A Career In Social Impact: You Can Have it All, It Just Might Not Be How You ImaginedFeatured

katieinfante's profile thumbnail
I really enjoyed reading this post, not only because it was engagingly written, but because the ongoing search for meaning in one’s work and the full utilization of one’s interests and passions often feel like a unicorn — something that sounds lovely and perfect but ultimately impossible to find, idealistic and imaginary. I’m in the midst of a professional pivot from teaching, a career commonly referred to as a ‘calling.’ Over the last five years, many of my students’ parents have praised my work, creative project ideas, and impact on their children, telling me, as though they believe themselves the first to have ever told me, “It is clear you’ve found your calling!”But I know I haven’t. I have so many interests outside of teaching and feel that I’m using about 30% of what I have to give. I am so eager to move into a new role to begin feeling what you describe in this post, Amanda: that you’re getting closer to this thing you love and by which you feel deeply, personally motivated and fulfilled. I know it doesn’t happen all at once, but I am longing to move into a position and feel the kind of satisfaction that — by everyone else’s apparent estimates — I ought to have been feeling these last five years. Thanks for sharing your journey toward finding this combination of business and passion and reminding me of the gradual nature of that process. Hopefully I will be able to make a post like yours a little further down this road!
amandambaker's profile thumbnail
Katie, it sounds like you're moving in the right direction. Keep taking the next right step!
karinrobinsantos's profile thumbnail
This is such a great write up, thank you!! I’m preparing to pivot into social impact myself (7 years in corporate tech, trying to pivot to make a positive change) and I can’t tell you how helpful this is right now
TanyaKhan's profile thumbnail
@karinrobinsantos hi! I am about to embark on the same journey (i.e. pivoting from corporate to social impact). Would you be open for a brief chat? Would love to learn from your experience. Thank you in advance!
amandambaker's profile thumbnail
Karin, that's so exciting! You're in for a beautiful (and slightly jarring) ride! Good luck!
adriennehatter's profile thumbnail
This was a wonderful read! I myself currently work at a social good startup -- a national, for-profit employment platform for the 70m Americans with a criminal record -- and had a similar "come to Jesus" moment about the ways in which a for-profit model can actually work alongside a social good mission. Insofar as criminal justice reform, re-entry (from prison) and fair chance hiring advocacy have all been nonprofit or government work up to this point, this arena--as are many others--is in fact ripe for innovation. For new approaches that aren't limited to requirements of donors or taxpayers, and for the possibility of a solution that can scale to the size of the problem at hand. I also think you really beautifully captured a concept I've encountered a lot lately amidst recent events in this country (George Floyd, BLM), as many more people have been asking how they can "do more"... except "they're only a service worker, or a product manager etc. etc." Yet, as you demonstrated, ANYONE can have positive impact, in ANY industry. Whether you're in tech, manufacturing, the service industry, real estate....if you truly believe in something, you can interweave it into any job, any culture and any team. Action and advocacy come in many forms. Thanks again for sharing!
amandambaker's profile thumbnail
Hey Adrienne! That moment when you realize business and purpose can support each other is magical (and kinda messes with your life plans for a while too!). Glad it resonated :)
KellyStewartDanner's profile thumbnail
Hi Adrienne - do you mind sharing the name of your org? This is the field I'm most interested in exploring for my next turn (15 years of experience in Ops at startups + consultancies, but a ton of volunteer + activism work on the side). Would love to know how you found it and what similar businesses/orgs you'd recommend.
adriennehatter's profile thumbnail
Hi Kelly, sorry for the delay -- my company is called 70 Million Jobs (www.70millionjobs.com). I'd be happy to chat further about this if you want to send me an email: Adrienne@70MillionJobs.com :)
meghanbush's profile thumbnail
Beautifully said. Thank you for this!
jennko's profile thumbnail
Thank you for sharing your story! It was really interesting hearing about your experience and I can totally relate to your learning that working in social impact doesn't automatically mean everyone and everything is "right" or virtuous.
amandambaker's profile thumbnail
Romanticizing social impact mostly to tears, but it's a journey worth taking!
ajasinger's profile thumbnail
This was so great! I grew up in Toronto :) and am now (after a career in fashion) looking to work with social impact and mission driven brands. I’d love to chat sometime!
amandambaker's profile thumbnail
Fashion (specifically when it comes to supply chains and natural textiles) is my niche passion within my niche passion of social purpose! Send me an email and we'll set up a time to chat! ab@foundersfund.ca
ajasinger's profile thumbnail
Will send you an email now :)
juliachan's profile thumbnail
Inspiring article - glad someone share about social impact and the experience in the area!
DaryaSavishchava's profile thumbnail
Thanks a lot for sharing! I just got out of the corporation changing to a NGO, because i wanted to have an impact. I was also thinking about founding a company with a social impact, and I have just read also an interesting opinion from a social entrepreneur. I think it also unleashes another side of the story for founders and CEOs, who try to build an impact from scratch but face so many challenges.May be also interesting :)https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/always-back-against-wall-story-self-exploitation-black-zarah-bruhn/
amandambaker's profile thumbnail
Oooh, thank you, I can't wait to read it!
ElizabethKaranja's profile thumbnail
Thank you for this timely read! Last year I left my "last" corporate job to move into social entrepreneurship. It's been an interesting journey but sometimes it feels like the purpose isn't as clear to the world as it is to me (we're developing a purpose lending fintech). Your lessons have given me confidence that we're on the right track. We're doing our best to rewrite the digital lending playbook in East Africa and we hope that our contribution will be part of a wave of change to help lives. Thanks again for the encouragement to keep going.
Pinaman's profile thumbnail
This is an amazing piece. Highlights the highs and lows of the social impact world. I am setting up an impact focused fashion e-markplace and would love to connect to discuss certification and supply chain.
TanyaKhan's profile thumbnail
@amandambaker, thanks so much for sharing this. I just posted my ask on Elpha on how to transition from corporate to social impact work. Your post is exactly what I needed to read. What you said about Public and the CEO's vision are so spot on, yet not many companies think this way. Unfortunately, most of the companies that I've worked for translate social impact to volunteering days, CSR programs or their partnership with non-profits, etc. Do you have any advice on how to find other 'Publics' other there? I just started looking into B-corp list but was wondering if you have any other resources. Also, if you're open to having a brief chat on this subject, would love to hear more about your experience. Thanks in advance!