If you want to get into the non-profit sector, you may be wondering how do non-profit jobs work. How do they differ from jobs with a corporation, and how easy are they to get?

While non-profit jobs are definitely different than corporate jobs, they also have many similarities. Here is what you need to know before you apply for one.

Salaries — In many cases, the salary you will be offered at a non-profit organization will be quite a bit less than a comparable salary at a company. This is due to a non-profit not being in the business of making huge amounts of money and, therefore, having a limited amount they can spend on salaries.

Most of the money a non-profit raises is supposed to go to the services they offer. That is why staff salaries are kept as low as possible.

Benefits — You may find benefits like health insurance are actually better at a non-profit than at a corporation. If they are not, they are at least usually more affordable.

In fact, some people work at non-profits simply because they know their benefits will be better than if they work in the corporate environment.

Work hours — While overtime is not unheard of at a non-profit, it is far less likely than it is at a corporation.

This means you can usually bank on only working regular hours during the week, with an occasional late evening or weekend work just a couple of times a year. In a company, on the other hand, you could find yourself having to work far more overtime hours than you expected to have to do and, in some cases, without pay too.

Motivation — While you will usually find that the motivation for working for a company is due to increasing profits and to trying to make that company be as successful as possible.

With a non-profit, however, the motivation lies in raising as much money as you can, and then using it to provide services for people that need them. In other words, while companies are all about maximizing profits, non-profits are all about helping as many people as they can.

Experience — Many people who work for non-profits say they enjoy the experience. It tends to be a calmer, gentler, nicer place to work. A place where employees are valued, and where the work they do is something for the greater good.

Compare that with working in a corporation, and you may find the constant need to perform and to sell more products or services makes it a much more stressful environment. In some cases, depending on the company, it can be abusive.

Working in a non-profit or in a company is completely different, and it is up to you to decide which you want to do.

Is being successful and selling as much as you can a motivator in your life, or is working in an environment set up to help people far more important to you?