Posts Tagged "career planning"

Finding a Career with Purpose Part 2: ‘I’m too young, or too old’

 

Book Series 2

 

If you are one of the increasing number of people who think about pursuing a career with real impact and benefit to society, beyond money and power – then you will also know that it’s not that easy. You might find you have very good reasons not to pursue a path of values in your work – time, age, money, and background. Or are they just excuses?

Based on hundreds of career profiles and interviews, we worked out the main reasons why people avoid the transition toward a more meaningful career. Here is one of five with reference to our book, The Future Makers.

 

Excuse 2: ‘I am too young, or too old’

It’s possible to reset or transform the tracks at every stage of your life. Whether you are young and feel you are lacking skills, local support and experience or nearing the end of your career and not sure what you can offer, there is a place for you in creating impact through your work.

Age does not define what we can do or achieve in life, only your attitude and clarity of vision and thought.

 

Too young?

You have invested in your studies or vocational training and have high hopes for the future. That means earning enough money not only to live, but to show you made the right choices and meet the expectations of your family, friends and peer group – and yourself.

It’s a simple path. For example, taking the corporate route to ensure you have enough strength in your CV or resume and enough money to live the life your friends do.

The problem comes with dissatisfaction. If you already believe strongly in the impact you want to make in the world, can this be achieved through traditional career routes? You’ll have nothing to fall back on. Maybe the people who surround you think you are a dreamer – unrealistic and unable to stick to a sensible plan.

This doesn’t need to hold you back from defining an alternative career that meets your personal values and motivations to have impact. Take Mia Hanak. An art history major with a strong affinity to the environment and now an entrepreneur. Mia founded Millennium Art and the Natural World Museum, following an extended period of travel after her studies.

She saw how our global, growth-driven society impacted on every corner of the globe. She didn’t have a background in environmental science, but she did have a wealth of knowledge and interest in the arts. Mia focused on solutions, not causes and looked at ways to use her passions to create interest in the environment from a different perspective: art. Solutions are a strength of the young.

Creating impact and building relationships can still be tricky. You need to be credible. You don’t have the experience to draw on and the barriers seem much higher than when you have established networks and are already very clear on what you can offer.

Then there are the thoughts of others who have supported you. Mia’s family support her, but often ask when she will settle down. It doesn’t matter. She continues to create impact through her work and raise authentic awareness of environmental issues.

Some might say, only the young have that gift of that all-determined faith in their cause and their adaptable and fast-developing abilities. What are yours?

 

Too old?

Many would say that Dr V might want to enjoy the fruits of his labour a little. Why work on a difficult or a lost cause, when you could be enjoying your retirement – which you worked hard for your whole life? In his own words, ‘What does retirement even mean?’.

People might say that you’re in crisis. Lost. Not sure where to go or what to do next. You need to learn to enjoy your freedom and stop finding distractions to focus on.

But this thinking isn’t for everyone. When you have a wealth of experience, skills and life behind you, you are probably one of the best-placed people to look at an existing situation and see clearly how it needs to change.

Dr V took on a challenge in his later life. An Ophthalmologist and a visionary, he started to use his background to create social change at the age of 58. He saw the suffering all around him in India, people without access to his skills to prevent blindness. Why do 50 million people have to be blind?

He saw retirement only as an opportunity. To make a new life for himself, and for others. He created the Aravind-Hospital in 1976, using his close networks of family and friends who he had supported in their professional growth, to now support his. He didn’t have money, so he re-mortgaged his house. He treats two-thirds of his patients for free to prevent unnecessary blindness.

His challenges were logistical, rather than personal. He was clever enough to use his vision and credibility to inspire his close family and networks. Where are you credible? Where can you build on that? Do you want a relaxing life, or a change to rejuvenate yourself and give something back through creating a whole new chapter?

 

Stop procrastinating

Young people excel at action, innovation and courage. Older people bring in valuable networks and a healthy distance to outcomes.

Both have a lot to offer. Think about where you are now, and what you have done. Or what you want to do. What skills and networks exist? What passions do you have? What’s your character – therefore what really matters to you? What’s your vision for the rest of your life?

Map this against what you need to make your vision become real. Not what you haven’t got, but what you have got. Then surround yourself with people who not only support your vision, but can help you make it happen. Whether that be the younger and more energetic, action-orientated, or the older, more experienced people with the right networks.

The journey is the destination, in the words of Karen Tse. On both sides, it’s just a new adventure. The fact you even set out to create impact through your work is testament to your strength of character and your determination and, therefore, your success.

What do you want to be known for? Start the journey now.

 

Resources to help you

  • For more inspiration and to read the stories of Vicky Colbert de Arboleda (Education, not drugs) and Isaac Shongwe (A lost child of the slums and an African leader). You can purchase The Future Makers book in both English and German.
  • Read part 1 ‘I don’t have the right professional background’ and look out for part 3 of our blog series: ‘I’m not financially secure’ week commencing 17th November.
  • Sign up for our workshop ‘Career Confidence: Business Model You’ in Zurich on 29. November (in German) to explore your values and skills and plan your meaningful career,  or contact us for one to one consultation on how you can create a more meaningful career
  • Visit the Impact Hub Network – a global network of collaborators focused on making a positive impact in the world.
  • Read about Social Intraprenuership to learn more about how to create social value from inside your current or future organisation.
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Finding a Career with Purpose Part 1: ‘I don’t have the right professional background’

Book Series 1

 

If you are one of the increasing number of people who think about pursuing a career with real impact and benefit to society, beyond money and power – then you will also know that it’s not that easy. You might find you have very good reasons not to pursue a path of values in your work – time, age, money, and background. Or are they just excuses?

