September 11, 2023

Joining the social sector: Boomer vs Gen-Z

Whether it’s a career-switch or your first job, the world of nonprofits may seem poles apart to a 40-year-old and a 20-something.

2 min read

1. Going on a field visit

When your non-profit has just announced a day-long field visit, and the email says: “Don’t forget to wear comfortable walking shoes.”

In your 40s: The thought of Walking. All. Day.

mr india disappearing--nonprofit humour

In your 20s: Finally, a free excursion (hopefully, with free food)!

johnny lever saying, "Abhi maza aayega na bhidu."--nonprofit humour

2. Getting your first paycheck

You receive your first tax-deducted salary.

In your 40s: You miss your 8-figure paycheck, and after the panic settles down, you remind yourself that you’re doing this for social good.

a wistful akshay kumar thinking about selling his kidney--nonprofit humour

In your 20s: You do not miss your 0-figure internship stipend.

akshay kumar, paresh rawal, and sunil shetty plotting in phir hera pheri--nonprofit humour

3. Going to a seminar

You attend your first dev-sec seminar where everyone’s speaking in acronyms and you can’t understand a word of their jargon.

In your 40s: You want to seem relevant, so you ask a question nonetheless.

anushka sharma crying--nonprofit humour

In your 20s: You turn to IDR memes to understand what’s what.

tiger shroff in war, saying, "Jo seekha hai, aapse seekha hai."--nonprofit humour

4. Coffee

You learn that coffee/ tea will only be served twice a day. For refills, there’s the chai tapri outside the office.

In your 40s: Coffee will be served only twice a day? You miss your corporate butler.

alia bhatt crying, "Mujhe ghar jaana hai."--nonprofit humour

In your 20s: FREE coffee will be served TWICE a day.

govinda saying to salman khan, "Itni khushi mujhe aaj tak nahi hui."--nonprofit humour

5. FCRA lost = Salary cut

You can stay and work for the cause you love, or look for greener pastures.

In your 40s: You ask yourself if you’re prepared to give up the good fight (even though you haven’t set up a retirement fund yet).

amitabh bachchan as a lawyer in the film pink--nonprofit humour

In your 20s: You choose to stay and be stoic about it.

a young shah rukh khan looking deadpan--nonprofit humour
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Halima Ansari-Image
Halima Ansari

Halima Ansari is an editorial analyst at IDR where she’s responsible for writing, editing, and publishing content. She is interested in gender and ethics in technology and has written on the same for Feminism in India and MP-IDSA. Halima holds an MA in Politics and Area Studies from Jamia Millia Islamia and a BA in History from Lady Shri Ram College for Women.

Joeanna Rebello Fernandes-Image
Joeanna Rebello Fernandes

Joeanna is a writer and editor at IDR. She has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 15 years, covering culture, built heritage, and urban history for The Times of India, Mumbai Mirror, and Goodearth Publications. She has authored three children’s books—for Goodearth Publications, Penguin India, and Tulika Books. Joeanna has a master’s in English literature, a bachelor’s in journalism, a diploma in Western art appreciation, and a certificate in children’s library education.