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Your McMurray Career Advice

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Building Your Career in the Non-Profit World

With a thriving Social Profit Sector and 320 not-for-profit organizations in Fort McMurray, there are endless opportunities to be a part of something meaningful. Getting involved with one of these organizations as an employee or a volunteer is a great way to support the community and build your own toolkit at the same time.

Coming from a non-profit background myself, I can tell you that it is an extremely rewarding experience with plenty of job satisfaction. The non-profit world is the perfect place for those that are passionate about a cause and committed to helping others, as the basic purpose of these organizations is to provide services to the community and to disadvantaged groups.

Each non-profit organization has a unique mandate and purpose to serve specific groups within the community such as: the Centre of Hope serving the homeless population in Fort McMurray, KidSport Wood Buffalo offering opportunities for underprivileged youth to be involved in sports, Wood Buffalo Food Bank providing food and resources to families, children and adults in need, CHOICES Association of Fort McMurray supporting individuals with multiple barriers to securing and maintaining employment, and YMCA Employment Link offering employment supports to newcomers and immigrants. These are only a few and there are so many more; we can only begin to imagine all of the services that are available through these organizations to the residents of Wood Buffalo.

Why work for a non-profit? When it comes to building experience and knowledge, you can bet you will get that plus more by working for a non-profit organization. As an employee in a non-profit organization you have the opportunity to wear many different hats and learn a variety of skills that will assist you throughout your life and career. Working in the social profit sector will help you understand what your passion is and if you love to help people; then you know you’re in the right place!

Why volunteer for a non-profit? Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and also a great way to support the organizations and individuals that are working so hard to provide the services. But, did you know that volunteering is also a great way to build your experience and resume? This could be what separates you from your competition and a great way to get your foot in the door and begin your career in the non-profit world. Get involved as a volunteer and gain valuable experience alongside professionals in this sector as well as gaining an opportunity to network- you never know the world of opportunities that may open up for you!

Discover and learn more about the non-profit organizations and services available in Fort McMurray by dropping by our Alberta Works Centre (9915 Franklin Avenue) for the upcoming ‘Community Connections’ that will be taking place starting this fall. Stay tuned to our Facebook page at or for more information on upcoming events, job fairs and job postings. Come browse our job board to seek out opportunities that may be waiting for you, or to speak to a Career Employment Consultant for some one-on-one help with career planning, advice, resume development, job search and all your other career and employment needs!


Samra Ilyas works for Alberta Works/Human Services in Fort McMurray, providing employment and financial supports and services. With expertise in career development and years of experience, she shares some advice and ideas through the YMM Career Advice column.

Samra is also a community leader and dedicated volunteer; participating in various boards/committees such as the RMWB Landlord and Tenants Advisory Board, Collaboration for Religious Inclusion, Northern Lights Sisters Association and a local school council. She is a strong advocate of Fort McMurray and actively encourages and promotes volunteerism as a way to give back to the community.

Got a question or have an idea for a topic? DM and follow Samra on Twitter @ilyasSamra.