Three Myths of the Impact Job Search



Think you know what it takes to land that perfect impact job? Do you even know what that job looks like? Even the savviest Net Impacter can benefit from a closer look at the reality of positioning yourself for a job in this market.

Later this month, Net Impact Conference speaker and career consultant Shannon Houde hosts “Map Your Skills to the Sustainability Jobs Market,” an Issues in Depth interactive online workshop. But before jumping on that call, there are some things you should know about what it takes to land a job in CSR or sustainability.

Myth 1: I need to demonstrate a single career trajectory to appeal to employers

Traditional wisdom once insisted that job seekers demonstrate an almost single-minded focus on a specific career path to be desirable in the job market. But massive shifts in economies, technologies and, let’s face it, generational differences have changed all that.

The reality: More and more companies are getting the memo that there’s a new kind of workforce. As Shannon points out, “There’s really no direct career track.” Luckily, this is good news for those looking for impact jobs.

“It’s a very ambiguous place,” Shannon says of the sustainability and CSR world, “because it is changing constantly.” This means that a successful search requires us to look at how our unique skills and experiences map to those sought after by potential employers, and position ourselves accordingly. Shannon’s Issues in Depth call on February 28 will walk attendees through that process.

Myth 2: The impact job search is sexier than the search for a conventional job

Many of us set out on this path driven by the search for more meaning in our day-to-day, and spend our hours dreaming about what it might be like to really see the tangible impact our work makes on the world around us. So it’s pretty easy to see how we might romanticize what it takes to get there.

The reality: Impact job searchers rarely have the luxury of a structured process or dedicated job funnels. This is especially true for students, where traditional job seekers benefit from on-campus recruiting programs that hold their hands through a highly structured timeline. Without the advantage of a clear path to follow, they have to become “map makers,” navigating their own path, creating their own timelines, and holding themselves accountable.

“We have to be so much more creative now about how we go about our job search,” says Shannon. This is why Net Impact developed our Six Steps to Job Search Success, and created MAP (Making a Path), a peer support group for impact job seekers now kicking off across the country.

Myth 3: Landing the job is the hardest part

Hey, we work with job seekers, job switchers, and job experimenters constantly – we get how challenging the process can be. Once you’ve taken a good, long look in the mirror, done your due diligence, jumped through all the hoops, and the ink is finally dry on that job offer, it’s tempting to sit back and enjoy the ride.

The reality: “Skills are at the crux of this whole [job search] process,” Shannon says. “You need to be able to articulate your skills, position your skills, and translate your skills.” But the most successful impact careerists know that the process doesn’t stop on day one of your new role. “This is something you’re going to be consistently doing throughout your entire career, and you should be thinking about it whether you’re in a job, or not in a job, or changing a job.”

Join Shannon this Feb. 28th for her “Map Your Skills to the Sustainability Jobs Market” interactive online workshop (completely free for premium members). Not a member yet? Join today.

By Jess Sand at Net Impact Central    Send article as PDF   
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