Our Careers: Charity administration April 23, 2012Posted by TCG Info in : Our Careers, career profiles , trackback
Kings College London careers adviser Emma Baker continues our series of posts about our former careers.
After graduation, I wanted to travel and spent two years working in temporary administration jobs between trips abroad. I eventually decided it was time to get a ‘proper’ job. I wanted ain HR job for a charity as I didn’t want to work for a commercial organisation and I had enjoyed the HR related module of my degree.
I knew that lots of charities advertise with the Guardian so I started looking for jobs on their website. It soon became apparent that as I didn’t have any HR experience, I was going to have to start as an administrator. Many of the jobs were advertised through agencies that specialise in charity work so I contacted three that I thought would be able to offer the kind of work I was looking for. I sent them my CV, where I put my temporary jobs at the top to demonstrate my experience in administration. All the agencies wanted me to go and meet them to talk about the kind of roles I was interested in and I found I had to be quite assertive about only being interested in HR as I think they would have put me forward for any admin job to get their fee!
Two of the agencies started sending me details of jobs they thought I would be interested in and I agreed to have my CV sent on to the companies. One of the agencies just didn’t get in touch and I found I had to keep ringing them to remind them I was still looking. I was shortlisted for interview with a few charities. It seemed that competition was much tougher for international aid charities than for less popular UK based ones. I found going to the interviews a really good way of getting a feel of the culture of the charities and there were a couple that I didn’t think I would have enjoyed working for.
I was eventually offered a job as HR Administrator for a national charity supporting people with addictions. Although some of the administration I was doing was repetitive, I really enjoyed the HR work and in particular the training and development work. I had a great relationship with my manager and he made sure that I had plenty of opportunities to try new things including delivering some training. The charity also paid for me to do a training qualification. After a couple of years, I felt I had enough experience to apply for a more senior role as a Training and Development Officer.