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Business careers don't have to involve high-stress management, financial finagling or marketing a product you don't like. If you'd rather not flog Cheetos; if you're looking for something that's a little more meaningful, jobs in non-profit organizations may be just for you. Non-profit organizations (including non-business functions such as governments) account for over 20% of the economic activity in the United States. This is a large sector with opportunities to provide service that you shouldn't overlook.

There are many different types of jobs in non-profit areas ranging from social causes, helping causes and also jobs in the arts, government, religious organizations, public health and museums. An increasing trend is toward "social entrepreneurialism" or "venture philanthropy" where funds invest in projects and measure their return by impact made. See the Acumen Fund for an example.

At their best, jobs in this sector can be highly rewarding, creating connections between you, your community and the broader environment. Yet, it's also important to recognize that many people that enter non-profits don't stay there. At their worst, non-profit organizations can be frustrating, bureaucratic and unlikely to ever impact the cause they are addressing.

One of the most interesting aspects of jobs in non-profits is the experience you will gain early on. A career in non-profit organizations can require the individual to perform all functions found in other marketing careers. The opportunity to make "traditional" marketing decisions at an early age intrigues and draws many individuals to the non-profit field.

The non-profit sector is your chance to make a difference. A real chance to contribute to society and grow while you're at it.

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