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The top 3 myths about moving from the commercial sector to a not for profit finance job

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With the event of COVID-19 rapidly changing the world and status quo, a lot of people have taken this time as an opportunity to step off the daily treadmill of life and reflect on what really matters to them, including whether their current job role is giving them genuine satisfaction.

With Moir Group’s core purpose being ‘Satisfying Job, Fulfilling Life’, we believe that working for an organisation that aligns with one’s own personal values is a key driver for happiness in a role and, for this very reason, we have helped countless finance professionals looking to make the move from the commercial sector into a not for profit finance job.

However, we are also hearing from a number of candidates that their preconceptions about moving to the not for profit sector are making them think again. These presumptions are often based on a lack of knowledge or understanding of how the sector has shifted over time, particularly in the last 5-10 years.In this article we uncover the top 3 myths about moving from the commercial sector into a not for profit finance job and the reality behind the myths.

Myth 1: It’s difficult to move back to the commercial sector once you have moved to a not for profit finance job

This is a theme that often comes up from our candidates when discussing their concerns about taking an NFP position. There is a perception that once you have left the commercial sector, your value quickly drops, making you a less desirable prospect for commercial businesses in the future.

However, the reality is very different. A shift in the sector means that more NFP organisations recognise the need for hiring highly commercial and astute employees, especially in the last 5 years, which in the long-term has improved the reputation of candidates coming from this sector back into commercial finance roles.

Commercial organisations are also increasingly seeing the value in finance professionals that have a range of different sector experience and are able to bring fresh perspectives and new ways of approaching business challenges.

Myth 2: You’re going to take a significant pay-cut if you move into the not for profit sector.

NFP finance roles have traditionally been associated with lower salaries. And whilst this may still be the case for some smaller NFPs, we have definitely seen this turn around over the last 5-10 years in mid-large NFP organisation with the increasing demand for highly qualified and astute finance staff.

Another notable financial benefit of moving to a not for profit finance job is the tax concessions provided for not for profit organisations and their staff. The most notable of these is an exception for Fringe Benefit Tax. Termed as Salary Packaging, a proportion of NFP employees’ wages can be used as a tax reimbursement against a variety of personal items (including holidays and travel), a definite perk of the job!

In addition to this, NFPs are generally less affected during times of economic struggle, often being supported by Government funding. This potentially means greater job security during turbulent times.

Myth 3: Working in the not for profit sector is all about the work/life balance.

On the flip side, there are also misconceptions about the benefits of moving into the NFP sector. A lot of candidates we meet list one of their reasons for wanting to move into a not for profit finance job as to alleviate job pressure and lessen the number of hours they work.  However, finance professionals we meet who come from the sector tell a very different story, saying that an NFP finance role is actually harder than commercial based on the volume of compliance issues to manage.

So whilst, an NFP finance role is definitely rewarding, community- focused and potentially a better values-fit for you, it’s not necessarily going to mean shorter hours!

Download our Not for Profit fact sheet.

Looking to transfer your skills into the not for profit sector? We can help.

At Moir Group, we take a hands-on approach with candidates, considering cultural fit in any placement and offering hand-on support to both candidate and client to ensure ongoing success.

For not for profit organisations seeking support for their finance staffing needs, we have a strong track record of placing of placing highly experienced finance professionals, from Payroll Officer to CFO level, and with a diverse skill-set across a range of industries.

Kelly-Ann Arthur,  Vicky Lazarus and Sarah Ottley are all Senior Consultants within Moir Group’s Not For Profit division. Our experienced team are on-hand to help you effectively make the transition to a not for profit finance job.

If you would like help to make the transition to a job in NFP sector or are looking to source quality finance professionals for your Not For Profit organisation, contact our team.

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