Exploring the World of Non-Profit Careers

Career satisfaction may be achieved by finding work that is meaningful to you and truly aligns with who you are. We all value different things when it comes to work—recognition, autonomy, prestige and other important factors. If what motivates you the most is making a difference or being of service to others, you might want to explore a career in the non-profit sector. There are many opportunities to consider! According to the US Department of Labor, there are over 12 million jobs in nonprofit organizations. With so many possibilities, how does one get started? Here are a few tips to begin your exploration—

1) Start with what is close to your heart. What are you most passionate about? What causes are particularly important to you? Whether you are concerned about environmental or social justice issues, many organizations are doing great work in areas that resonate with you. Identity and research organizations that may align with your values. Utilizing the employer information available on Handshake is a great place to start. Through your student Handshake account, you have access to helpful information about organizations that post with UConn, which may include: an overview of the organization, links to their external website and social media accounts and often feedback from students who have interned or worked there.

2) Get involved. Volunteering is an awesome way to learn more about non-profits. Most non-profits will have available volunteer opportunities that will vary in regards to the role, tasks, environment, and length of time. This is often a way to get your foot in the door. As a volunteer, you would have the opportunity to meet professionals in the field, learn about the organization and field firsthand and it could even lead an internship or job offer.

3) Explore Careers for the Common Good at UConn. Careers for the Common Good works to bring together students and values-driven organizations who desire to create positive change in society. We do this through both programming and the annual Careers for the Common Good Career Fair. Careers for the Common Good is a collaborative program of the Center for Career Development, the Office of Community Outreach, Programs, Services, and Initiatives, and the Human Rights Institute. For questions or more information, email careersforthecommongood@uconn.edu.

By Tara Malone
Tara Malone Assistant Director, Career Development, Stamford Campus Tara Malone