Have You Considered Working for a Charity?

Meri Mayhew is the Charity Adviser to the Veterans Strategy. A former RAF officer, she is speaking at the Officers’ Careers Forum about working in the not-for-profit sector.

Why should serving and former officers consider working in the not-for-profit sector?
There are a wide range of opportunities available that are ideal for Service leavers, in a variety of roles and locations. The sector includes everything from tackling climate change to helping vulnerable people. This can make working for a charity highly challenging and rewarding.

Why did you choose to work for a charity?
When I was leaving the Armed Forces, I wanted to work in the third sector because it had fulfilling roles. My first post-military job was as CEO of a local independent charity. I did this for three years, and I enjoyed working there. It also acted as a good next step to bigger roles.

How good are the salaries?
Salaries can be lower than other industries, but this is usually compensated with a better life-work balance. Obviously, most people want to earn a top salary, but a more sensible approach is to determine how much you need to earn. In this respect, I think the salaries that the not-for-profit sector offers are competitive.

Do employers want to recruit former officers?
Career opportunities for former officers are improving all the time, as more employers better understand the value that you can bring to their organisations. This is supported by the original Veterans Work report, which involves Deloitte, The Forces in Mind Trust and the Officers’ Association. In addition, many organisations are running military recruitment programmes.

Why should Service leavers attend the Officers Careers Forum?
This may be the first time you have applied for a job in many years, so you need expert advice and the Officers’ Careers Forum gives you the chance to assess your career options. By hearing about the opportunities available to you, and the steps involved for each, you will make better informed decisions.