Today, I heard someone say something like, “None of us wake-up and decide we’re going to work in nonprofit.” Now, I understand how he likely meant that. A lot of people do “fall” into nonprofit work. I’ve heard the "fall" story time-and-time again. And, even me… there was a time in my life that I really didn’t understand the nonprofit sector or how it contributes to society.
But, for the last eight plus years, I’ve made a conscious decision to work within the nonprofit sector or to have a job that supports it. And, I had a really terrible feeling when I heard that “none of us wake-up and decide on nonprofit.”
‘Ya know that untrue saying, “Those who can’t do, teach?” It’s crap, right? Yes, it’s crap. It should probably be, “Those who can’t teach, do.” Because, teaching is really hard. OR, better yet, it could be, “Some people have some talents and some have others. We use them where they’re best suited.”
So, the terrible feeling I had when the room snickered a bit at “none of us wake-up and decide on nonprofit” was that they were all thinking, “Those who can’t corporate, nonprofit.”
Now, I know I have an inferiority complex when it comes to nonprofit issues, which means I also know I’m overreacting to a quote I’ve probably taken right out of context because of my internal challenges. But, I often feel like the nonprofit sector is treated as “less-than” the corporate world. I mean, I’ve literally been told 1) I should be volunteering and should not be getting paid because my husband should be making the money, and 2) I’ve had someone stand next to me while I was working and assume out loud that all the ladies in the room were volunteering our time. I rather abruptly corrected him.
I guess I just want to make it clear that a lot of nonprofit professionals wake-up every morning and choose to go to work in the nonprofit sector. And, not because we’re super good people with gigantic hearts. I wouldn’t describe myself as such. The truth of the matter is that I’ve thought and do think regularly about my career with nonprofit organizations. I’d be lying to you if I said I never think about trading it all in for suits and corporate structure and parking garages. And, I mean those things in a positive way because some of that suits my personality and work environment needs pretty darn well.
But, I never think about leaving the nonprofit world because it’s “less-than” the corporate world. And, as long as I’m committed to professional work for nonprofit organizations, it’s because I’m choosing that path for myself one day at a time.
If you’re a nonprofit professional, do you ever feel like the nonprofit sector is seen as “less-than?”
Woman. Coffee. Water. Baseball. Media. Flying. Fear. Anxiety. DOGS. Philanthropy. Justice. KC. NYC. No meat. Conflict. Blank Ballots. Cool colors. Black. Severe weather. Family. Introvert. Art. Beck. Ad Reinhardt. Eggplant. Koalas. Sunday Morning. True Crime. Thinking. Innocence. Attorney. Tulips. Migraines. Blankets. Writing. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Home accents.