There is no doubt in my mind that I will work in the nonprofit sector for the rest of my life. I thrive off of working for the good of mankind, striving every day to make things better for those with less fortune in this world. I like to help people. The nonprofit sector can hardly be described in a few words, but I’ll take a stab at some of my favorite things about working in it.
1. My everyday work isn’t so, well, everyday.
While the tasks I do can sometimes get tedious (one can only do so much data entry before going a little crazy), no one can dispute the fact that what I am doing makes a real, tangible difference. Even though I might be doing administrative tasks, the larger picture of what I work on is to contribute to the efficiencies of an organization that makes a difference in the community. Every day I am surrounded by kids who are receiving the services of the nonprofit I work for and are hanging out in our center as opposed to the streets. I hear over and over stories about how lives were changed because of the facility. Every day I get to contribute to this larger movement – and I get paid for it!
2. The other four letter word: Hope.
All my coworkers work in the same nonprofit because they believe in the mission, and believe that there is the possibility for change in this world. They all have hope. They believe that there are ways that the system can be changed to make life better, they believe in the power of education, they believe that life can be better. It’s refreshing being surrounded by people who are all working toward this common goal, and it makes the tough times easier to swallow.
3. My contributions are more important than my possessions.
I have never experienced a coworker saying to me, “Good job getting that bonus!” Instead, I hear on a more regular basis, “You did a great job on that project” or “This will be so helpful for the organization, thank you.” I appreciate that everyone working at a nonprofit has a common goal of the organization’s mission instead of a goal of being out for themselves. Of course, everyone would appreciate a bit more money, but in a nonprofit that’s not the focus – it’s not the focus of the organization or the people working in it.
Like I said earlier, I can’t describe the sector in just a few words. But I certainly hope that someday you get the chance to experience the joy I do, every day, working for the larger good.