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6 Reasons to Pursue a Career in the Third Sector

Firstly, what is the third sector?

The third sector (also known as the charity sector or the voluntary sector) is a term used to describe organisations that aren’t in the private or public sectors, such as charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations. The third sector delivers services with the aim of improving people’s wellbeing and plays a vital role in supporting communities at a local and international level.

You’ll gain invaluable experience

Third sector roles are often quite flexible and varied, giving you the opportunity to undertake a diverse range of tasks throughout your career. There are a wide range of professional pathways in this sector – from IT and logistics to fundraising and frontline aid work. You’ll have the opportunity to develop excellent personal and professional qualities such as compassion and commitment by working in the third sector, too.

If you’re a recent graduate or a young person just starting out in your career, there are many internships and voluntary roles on offer within the third sector. This is a fantastic way to gain relevant skills and make connections within your chosen field to help you on the way to forging your third sector career.

You’ll get a sense of fulfilment from your work

The most common reason to pursue a career in the charity sector is having a drive to make a difference. Given the fact that most people spend upwards of 35 hours per week at work, knowing that you’re making a positive change in the world with your time can be hugely motivating. It’s worthwhile to consider your passions and motivations and choose an organisation you’d like to work for with an ethos you are passionate about. Valuing a charity’s ethos can place you ahead of other candidates when interviewing for a role, and you will be value-driven in your work and know that you’re supporting a good cause.

Transferable skills

As mentioned previously, many roles within the third sector have wide-ranging duties. Therefore, many employers will look for generalist candidates who can multitask and step into other roles when necessary. By pursuing a career within the third sector you will gain a varied, transferable skill set and you will become comfortable carrying out tasks you never considered previously!

Job Stability

Third sector organisations aren’t pressured by market forces or under the scrutiny of private owners, meaning that employees can often enjoy a degree of job security. Charities are motivated by humanitarian values and are less likely to take risks in the name of expansion, and are therefore less likely to suffer financially in comparison to profit-focused companies. However, the third sector comes with its own issues, such as vulnerability to local funding cuts and uncertainty surrounding EU and Brexit legislation.

Job Satisfaction

Third sector roles usually come with a degree of flexibility. Many organisations provide employees with the opportunity to choose their working hours to suit their personal commitments, and job-sharing is a common model within charities. This flexibility coupled with knowing that you’re making a positive change in the world can provide you with real job satisfaction.

Build lasting connections

The third sector is full of inspirational people from a huge range of backgrounds. You’ll meet many like-minded people throughout your charity career, as roles often come with the opportunity for travel and the potential to undertake all sorts of rewarding and inspiring tasks. Social interaction is a big part of the charity sector, so you’ll form lasting friendships and make connections that are brilliant for your career development.

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