Based on hundreds of career profiles and interviews, we worked out the main reasons why people avoid the transition toward a more meaningful career. Here is one of five, with reference to our book ‘The Future Makers’.

 

Barrier 1: ‘I don’t have the right professional background’

What skills are really required to create social change? You don’t have to be a doctor, lawyer or finance expert to make things happen. Each individual has a unique set of experiences, values, skills and talents which when utilised in the right way, with the right support, can make the world better and more sustainable.

Almost every professional background has something to contribute. Whether as a support or advisory on projects you care about or as the speer-head of a new concept or organisation. It’s time to address the excuses.

 

Change is scary

You probably know many people who aren’t happy in their work. Or in their life in general. Are you one of them?

You may be struggling to understand how you can contribute, what skills you have to offer others – in addition to the fear of failure, the unknown and lack of control.

Remember – on the journey to a more meaningful career, your professional background and skills are one the strongest assets you have. They are often developed and established in alignment with your personality, a great foundation and sometime a point of return for a plan B.

The triggers to address your career motivation are different for everyone. It could be you are unhappy, frustrated or completely disillusioned with a problem you see again and again. It could be you are completely burnt out, through continued effort with little personal gain. The learning curve might be over, the motivation doesn’t run like it used to.

This is not failure, it’s a sign from yourself that something needs to shift. Where are you at?

 

Finding meaning through your professional background

If you want to make a difference to your own and others’ environments, you have to take responsibility for the role you play. Every person is defined in some respect by a set of values and interests, which sometimes and sometimes not, they use to create a career that fits. Often those values have been influenced by people around you and you may not completely buy into them.

Then what happens is that your career doesn’t fulfil all of those values. But it does build skills in influencing, professional specialisms, practices and business. That is priceless when it comes to taking control of your future direction.

Look at the story of Safia Minney, in the The Future Makers book. Safia was a communication and advertising professional, disturbed by the lack of support for the cottage industries in Asia and the seemingly forgotten homeless society of Tokyo. Safia used her values and outlook, teamed with her creative and communication skills to create Global Village, an NGO focusing on publicising information about socially and ecologically conscious shopping possibilities and People Tree, a global business that has changed the way consumers and industry view the quality of fair-trade products.

 

Tests & challenges

Without her professional background, Safia would not have had the skills to create focused change through communication. She used her background to work on entirely new industry and her creativity to overcome the barriers her organisations faced.

You will come across many challenges – where your excuses will run wild and give you the opportunity to fail conscious-free. Family and peers will question your sanity. Financial uncertainty will rock your world much more regularly than you would have hoped.

But these are just bumps on the road. Change only comes through disruption to some degree, whether that be internal or external. With strong values and skills aligned to the work you want to be part of, the personal and societal impact you have will outweigh your fears.

 

Stop procrastinating

Think about what you have to bring. Then think about what you care about. What is important to you? What, if anything, would you like to change in the world?

Many seemingly too-specific assets are valuable across social innovation projects. Networks, finance knowledge and creativity to name a few.

You can fill gaps in technical knowledge through a number of routes including education, team members and collaborations. An increasing amount of social innovation is done across sectors, industries and functions, therefore experience from multiple perspectives is highly valuable.

Plan accordingly. Where can you start to test your skills? Volunteering, part-time consultancy or even a big move into an established impact organisation with a salaried job.

These are all questions you need to ask yourself and answer honestly. Through that, you can stop using your background as an excuse and use it as an enabler. What will be your story?

 

Resources to help you

  • For inspiration and to read the stories of Albina Ruiz Rios (From Jungle Girl to Refuse Queen), Chris Eyre (A very different kind of venture capital), Maria Emilia Correa (From critiquing business to taking responsibility), you can purchase The Future Makers book in both English and German.
  • Look out for part 2 of our blog series, ‘I’m too young or too old’ on Tuesday next week.
  • Sign up for our workshop ‘Career Confidence: Business Model You’ in Zurich on 29. November (in German) to explore your values and skills and plan your meaningful career,  or contact us for one to one consultation on how you can create a more meaningful career
  • Visit the Impact Hub Network – a global network of collaborators focused on making a positive impact in the world.
  • Read about Social Intraprenuership to learn more about how to create social value from inside your current or future organisation.
Read More

The Social Intrapreneur’s Journey: Part 2 [Infographic]

 

You know you want to make a difference.  You see yourself as a Social Intrapreneur. What next? Here’s how to make it happen.

 

Following on from our Infographic ‘The Social Intrapreneur’s Journey: Part 1‘, we’re excited to share The Social Intrapreneur’s Journey: Part 2 – How to make it happen.

We’ve spent some time working through the main things that will help you.  Where to start, what to expect, watch outs and tools that will help you on your journey to creating value as well as profit in your organisation.

You can also download the PDF version, where you will find links to the useful resources and support mentioned in the infographic.

If it is useful to you – please share, share, share!  We need more Intrapreneurs in the world, helping to create greater meaning in their work and social value alongside profit.

 

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5 Pathways to a Meaningful Career : Part Five. Pathway of Passion

 

5 paths 600 px 5

 

 “The world is our museum” Mia Hanek

The Path of Passion is the final in our series and probably, initially, one of the most difficult to realise through work.

If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the other four paths: Concern, Talent, Effect and Values.

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The Social Intrapreneur’s Journey: Part 1 [Infographic]

 

What is really involved in becoming a Social Intrapreneur?

It’s not always obvious, so we have developed this infographic to help you understand if becoming a Social Intraprenuer, or indeed an Social Entrepreneur is for you.  And what that really means.

You can also download the PDF version, where you will find links to the useful resources and support mentioned in the infographic.

If it is useful to you – please share, share, share!  We need more Intrapreneurs in the world, helping to create greater meaning in their work and social value alongside profit.

Read More