I work for a nonprofit organization and I love it. It wasn’t something I set out to do but, once it happened, I was hooked. I’ve always wanted to spend my life doing something meaningful that helped people, and health is my jam. So it’s only natural that I ended up at an organization that specializes in women’s health and rights. My current role is grant writing so I’m responsible for writing and editing donor documents to raise and sustain funds needed to operate our programs. AND I get to work with our colleagues in Latin America. But I’m not here to give you my LinkedIn profile. I want to talk a little bit about what it’s like to work for a nonprofit. Of course, every nonprofit is different but here a few of the things that I like most about mine:
As you can probably imagine, my office environment is very casual, so my work outfits seriously range from jeans and a t-shirt to a suit. Just kidding, I’ve never actually worn a suit to work – not even when I interviewed for both positions I’ve had there – but I could if I wanted! I do try to keep it business casual, though, so I usually try to include a blazer or trousers or nice blouse in each outfit. I do appreciate that on the mornings when I struggle to find my motivation, it is totally acceptable to throw on jeans and a sweatshirt.
You’ll usually find me sitting at my desk in something like this:
Overheard conversation from yesterday:
Coworker 1: “Look at you in your fancy dress and fancy shoes. What are you all dressed up for?”
Coworker 2: “Because it’s Tuesday!”
And she really was looking super cute in a floral shirt dress and thrifted mules!
Everyone Cares about the Same Thing
We’re very mission-driven and we’re all there to do our parts to make the world a better place. That doesn’t mean we don’t have our different (and sometimes clashing) personalities, difficult meetings, and office politics but we do have a common goal that reaches way beyond making money. It’s a great feeling to be surrounded by like-minded, intelligent people who are willing to fight the same fight that you are, and it’s comforting to know you’re doing it together.
We save lives, people!
My cube has actually shrunk recently, but I’ve had pretty big spaces up until now. BUT I get a window with lots of natural light. It doesn’t get much better than that!
I’ve since added a small bookcase so my space is super cozy and did I mention I get to sit next to a window? I almost forgot to mention that getting a cube next to a window is coveted by everyone who doesn’t sit near a window (except maybe those with offices and the higher ups who have offices WITH windows) and is a pretty big deal.
The Other Perks
Aside from saving and improving lives, I’m incredibly lucky to work for an organization that provides pretty good benefits. Health and dental insurance; a full kitchen that makes preparing lunch a breeze; 4 hours per month of time off that you can use for running errands, doctors appointments, or just going home early to nap; a committee that shows documentaries related to our cause once a month during lunch. It really is the best.
I know there are plenty of for-profit companies that offer all of these things and more. Nick’s company gives employees amazing incentives like hockey tickets, lunches, and other cool things. But I get the satisfaction of knowing I’m making a difference! To be honest, I’m still not sure what my calling is in life but I do know I’ll find it in a nonprofit.