Career shifters: moving into the charity sector

Whether it’s a matter of personal or professional beliefs, our world is currently more polarised than it has been for a very long time. 

We’re seeing significant shifts not only in political power, but in the stability of our natural environment. 

All of which means the work being done in the third sector has never been more important, and people are increasingly geared up to get their hands dirty and make a real difference.

With the desire for social change comes an increased interest in careers that help find progressive solutions to the complex problems we face - globally, nationally and locally. That’s driving more people to ditch their jobs in the private and public sector to work for a cause they truly believe in. 

According to our research, 2.6 million people in the UK feel unfulfilled at work and have the relevant skills to switch to a not for profit position. 

And a recent survey of our registered recruiters revealed that 80% are open to candidates from outside the sector, though in practice it’s an easier move for those with particular skills: finance, HR, data and IT being some of the most transferable.

But is a lower salary something that could potentially deter good candidates from making the shift?

Our research suggests the short answer is no. 

Of all the candidates we surveyed, 49% had no previous experience in the charity sector. When asked what they were looking for in a new role, 73.8% said more fulfilment, 54% cited personal development and only 35.1% made mention of improving their salary. 

That’s consistent with many other findings, confirming that salaries aren’t the major factor for people seeking to switch. In our experience they’ll tend to be perfectly prepared for a pay cut, in favour of a better work/life balance and a more rewarding, fulfilling career.

Download the full 24-page 2019 Salary Report

Welcome and introduction 

Summary and market trends 

Fundraising ►

Marketing, PR & Digital ►

Business Services ►

Policy, Advocacy & Campaigns ►

Finance ►

Human Resources ►

Projects & Programmes ►

Temporary & Interim ►

Executive salaries ►

Candidate insights ►

Career shifters ►

Regional updates ►

Methodology & FAQ ►

Advice, news, events and specialist insight from the Harris Hill Blog