Open Thread | What Motivates You?

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Is it the mission of your organization that gets you out of bed each morning? Your incredible colleagues? Salary? Benefits? The promise of coffee in the lunchroom?

We want to know what keeps you going

There’s a big misconception out there that social-impact professionals are fueled strictly by the idea of “the greater good” above all else. But I have a feeling that our motivation is as diverse as the folks in the sector.

The more vocal we are about what we want and need in our organizations and in our work, the more likely we’ll all be to encounter nonprofit employers willing to experiment with perks, pay, benefits, and office culture as a means to staff retention.

Whatever it is that gets you going and keeps you going each day, share it in the comments below or tweet us at @idealistcareers.

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As a seasoned communications professional with 15 years of nonprofit experience and 6 years of experience creating engaging content and copy, I love the idea that a thoughtfully crafted piece of content can spark social change. Here at Idealist Careers, I'm eager to offer job seekers, game changers, and do-gooders actionable tips, career resources, and "social-impact lifestyle" advice.
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  1. I recently made a leap from public middle school STEM teacher to nonprofit IT instructor. While I was completely satisfied on all fronts in my education career, moving into the nonprofit world has been refreshing. There is fewer bureaucratic constraints and workflow seems to be much more efficient. My nights and weekends are mine again. I still have the reward of helping others with a servant’s heart, contributing to the greater good, and seeing tangible results within my community. From a monetary front, it’s true that I bring home a smaller paycheck but conversely, I’m able to provide health insurance for my family with friendlier rates offered to nonprofit employees. Bonus: I have an employer-matching contribution to a retirement account for the first time.

    • Deborah
    • May 10, 2018

    For me, it’s the mission and my colleagues’ passion for the mission. One of the things I love about the nonprofit world is you can work on an issue you’re passionate about, surrounded by people who are similarly passionate about that issue and driven to make a difference.

    • Emily
    • May 13, 2018

    There are two things that get me out of bed. The first one is that there are a couple coworkers I generally enjoy seeing and talking to, so if it’s a day where I know I’ll get to catch up with them in the office, that’s motivation. The second thing is the youth that I serve directly , who are just fun people to be around. So I guess the short answer is the rewarding relationships afforded by my work.

  2. For me my motivation comes from the cause that I am contributing to, for example, I work for Epilepsy New Zealand, so when I am doing my job, I feel like I am helping people with epilepsy in a way, which is a cause personally close to my heart. Also, I believe that people you work with is very important, people who make you feel good and appreciated, so that you go every day to your job and feel happy to see those people

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