Careers in the Third Sector

For a long time, the model for socially-aware executives was: “First I’ll earn some money, and then I’ll think about how to help other people”. The current generation doesn’t want to wait any longer. You can see this in the growth in management courses for the social sector with the ever-younger students. According to the Brazilian Geographical and Statistical Institute (IBGE), the Third Sector already employs 1.8 million people in Brazil and this growing trend should continue for the next ten years.

For people who want to work in this sector, a few steps are recommended: think about your personal interests, values and limitations (salary expectations, for example); investigate fields of work and causes related to your personal interests; get to know organizations working successfully in your chosen field. These steps are key because the social sector is very diverse. The simple desire to “do good” does not always lead to good career choices.

Every organization has different requirements: some need specialists, others versatile professionals. Visit them, volunteer a few hours of your time, get to know the organization and the sector. There is a huge need for talent. This kind of interaction can lead to offers of full or part-time work. I developed my social direction over ten years of working in business before founding sitawi. Today, four years on, I am thrilled at the number of people coming to us with the desire to contribute to our mission to develop a financial infrastructure for Brazil’s social sector. They are professionals with MBA’s from Harvard or experience in consultancies like McKinsey or Boston Consulting Group and sure of the professional path they want to follow.

In a world ever more conscious of existing social and environmental challenges, models of consumption and professional and social engagement are being revisited. We live in challenging times, with opportunities for the emergence of innovative initiatives and the possibility of having ever more talent where it makes the biggest difference.