So you’ve just graduated from college and you want to change the world. Good for you. The non-profit sector seems like a natural place for a justice-minded person such as yourself, and nonprofits are almost always hiring because the turnover rate is so high. But you may find the social justice industry to be… a little unjust. Here are a few tips and tricks for how to avoid being exploited by a nonprofit.
- Don’t work at one. Seriously. Working at a non-profit generally involves at least some level of exploitation. (When was the last time you saw a non-profit with a union?) If this doesn’t deter you, figure out what you’re willing to give up: Is it sleep? Weekends? Seeing your friends? Most non-profit workers do not work 9-5. Working nights and weekends is common. Paid overtime is not. Non-profits tend to make you feel like if you are not willing to work 24/7 then you are not “down for the cause.” That’s bullshit. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you’re not “down enough” because you are not willing to sacrifice your well-being for “the movement.” People who don’t take care of themselves burn out and often become jaded and bitter. You can’t sustain “the movement” if you don’t sustain yourself.