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Would you leave your public sector job for a charity sector job in the current climate?

(25 Posts)
Returnofthemaccies Thu 09-Apr-20 19:54:45

Just that really. I wrote a really long one in chat but no replies as yet.

I already have a secure job in a university. It's unfulfilling but pays well.

I had a job offer before lock down within a charity. It's a similar role but I have the chance to train and grow in my career.

My friends are telling me I'm mad to consider taking the job in the charity as its not as secure, after this pandemic, charities will suffer. This charity has already suffered government cuts recently.

What would you do??

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Helenshielding Thu 09-Apr-20 19:57:28

I'm already in the charity sector. Dont do it, everything is very uncertain here just now.

Helenshielding Thu 09-Apr-20 19:58:54

Dont expect to be fulfilled in the charity sector either, it it's a big charity they're often soulless and you're treated badly and expected to just put up with it because it's a charity.

Returnofthemaccies Thu 09-Apr-20 20:02:28

Helen thank you.

Gosh that's really sad to read. It's women's aid and I have wanted to work there for a number of years... Get my training and actively help women... My voluntary role there is only once a week so I might not have seen the way things work properly. But it has been a dream of mine to become a qualified IDVA or case worker, and this was my way in.

But I totally get that working at a charity rn is a bad idea. I was kind of hoping it would be okay but deep down I know I'm probably better off where I am. I'm gutted.

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afromom Thu 09-Apr-20 20:43:17

I completely disagree with Helen. I work for a large charity, having worked for a range of other charities, public and private sector roles in the past. My current role is the best by far I have had. I've had so many opportunities in L& D, to develop personally and professionally and work with some of the nicest and most caring people I've ever met.
However, it's not a good time for charities. Money is very tight and many have blocked recruitment for the foreseeable.

Helenshielding Fri 10-Apr-20 00:10:48

Thats good afromom, I love the charity I am with now and it is fulfilling, but I had a horrendous experience with a biggie in the past.

Returnofthemaccies Fri 10-Apr-20 08:56:48

If I continue with my role at the university I can continue volunteering and training at the charity too. So maybe this is my best bet.

Although I did read an article this morning saying universities aren't safe either... My uni has very high percentage overseas students... This is going to have a bad knock on effect money wise.

So I guess I'm not really safe with either job!!

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mnahmnah Fri 10-Apr-20 08:58:36

More than ever, right now I am very very grateful for my secure job and pay. I wouldn’t trade it for anything

Standrewsschool Fri 10-Apr-20 09:01:03

I wouldn’t change jobs in the current climate. I know two people, at different stages of their careers who were due to start a new job as this crisis unfolded. Both new jobs were cancelled, and fortunately the old employers took the back.

MissMarks Fri 10-Apr-20 09:05:00

Have a look at their annual accounts- will give some indication of what their funding is like- I believe a lot of womens aids are independently run. Domestic violence is up 30% due to the social isolation guidance- I would be surprised if they have funding cuts going forward.

Goonergirl14 Fri 10-Apr-20 09:12:01

I work in the Civil Service part time part year so not great pay and am being encouraged to apply for a much better paid job with a large charity but I have decided to not go ahead as what if I am no good at the job and am scared of the last in first out situation! That's if I was even to get it! My advice would be to stay in a secure job for the present time.

MrsDoylesTeaBags Fri 10-Apr-20 09:12:44

I wouldn't consider leaving any job right now OP, even if you hate it. There will be a lot of job insecurity in the coming months, at least with your time served there even if the worse were to happen at least you'd get a small redundancy to cover while you look for the job that really suits you.

Returnofthemaccies Fri 10-Apr-20 09:22:12

Good point about redundancy. I do think I'm better off where I am.

I will now have to deal with the grievance I have with a colleague, head on. I was so happy before this change of situation... I was practically offered a job in a charity that I desperately want to work in, and it came at exactly the right time because I would not have to face reporting my colleague. Such a shame, but such is life. Tbf my colleague deserved to be reported. This is the kick up the arse I needed I guess.

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FrankieKnuckles Fri 10-Apr-20 09:22:41

I'm in that boat & will be staying out for a while, even though my current role is incredibly demanding & stressful & absurdly underpaid.
I previously worked as an IDVA for a voluntary organisation. They vary wildly, but IME they can treat staff appallingly & have disdain for women who have the audacity to procreate. All while expecting u to publicly campaign for women's rights. That's why I left for public sector.

Returnofthemaccies Fri 10-Apr-20 10:40:41

Wow Frankie really?? That's very disheartening to read. I would like to train to become an IDVA. Well, that was the lose plan. I wanted to get experience and lots of training before making my decision. I just want to actively help women.

