Inside Community Developer Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"High Pressure Job With Low Pay...
I am surprised at the level of stress associated with this field. I knew going into it that it was known for high burnout rates, but I did not know the amount of pressure that is put on employees to make sure their is enough money to keep programs running. I am also surprised that it does not pay very well considering how much work is necessary." (Employment Manager; 2014)

Career: 9 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Social Sciences at Binghamton University in New York; completed Master degree in 2005

"Nonprofits Offer Wide Range Of Opportunities...
Working for nonprofits allows me to wear a lot of hats and learn a lot of new skills. Some more corporate positions don't offer the same flexibility to explore different roles." (Program Associate; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, female
School: Studied English at Iowa State in Iowa; completed Master degree in 2012

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Team Leader: "The best part of my career, hands down, is that I feel as though I am truly making a difference in my community. It is great to see volunteers feel a sense of accomplishment after a hard days work of building benches, bookshelves, painting murals, or tree planting. Setting the team dynamics in a group of diverse individuals is a challenge, but it is satisfying once your team learns to fully trust and respect you. The toughest part of this job is the pressure to meet all of the corporation's needs and wants." (2011)

Career Background

Community Developer

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Rewarding Work, But Pays Low...
If you are interested in a field that is rewarding and allows you to help people to live richer lives, I would recommend looking into human service related jobs. please keep in mind that these jobs do not tend to pay very well, so keeping your education costs low would be advisable." (Employment Manager; 2014)

"Nonprofit Networking And Volunteering...
If you want to work for a nonprofit, try volunteering for one first to get a sense of what tasks you enjoy. Also, network with other nonprofit professionals as much as possible." (Program Associate; 2013)

"Stay Positive And Organized...
Keep a positive attitude and focus on all of the positive praise that you receive from doing this kind of work. Become as organized as you possibly can; keeping track of a budget efficiently and correctly depends on this skill. Using a calendar will help you utilize your time more effectively. Take time to "recharge your battery," in a sense. It's important not to become tired and jaded because you aren't getting where you wanted as quickly as you wanted." (Team Leader; 2011)