Passion and purpose: how working for NFPs can help you and your career

Have you ever thought about working in the not for profit industry?

If so, it’s likely you’re already the sort of person who thinks about others. But even the most altruistic person can gain significant personal benefits from working for a cause they believe in. Within this industry, you not only have the opportunity to make a huge difference in the world, but you have the opportunity to grow yourself personally and professionally.

It’s good for you

You will learn a lot about yourself, including how well you work with different types of people, and how you deal with unpredictable situations. This can help you uncover areas that you might need to improve on that will help you in your professional life. Becoming more aware of the world around you and your ability to effect change is an important confidence booster as well.

Don’t discount the feel-good factor, either. A survey overview from VicHealth found that working for charity causes “can alleviate depression, increase satisfaction with life, lower the frequency of hospitalization and boost a person’s ability to cope with illness”. Those are some pretty amazing benefits for donating your time and skills to help out!


You get to meet other people who share your passions, from many different backgrounds. Working alongside other people for a common goal is a great way to widen your social circle and form lasting friendships. It also strengthens your ability to work in a team, something that many employers value highly.


The roles available within NFPs are as varied as the number of any other jobs out there, and obviously the roles available will depend on what the organization does. You may find yourself helping out in an office setting, doing promotional work, packing and delivering donated goods, or leading young people in sporting activities or camps. The possibilities are endless!

Build your skill set

Most organizations provide some sort of training for all of their employees, empowering and equipping them to carry out work on the organization’s behalf. You will get to know more about the organization’s objectives and may even learn how to lead a team of volunteers or develop skills in communication with members of the public. This sort of training has benefits that extend beyond your passion for the role, helping you to progress further within a career. You may even discover strengths and passions in an area you had never explored before, which could lead on to further accredited training or a career change.

Gain a professional edge

Having charitable experience on your resume will set you apart from other candidates, and may even be something an employer looks for. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman says, “In a recent survey on LinkedIn, 42% of hiring managers stated they consider volunteer work equivalent to full-time work experience. 20% said they’d hired someone because of their volunteer experience.”

You could also make some great professional contacts during your work, and gain valuable references.

There are huge numbers of not for-profit organizations operating today and with all those benefits, why not look into a role within this field? You never know where it could take you and your career.

Author: Rebecca Jee is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She loves a creative challenge and has a rock-solid background in working for not-for-profit organisations.