How to Make the World Better *and* Make a Living - Deepstash
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Business Writing

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The Do-Gooder

The Do-Gooder

Do you have a passion for making your community better? Do you want to help people experiencing poverty or discrimination, improve lives through education, work in international affairs, or protect people’s health and safety?

If that’s the case, you may be interested in a public service career.


51 reads

Reasons For Choosing A Career In Public Service

  • You want your daily work to feel meaningful and to contribute to something bigger than yourself.
  • You have a passion for a particular mission or topic, possibly for personal reasons. (For example, some people work in public health after watching a family member or friend experience an illness or injury.)
  • You’re motivated by the benefits or perks of certain work settings, like excellent retirement plans at government agencies or a vibrant culture in a particular nonprofit organization.


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Types Of Organizations: The Government Sector

You might work for a federal entity like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Or you might work for a state or local government in similar, smaller departments, or for elected officials or the courts. Civil servants—such as postal workers, public school teachers, police officers, and county social workers—are also government employees.


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Types Of Organizations: Non-Profits

Nonprofit organizations pursue “charitable, religious, educational, or scientific” purposes, according to the IRS. They cannot make a profit, and must use any extra funding toward their mission or purpose. The nonprofit sector is incredibly diverse, comprising 1.3 million different organizations in the U.S. Some nonprofits you may have heard of include Habitat for Humanity, the Sierra Club, Save the Children, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Red Cross, religious organizations, and arts organizations.


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Types Of Organizations: Private Sector

While they may be less traditional, public service jobs also exist in for-profit companies. Some companies incorporate corporate social responsibility into their work, ensuring that their goods or services are beneficial for people and the planet while also earning a profit. Others take that idea further to become “B Corporations,” which are specific types of for-profit entities legally committed to balancing profit and purpose (e.g., the Body Shop, Allbirds, and Patagonia). Some for-profit companies are government contractors, which implement some of the work of government agencies.


6 reads

Kinds Of Jobs In Private Sector

There are hundreds of different kinds of jobs in public service. As in any workplace, functions such as human resources, IT, accounting and finance, marketing, communications, community outreach, and public affairs are needed to keep an organization running smoothly. But there are a few other kinds of employees that are particularly in demand in the realm of public service.


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Jobs In Public Sector: Program Manager

Program managers focus on designing and delivering the core service of the organization. This can include conducting assessments of a community’s needs and strengths, planning and implementing a program, and conducting evaluations of a program’s effectiveness.

Program managers often need specialized training or knowledge of a particular program area. For example, someone designing a public health program like a diabetes education initiative would need a background in public health, nutrition, or other related fields.


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Jobs In Public Sector: Technical specialists

Many jobs in public service require specific training or credentials that align with the particular mission and work of the organization.

An educational organization will hire teachers, therapists, social workers, and librarians; an environmental organization may hire a fisheries biologist, an environmental educator, a sustainability specialist, an environmental scientist, and a park ranger; a city government might hire an urban planner, a civil engineer, an emergency-preparedness specialist, and a water treatment specialist.  


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Jobs In Public Sector: Policy Analysts and Advocacy Specialists

Some organizations hire policy analysts, advocacy specialists, and others whose roles include analyzing the possible impacts of proposed legislation in terms of effects on the community or the cost to taxpayers. These roles often require some extra training in policy analysis or public administration, as well as political savvy and strong analytical, writing, and persuasive communication skills


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Jobs In Public Sector: Fundraisers

Roles in fundraising and development exist primarily in nonprofit organizations. You might focus on institutional grant or donor report writing or on appeals to individual donors. Some roles are even more specialized, like jobs focused on asking people to include a nonprofit organization in their will (planned giving) or running large-scale fundraising events.


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Find a Public Service Job

A few suggested steps to help you get started:

1. Decide what mission you care about.

2. Decide what job you want to do.

3. Find out what qualifications you’ll need.

4. Do some networking, informational interviews, and career exploration.

5. Search for open positions.


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Preparation: Resumes

Regardless of what type of public service job you’re applying to, it’s important to tailor your resume to match the language of public service—particularly if you’re entering the field for the first time. So carefully read the job description and make sure you’re using the keywords from the posting in your resume and emphasizing qualifications that are relevant to the position.


3 reads

Government Jobs: Important Points

If you’re applying for government and civil service jobs, here are a few pointers:

  • Follow all instructions. You might be required to fill out special questionnaires, answer essay questions, or even take a civil service exam.
  • You may need a federal resume. The federal government has a specific resume format so you may need to restructure your resume significantly—especially for civil service or federal government positions.
  • Exact qualifications matter. Many government job postings include a specific number of months and years of experience you need in a given role or with a certain skill.


3 reads

Applying For Government Jobs: More Is Better

As opposed to a typical resume, where you’re trying to be concise. If the job requires specific skills, clearly describe how you used those skills in any past job that you did or you may not make it to the next round.


4 reads

Cover Letter

For some public service jobs—especially those in fundraising, policy analysis, communications, program management, or other functions where writing is a critical part of the role—a cover letter is an important part of your application. Consider it a writing sample that can prove you have the skills to do the work, or not.


7 reads


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