Originally Posted by imatlas
Good call. Usually one of the higher paying positions at any non-profit (not saying much), and at the high end very well compensated.
Originally Posted by skitlets
Please do tell about non-profit development work. Perhaps a PM?
From a previous post of mine on Styleforum: I've touted this field before on SF, but my wife's career track would be great: development work (i.e., fundraising for non-profits). Here are some advantages...
1. It's counter-cyclical, as non-profits must hire to raise money when times are tough.
2. If you're very, very good and high level, you can do well ($500k is not unheard of), though most people are in high five figures where we live (NYC area). Her boss probably makes $150k with a free car and free tuition for her son at a private school (i.e., worth another $50k). If you want to make it a career track, you can get an MBA in development; a former colleague of my wife's is at Yale and will soon be a consultant.
3. There's a weird ethic of taking care of your employees, so even the most benign bosses are considered ruthless and cruel, and are often moved along. Firing someone is extremely rare. My wife hates her boss yet gets anniversary gifts and Christmas gifts from her that routinely cost $100+. If you do not go out of your way to make employees feel welcome, you are considered a tyrant. Consequently, everyone is supposed to be really nice to each other.
4. It's absolutely filled with women, so there are plenty of opportunities to hook up and easy advancement as they quit to have kids, as my wife just did.
5. They have some amazing perks at time. My wife gets 7 weeks of vacation and about 20 holidays. Others get 1.5 time off if they work after hours. If you work at a university, you often get free tuition to take classes (my wife has former colleagues who got free grad or professional school degrees; former co-workers father got a late-in-life degree from Yale). Free food and booze are common. My wife just quit and got paid extra to come in for a few hours to train her replacement, something that would be considered the norm in any other field.
6. The hours are shocking. My wife works 9 - 4:30. In summer, she gets Fridays off. She never works nights or weekends and if she did, she'd get more time off.
7. One type of development work -- major gift officers -- is basically traveling around and schmoozing with rich people in the hopes they cough up big checks. All you do is eat at nice restaurants and chat up richies and oldies. It's considered one of the "tougher" jobs in the field.
8. If you want, you can work for a "save the world" non-profit in line with whatever your interests or beliefs are. You'll feel good about yourself. You can afford to be snooty: "I would never work for such a mediocre Ivy league school!" Or work for another non-profit that others love and it makes your life good -- a friend worked at a NYC animal hospital and tearful donors would stroll and and say "you saved my beloved pooch -- here's $100,000 and a bunch of gift cards for the staff!"
9. You don't need any special skills other than decent writing, organizing and better-than-average people skills.
10. If you work for universities, you can live in relatively inexpensive college towns and extend your youth.
Seriously, it's like the world's best kept secret.
If interested and still at school, stroll into their development office and say you would like to learn more about the field. Maybe even volunteer. Schools often hire their recent grads into (low-paying) positions, which will then allow you to move wherever you like -- other schools, hospitals, charities of all stripes, arts organizations, religious organizations, etc. There's great mobility, so that if you decide one day "I think I'd like to live where it's warm" you can look for jobs in Florida or Arizona and there's no impediment to you going. Unlike law, where you're sort of stuck where you are.
Originally Posted by skitlets
I'm not afraid of taking on loans with income based repayment and loan forgiveness, if public sector work is what I'd end up doing. I agree though, it'd be silly to take on >100k in debt to make 55k a year.
Loan forgiveness is more limited than you might think. I'd investigate very, very carefully. You might say "I can live on 55k" but what happens in 7 years when you're married with a baby and want to buy a house, you make as much as a public school teacher and have a huge debt load that is only partly forgiven and hangs over you preventing you from moving on to something more lucrative or into a job you like? Remember, most lawyers want to change careers, and I say that as a lawyer.