Tips for Finding Meaningful Career Opportunities

The pandemic has given employees time to pause and reflect on what matters most out of a career, including the kind of organization they work for. Many are realizing it is not enough to just be a cog in the wheel, they want to find meaningful work with an organization that prioritizes employee well-being and gives back to the community.

This isn’t new thinking. The Cone Communications Millennial Employee Study found that over half of millennials won’t take a job from a company lacking a Corporate Social Responsibility Policy. In a world where millennials and gen z make up a third of the workforce, this statistic has impact. Just as well, job loyalty starts to skyrocket at over 80% when a corporation contributes to the same social and environmental issues that employees cares about. 

While this mindset and work culture shift are palpable, many folks still are unsure how they can best fill their 40+ hours in a career that matters to them. 

What Do YOU Care About?

The good news is that the Digital Age has made it easier than ever to find work. Before going down the internet rabbit hole, you need to define what your purpose is. Take your time with this. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What impact am I having in my career today?
  • What impact do I hope to have in my next role?
  • What unique experiences have my background given me?
  • How can I make a difference using that experience? 
  • What causes align with my personal beliefs?
  • What is the most meaningful way to spend my time?

Once you have identified your skills and capabilities, along with the values alignment you’re looking for with a company, it’s time to figure out which companies to intentionally seek out.

Look at the causes you care about and research which companies donate, support and are actively involved in those spaces. Get your boots on the ground and go to events centered around your occupational areas of interest. Once there, find out which companies are sponsoring the event and chat with the likeminded individuals to see where they work. Once you have some inspiration, you are ready to begin your research. 

Do Your Homework

Once you know which organizations align with your goals, you’re off to a fantastic start! Now it’s time to do some research and networking. First and foremost, you should uncover these things about the companies you are interested in.

  • What is the company’s mission, vision, and purpose? 
  • Where and how do they spend their time (and money) giving back to the community? 
  • What’s their story? Why is being a mission-driven organization vital to them? 
  • If the company is public, look up its financials. What causes are they supporting? 

Then, utilize the internet for opportunities. Linkedin can be your best friend here. Take time to find current employee profiles and study their growth trajectory. Follow organizations’ Linkedin pages to stay informed on their latest job openings. If your background aligns with a posting, apply with a resume that showcases your relevant skills. Then, if you land an interview, be sure to read up on articles about the company and listen to any podcasts that their executives have been a part of. Since purpose-driven opportunities are in high demand, you want to make sure you stand out as a candidate. 

All in all, there are a plethora of resources that can help you get started. If you still need some guidance on where to look, poke around these websites for inspiration: 

  • 1% For The Planetalthough this organization does not have a job board, they have a member directory. If sustainability is something you value, take a look at 1% For The Planet’s guide to identify organizations you would want to work for. 

  • B-Corp makes it easy to find impactful work in a variety of purpose-driven fields. B-corp has created a search tool where job seekers can find jobs by state, keyword, experience, and impact area. There are also local B Corp groups within different cities who host networking events for people who wish to use business as a force for good.

  • Great Places to Work conducts surveys of employees across different age groups, company sizes, and locations to see how satisfied they are with their company. These surveys are published annually, showing which certified companies have the highest employee-led ratings.

  • Idealist – This website is the Google for mission-driven work, volunteer, and internship opportunities. Search by keyword, skill, or interest area and select where you would like to work.