As of March 2021, around one-third of adults in the UK think it will take six months or less for life to return to normal. The uncertainty has been tough, but it does bring an opportunity to reassess our priorities. If you’re considering a new job, you could find gratifying work close to home.
1. Become a link worker
Link worker roles exist to connect people to support within a community for any number of reasons. In recent years, many link worker positions have been created as part of the government’s social prescribing initiative, where health workers refer patients to local, non-clinical support through link workers.
Link workers may need to travel, work with multiple agencies, undertake home visits, and work on support plans. In our search, we were able to find a wide range of link worker jobs with organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, Age UK, criminal justice organisations, and local NHS centres.
Fundraising jobs are vital to the third sector. Because of this, many larger organisations have dedicated fundraising teams, providing opportunities to gain experience at various levels (i.e., fundraising coordinator, manager, etc.). In smaller organisations, the fundraising manager often has sole responsibility for their department.
Fundraising staff find themselves overseeing budgets, developing campaigns, writing grant applications, and much more. Many organisations create internal links between community teams, meaning there might be opportunities to work with other departments, too.
3. Do your current job, but for a charitable organisation
If you’ve previously worked in the private sector, you might not think you have the right experience to work in the third sector. But many core skills are transferrable and highly sought after.
There are many ways to find jobs in the third sector, such as on job search websites like indeed.co.uk or LinkedIn. You can also find dedicated third-sector job portals like CharityJob and ThirdSector, or look on your favourite charity's websites. Remember, if a job or website looks too good to be true, contact the organisation directly for more details.
4. Undertake community engagement
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), community engagement is the process by which organisations and individuals "build a long term relationship with collective vision for the benefit of the community”.
Charities often choose to undertake community engagement in their own way, according to what their organisation needs and the best way to engage their audience. This means there isn’t one job spec for the role, but a broad range of options.
Whatever the organisation, you can be sure the job will involve lots of contact with the public, professional organisations, and even volunteers, with the aim of promoting wellbeing.
5. Teach your subject
Teaching options depend on which age group you’d like to work with. Secondary school staff might be the first role that comes to mind when you think of going into education, which usually requires a PGCE.
If that route isn’t for you, there are lots of other options out there! You could work in further education through a college, be contracted in privately as a music or languages teacher to work with a primary school, or become a secondary school assistant. Whichever route you choose, there are usually qualifications to be done.
If you decide to work with adults, organisations such as the WEA often look for knowledgeable teachers for local short courses and evening classes. You might not even need a qualification if you can prove relevant industry experience! To find out more, visit their website.
6. Work at your local council
Your local council will have a website advertising new positions regularly. The website jobs.ac.uk gives advice on getting into the organisation. Although jobs vary widely between councils, jobs.ac.uk says that the following jobs are usually most in demand:
- Social workers
- Planning officers
- Environmental health officers
- Building control officers
- Legal professionals
- Occupational therapists
Jobs at local councils often offer increased flexibility, a good pension scheme, fair leave (maternity, paternity, adoption, etc.), and aim to promote equal opportunities.
7. Set up your own local business
Have you ever dreamed of working for yourself, making those all-important decisions with absolute freedom? Then it might be time to start your own business. If you enjoy working in the community, you could establish yourself in your local area and use your connections to boost trade.
The UK government has published a guide to starting your business, but before you set up, you should consider creating a business plan. To help, many local council's offer business support schemes for new and developing enterprises. You can search here or contact your local authority for more details.
8. Be an employability coach or careers adviser
There are many paths for people looking to go into employability. You could work at a university or college careers department or find a role through a local charity. Some positions will require qualifications, such as a degree or a qualification in careers guidance & development and relevant work experience.
To give an idea of what the job entails, here is an example role description from Cambridge Regional College:
“You will be providing impartial careers information, advice and guidance to our adult learners and apprentices supporting them to make informed decisions about progression and develop effective career management and decision-making skills”.
What is the third sector?
The third sector encompasses organisations such as non-profits, community groups, social enterprises, and NGOs. These organisations aim to improve wellbeing and make a difference in society.
However, you don’t have to work for a charity to be involved locally. We regularly publish articles on how to help out your community, including tips on setting up a support group and generally making a difference where you live. If you have any of your own recommendations, let us know on our social media pages!
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