My parents work for an amazing charity which does a lot of good work. Giving out to people is something they strongly believe in. They encouraged me to also work for the charity after I left school which I have been doing for a few years alongside an actual job (both part-time).

Ive seen the charity help people. And the kids of my parents friends/colleagues who also work(ed) for the charity have become my best friends. Most of them are also involved to various degrees in the charity.

The sticking point for me is that I don’t really enjoy charity work. It’s selfish to say so, but true. I want to make more money and go into full time work. However, I’m certain that going from a very active charity worker to doing nothing is not going to sit well with my parents. Even I don’t like how it sounds given that other people need help more than I need money. But I still want to go ahead. Also, my very closest friends mentioned earlier would (I think) feel a similar disappointment.

I’m not worried about being disowned or my friendships taking a massive hit but I love these people and have complete respect for what they do and their passion for it. How do I convey to them in the least damaging way for all our relationships that I want to pursue a career now?

  • 6
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it sounds like a phrasing request. Feel free to edit to make it sounds less like one.
    – Ael
    Nov 5 '19 at 7:48
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    Hi Forgal! To help with solving the issues that AElis raised in their comment, could you tell us if you've already tried to talk to them about it? If so, how did it go? If you haven't, what makes you think "simply telling them" wouldn't work? This is valuable information to include in your question so that people could answer it with a better insight. Thanks!
    – avazula
    Nov 5 '19 at 9:11

Focus on what the charity work prevents you from doing. There is nothing wrong with seeking personal growth. You want a full time job, and you want a career. You want to acquire knowledge and experience that the charity work is not allowing you to pursue. Focus on the non-monetary aspects that the charity work cannot fulfill. Most importantly, for your own sake, figure out a long term goal, something that a full time job will be a major and required step towards achieving. Once you have all of this clear for yourself, then your ready to discuss it with those you care about.

I've had several career changes, and left great cities and amazing living situations to pursue my career, in various ways that my parents and some friends have not understood. Often when people judge or question your decision, its simply because they only know their own perspective and don't know why you are making the choice you are. Empower them to empathize by sharing whatever is motivating you to want the change. Even if on the surface it mostly seems like it's monetary, there's a reason you want to have more wealth, so you can think through and explain that part too.

When you broach the subject after thinking through the path you want to take, start off with the things you want, then why you don't see the current charity work as being able to fulfill them (or fulfill them quickly enough), then explain how you plan to fulfill those things with your new path. This always falls under the old idea of "ethos, pathos, logos" where when speaking to an audience, you first have to establish the context, then align your audience emotionally with what you want to say, and now you can present logic.

For example:

"Your child has cancer"
"I have some bad news"
"I'm a doctor, and I've run some tests"

Is the reverse order of what we would expect, but these are the pieces of information that need to be presented.

Following proper order:

Ethos: "I'm a doctor, and I've run some tests"
Pathos: "I have some bad news"
Logos: "Your child has cancer"

In your case:

Ethos: "I've been thinking really hard about what I need for my own personal growth"
Pathos: "The work we do is important, and I do want to continue"
Logos: "I really want to _____, so that I can _____, in order to _____. And that is why I want to work on becoming/doing _____"

These phrases specifically aren't great or very specific, but hopefully get across the idea of how you want to structure when you discuss the change in your work/career. You can also work on figuring out how to phrase your starting statements in a way that gets people to say yes or generally agree with you. Such as "Shouldn't everyone spend time discovering their own potential?" etc.


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