How to Transition to a Social Impact Career
From our partners Amref Health Africa

How to Transition to a Social Impact Career

Are you a mid- or senior-level professional looking to make the switch from another industry to social impact?

As a seasoned professional, you’re unlikely to want to star as a volunteer. It is feasible to transfer your abilities to acceptable nonprofit roles—it may just take a little more time and energy to discover the ideal fit.

You’ve probably already considered the path you want to take, whether it’s to work for a community-based group, a worldwide NGO, or specific health or environmental concern that you’re passionate about. However, it’s crucial to narrow it down, even more, to figure out what kind of company would be a good fit.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Make your skillset applicable to social enterprises and non-profit organizations: Learn the organization’s vernacular and demonstrate how your skills and expertise may benefit them. 

  1. Make an effort to educate oneself: Read any relevant materials and watch as many informative documentaries about the sector as possible. If you are not a reader, try audiobooks (most can be rented for free from your local libraries). You can also start using social media to your advantage. For instance, on Twitter, start following like-minded thought leaders. Speak with individuals in your area. “Get close,” Bryan Stevenson advises. Before you start interviewing for employment, make sure you understand the key players and concerns in the industry you wish to enter.

  1. Consider social intrapreneurship as an option: It’s possible that you won’t need to change careers or start a new organization to make a difference. Within your current organization, you might be able to make things happen. To effect change, we need more individuals working within major businesses. Corporations are brimming with individuals who want to do the right thing; all we need now are more leaders on the inside who can make it happen.

Find methods to make the most of your current abilities; they may be more valuable than you realize. Finally, look into the issues that concern you. For prospective social entrepreneurs, firsthand involvement with a problem will provide invaluable insights. The point is, absolutely anyone can pursue a job that has a positive societal influence. 

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