Do they not have proper maternity policies in place then? This is really shocking to hear you had a bad experience with a women's charity in this respect

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goteam Fri 10-Apr-20 10:49:48

Can you look to move to a DV role in the public sector? Local authorities run DV services then you would have the best of both worlds. Job security and helping women.

Also in my charity experience and that of many friends, whatever the cause of the charity, they do the opposite to staff. Eg bullying of staff at anti-bullying charities, anti-poverty charities full of privately educated managers, and as the PP said, women's charities who don't treat women employees well.

The last bullying useless charity manager I had went on to do a masters in international development to move into that field so I imagine has taken his bullying attitude somewhere he can get away with it more easily. Very sad for those he may come into contact with.

Tempjob Fri 10-Apr-20 10:53:14

As pp said, universities are not safe either... From what I hear, they are also fighting financial ruin.

If you want to safeguard your finances during the crisis, it would be risky to leave your permanent job. On the other hand, Women's Aid has probably secured funding that they need to spend on staff costs, or else risk losing that money. The role at Women's Aid sounds great and would open up future opportunities.

I work in a small charity and we are still recruiting through this crisis - in fact we are conducting Zoom interviews for three posts next week. The reason for this is that if we do not recruit, we will probably lose the funding for these posts. Yes, as pp said, charity jobs are not secure but neither are university posts either.

If you think strategically about your options, would there be any way to combine both roles? E.g. to work half-time in both roles? Perhaps these organisations are more open to flexibility during the crisis.

Bouledeneige Fri 10-Apr-20 12:11:58

The charities that are suffering most are those that have a large proportion of income from trading - largely shops, but also hiring out premises and also those that have a heavy reliance of income from participation events fundraising eg. Marathons, tough mudder, walks etc. Others who might be affected are those that rely on memberships and subscriptions or in the longer term investment income.

I wouldn't personally see Women's Aid being vulnerable in any of those categories. I imagine most of their income is from local government contracts - which although a tough place to be during austerity is probably fairly secure and may actually get more funds during this period.

But I'd probably say a university - though they are facing some difficulties with loss of foreign students due to Brexit - are probably (just about) safer bets.

It's a tough one but probably sound advice not to risk changing jobs at this stage and with all the economic uncertainty.

Returnofthemaccies Fri 10-Apr-20 12:31:30

Thank you for posting everyone, a lot to digest, I really appreciate it

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Travelban Mon 13-Apr-20 10:38:19

I moved from charities to the private sector - and I worked for many years in the sector, with a large number of charities.... Then I have moves to the private sector.

The worse bullying and infringement of workers rights I have ever seen was in thr charity sector. Horrible and I would never go back.

Returnofthemaccies Mon 13-Apr-20 16:48:03

Amazing how many people say that about working in charities. Very disheartening I have to say.

I have decided to stay where I am for now. I will continue my voluntary work and get all the training I can. I'll review it next year I guess.

So weird how things can change so drastically. I had my life mapped out, career wise. Now it's totally changed. Career on hold...

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ivebeeneaten Mon 13-Apr-20 18:27:45

The way you are treated and the job satisfaction is very different from a volunteer to a paid role - but you might find your local Women's Aid is great to work for. In terms of a long term plan, job security will never be high, but get to know paid staff at your organisation, see if you can get the lowdown. Don't rely on your interactions with those managing volunteers... They will want your experience to be very positive as you are a very valuable resource.

Returnofthemaccies Tue 14-Apr-20 07:07:10

Interesting point. There is a woman there who I am friendly with, I could perhaps have a frank conversation with her about that side of things. Tbf the role I am volunteering is one where I have constant contact with everyone in the office, and so far I've heard no complaints of bad treatment or dissatisfaction within the company.

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KatherineJaneway Tue 14-Apr-20 07:21:05

so far I've heard no complaints of bad treatment or dissatisfaction within the company.

Not many people openly bad mouth their company so you may find a frank chat with the friendly coworker a better bet for the real lowdown.

Personally I would not move now. It is an incredibly uncertain time and you have relatively few rights unless you have been working for a company for over 2 years. As a pp said, worst comes to worst at least you'd receive some redundancy from your current role.

DurhamDurham Tue 14-Apr-20 07:46:43

I've worked in the voluntary sector for over twenty years, I've just left a charity I worked at for twelve years to join a new one. I really enjoy working in the voluntary sector, it's true that it's always a bit uncertain because there's never really more than 3 years funding at any one time (usually less) so long term planning is difficulty both professionally and personally. Having said that I've always had a job, never been made redundant etc so it's not all bad.
The new charity I'm working for interviewed me at the end of February and I handed in my notice at work, they honoured my start date of 1 April despite being in lockdown as they knew I'd need the wage, they appear to be very supportive and helpful so far.

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