People who choose to work in the social sector start out with at least one advantage: they are motivated by their idealism – as opposed to many others work simply to make a living. Many nonprofit professional are deeply devoted to their organization’s mission, and they feel the rewards of a career that “makes a difference.” But while nonprofit professionals benefit from a very natural energy source, how do they sustain their motivation, commitment, and passion in the long haul when what they do for a living barely makes a living and the grind never stops?
As I gradually discovered, too many people in the nonprofit sector lose their spark and succumb to burnout. Always selling hope and trying to convince others to take action can be emotionally draining. Many of the issues that nonprofits deal with on a daily basis have no surefire solution. Working towards the seemingly intractable (such as ending poverty or achieving world peace) and not knowing whether their efforts are making any difference at all also leads to frustration and burnout.
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