regular weekly youth clubs…
There are several permanent roles within regional youth services, organizing activities and working directly with children, from a variety of backgrounds, it can be very rewarding it can also be very harrowing at times (many children have some quite stunningly harsh personal circumstances to deal with) it can be dangerous too, you might be dealing with minors but that doesn’t mean they are any less prone to alcohol/drug abuse or violence.
The fact that you’re keen to bring young people and the outdoors together is also a bonus, activities which can help remove young people from their normal environments and provide them with something new to try will go down well…
You will help yourself by gaining some relevant experience, obviously they would require a CRB check, but you can certainly get involved in part time youth work without any formal qualifications, you should get in touch with your local authorities youth service and see what part time posts they currently have…Posted 11 years ago
voluntary work is a good way in, to gain relevant experience and show that your skills can be transferred. depends on whether you can afford to do it.
there are lots of projects that help kids from poor areas – not sure how you’d find out about ones near you though.
quite a few charities continually struggle for funding/resources and you’re unlikely to get job security (that’s the reason i moved job a few years ago from a really small charity that i loved working for)
don’t go into it thinking you’re going to change the world either. otherwise you’ll end up as cynical as steve austin and iPosted 11 years ago
I have worked for a number of charities as a volunteer, director and trustee over the years. I currently work as a management consultant for smaller charities (generally known as the voluntary and community sector where there are thousands of small organisations) and social enterprises.
There are loads of opportunities for both paid staff and volunteers obviously depending on the job spec and your experience.
Places to look for opportunities are the Guardian on Wednesdays (or online), your local CVS (Council for Voluntary Service) organisation (if you can’t find it contact NAVCA http://www.navca.org.uk) or your local volunteer bureau (if you can’t locate it contact Volunteering England). Other places are http://jobs.thirdsector.co.uk/jobs/ and http://www.voluntarysectorjobs.co.uk/
Organisations that may be of interest for working outdoors include BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers),your local Wildlife Trust or CSV Environment (not CVS – see above). Maybe some of your bio-chemistry background would be relevant to these organisations. Groundwork Trust also may be worth contacting though they only cover certain areas of the UK.
Organisations like Citizens Advice Bureaux have training schemes for volunteer advisers which takes a few months, but may provide you with the opportunity to apply for a paid post once qualified.
Good luckPosted 11 years ago
A lot of charitable / social sector jobs are also advertised in the big issue. Charities can be quite like any other type of employment in the sense that they are organisations needing to be managed or administered. But, depending on the cause, there is also front line work to be done and that can be quite unlike any other kind of job.
My girlfriend used to work with children in crisis, that could mean ‘activities’ and other diversions and it could mean the only friendly face while the police are lifting the floorboards trying to find your mother.
At that end of the charitable sector it can be a tough ride. Deep despairing depths and catch-22 decisions where the only results for the the kid are a rock or a hard place. But those are balanced elating highs – really knowing someone means you can really help them, and really helping people brings reward beyond comparison.
It became a big part of her work to shock service providers into realising just how much their actions effect people for better and worse and to feel failure and to feel success. I think most peoples lives and work are limited by having no real sensation or measure of success. If they had it they’d succeed all the time.
I spent 4 days working with her and it was barely a taste, and it wasn’t at the rough end of the spectrum of her work at all, but it was the most satisfying and most human experience I’ve ever had.Posted 11 years ago
Bomberman- Have you thought about the VSO?Posted 11 years ago
I worked for charities for a number of years before entering my present employment. I worked for a number of what you could call ‘blue chip’ charities (i.e. those that are well known) including some of the biggest children’s charities. My field was fundraising (corporate and trusts – office based not on the street before you ask). I always enjoyed the fact that they were generally staffed by people who cared about the cause – yes the money isn’t as good but they can be good employers and its nice to work for a cause and with other people who care too.
Fundraising and campiagning are interesting fields (I expect that corporate fundraising isn’t much fun now) and if you’re a strong communicator with a desire to learn you could look to do that.
As has been said above volunteering is a great way in – thats how I started – doing a few days a week at a local youth charity (three full time staff) as a general fundraiser. Talk to your local volunteer beauru to get yourself in touch with something like that maybe – it could be a good way to build up skills and knowledge as you get into the applications process.
If you don’t like the sound of the back office type stuff I’ve mentioned above consider actually doing what the organisation does – i.e. youth work or programme management etc.
Good sources of jobs are the Guardian and the esp the sectors magazine which is called ‘Third sector’. Also there are a number of agencies and websites which specialise in charity jobs (charityjob.com).
If you want more on agencies websites etc reply to this thread and I can email you a list
Hope this helps,
JezPosted 11 years ago
If you want to work with kids and do outdoorsy stuff, how about an outdoor pursuits centre. They’re not all charities, but some of them run sessions funded by local boroughs for kids at inner-city comprehensive schools and it can be a life-changing experience for some of these kids. Trewern and Outward Bound spring to mind, but there must be loads more.Posted 11 years ago
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