Eimear Walsh Not for Profit, Digital Marketing, Career Advice...
The whole concept of work has shifted dramatically in recent years. The pandemic has brought the “work-life balance” issue to the fore once again and employers, in a drive to retain key staff have in the most part, continued to offer a hybrid working model. However, it’s not just the hybrid/remote working aspect of their job that is a concern to employees. Research has shown that a large majority of people define their purpose through work, particularly for the millennial generation. People are really looking for opportunities in the job they do every day to make a real contribution to what they believe their purpose is.
Purpose is personal – it’s a combination of what you love, what you’re good at and how you can contribute to the greater society. While previous generations wanted to work for the big brands, younger generations now look specifically for employers (and roles) that fit with their own values. They want to work for an organisation or in a role that has some type of social impact.
For many people, a job with purpose means a job with an organisation whose values align with their own. There’s a real business case for employers to help their employees find and truly live their purpose at work. If they’re happy, their productivity goes up, they’re more likely to want to stay with that company thus making a positive impact on both the company’s bottom line and their ability to retain staff thereby creating a vibrant company culture and giving their employees a real sense of belonging.
So how does someone connect to their purpose in work?
There are two main types:
(1) Through the actual work they do – this is when the work that they do on a daily basis is directly aligned with their own sense of purpose which is connected with the organisation’s
(2) Enabled by their employer – even if the person isn’t working in a role with a particular purpose that aligns to their own, their employer can still enable them in terms of support, eg. setting up a committee on sustainability, providing support & publicising their efforts in fund-raising for a particular charity or allowing them additional time off to pursue this purpose
Marketers – ideally positioned for roles with purpose
We’ve noticed a marked rise in the number of marketing roles for non-profit organisations in recent years. Organisations have realised that the (correct) use of marketing strategies to raise awareness of their cause as well as drive fundraising and encourage support is vital for their future success. Roles Alternatives have successfully recruited for in recent months with non-profit organisations include the following:
Marketing Communications Officer
Digital Marketing Manager
Fundraising & Marketing Officer
Internal Communications Executive.
All of these roles have been roles with a distinct sense of purpose and strong social impact where people really feel that they can make a difference to other lives. While every marketing team is faced with the challenge on how to do more with less, this is considerably more so when it comes to non-profit organisations where resources are limited and budgets range from small to non-existent. Apart from having a purpose, what makes these roles more attractive to marketing professionals is the creative challenge and the relative autonomy (still operating within guidelines) that they offer. Marketers have to be innovative and resourceful while still trying to amplify support, create awareness and secure much needed funding. Whatever the particular marketing aspect of the role is, be it communications, fundraising or digital, it all contributes to the success of the organisation and as a result, fully align with the individual’s sense of purpose and help make their work meaningful to them.
An additional benefit is that because non-profit organisations can be small, it means that those working there usually are in a diverse role gaining exposure to different areas of the business, thereby developing other transferable skills. Working in a non-profit firm also expands their valuable network of contacts. Working in such organisations grants access to executive and non-executive directors on their boards which may include social activists, government officials as well as influential connections. It also offers a great opportunity to work with other like-minded colleagues who all share the same sense of purpose. Such individuals are creative, fun and incredibly interesting to work with on a daily basis.
If you’re a marketing professional seeking to move roles and would like to explore the idea of working for a non-profit organisation, contact myself in Alternatives on firstname.lastname@example.org
Eimear Walsh is the Managing Partner of Alternatives, Ireland’s leading marketing recruitment consultancy.