Building a Career in the Impact Sector: Conference Advice from the Pros

By: Shannon Houde | December 12, 2012

How do I transition out of my old job and into the Impact Sector?

As a sustainability careers consultant, this is one of the most common questions I get asked by my clients, and the recent Net Impact panel discussion Breaking into the Impact Sector: Solving the Experience Catch-22 was a great opportunity to explore some of the answers.

Joining me on the panel were three women who have been there, done it and bought the sustainable cotton T-shirt: Allison Jones moved out of education and into social media and editing at Idealist.org, Ashley Jablow moved from non-profit fundraising to business in a community management role at Open IDEO, and Jeanne Simon moved from financial services to a role at Accenture's non-profit arm, Development Partnerships.

Over the course of the hour-long discussion the panel offered candid, creative, real-world advice about how to break into impact work without a lot of direct experience (don't miss the audio of the full session below).

Breaking into the Impact Sector: Solving the Experience Catch-22

Be smart with the communications tools at your disposal

Sustainability professionals need great communication skills, so use yours to start a conversation with potential employers through social media. Ashley, Jeanne, Allison, and I all agree that it's critical to use all the tools at your disposal to develop an engaged, online presence and start piecing together a circle of contacts. Twitter and blogging are fantastic ways to do this - just make sure your blogging is consistent in terms of timeliness, tone, and topic.

For me, social media was a real door-opener, Ashley told us (listen in at 16:32). I reached out to different companies through Twitter and said 'Hey, I'm interested in what you're doing; can I have an informational interview?' We also discussed how to move beyond using these tools for just networking, and actually help bolster your resume (19:40).

Making an impact professionally requires making a personal impact, too

Once that's done, though, get busy developing genuine personal relationships with prospective employers. Connecting with real people is another essential sustainability skill, so demonstrate that you've got what it takes by nurturing professional relationships with a confident, calm attitude. Even for the currently unemployed (perhaps even especially), this is key. I'm totally quoting my mom, Ashley half-jokes (starting at 15:20), 'You're not going to be unemployed forever.'

So keep your network vibrant both during the job search and once you're happily settled into your next role, too. A lot of the networking I've done has been internally at my own company, says Jeanne Simon (17:36). I really started to move into roles I was passionate about because I met the people who were working on those teams. Her work in Accenture's CSR practice last year is a perfect example: The woman who hired me really wanted skills that I had acquired as a commercial consultant, and then asked me to come onto her team.

Make yourself useful to those already doing impact work

Allison Jones offers some deceptively simple advice (18:40): celebrate other people's successes, share interesting information, be helpful, and be useful. When I hear of something great that has happened to someone that I know, I share that with other people, and I send them a personal note and make myself available.

"What can you offer? Ashley remembers hearing in another Net Impact Conference session (13:05). She suggests looking to the professionals around you as your future peers, and connecting with them to offer your skills, time, and enthusiasm to help them possibly on a pro-bono basis at first. Start...thinking about what you know, what you love, and what you can do to help them, she says.

If you're already working within a company, investigate your company's CSR and sustainability agenda and then network with people on the teams you want to join. Jeanne experienced this through her work with Accenture and found that internal teams will talk openly with fellow colleagues and the people excited about these ideas will talk to you, too. So once you're in a role, keep reaching out and get to know the people who might be your next boss.

If you're a student looking to build your skills in community engagement, project management, and collaboration, launching an external-facing project on campus is a great way to do it. Allison, for example, set up a math and science tutoring program at college with student-driven leadership (11:58). And with a Net Impact chapter on more than 250 campuses nationwide, and a variety of skill-building experiences to take advantage of online, there are plenty of opportunities to lead.

So in a nutshell? Engage, communicate, connect, and make the most of your opportunities to build up the skills you need to get the impact job you want.

Listen to Breaking into the Impact Sector: Solving the Experience Catch-22

Breaking into the Impact Sector: Solving the Experience Catch-22

Shannon Houde, MBA, is founder of Walk of Life Consulting, the first international career coaching business focused solely on the environmental, sustainability and corporate responsibility fields. She also launched and currently runs the Acre Career Coaching service for leading sustainability recruitment company, Acre Resources.

Comments

We all are looking for a beneficial and suitable career. Therefore we need to follow several expert advice and stay motivated towards our career goals; here we can get some tips on how to building a career in the impact sector. In professional field we are facing high level of competition and while dealing with these problems we can refine our career success.
Career transition coaching

jasa pembuatan web dan pembuatan tukang taman surabaya berkat kerjasama dengan akkarya.com. Selain itu juga kami berpartner dengan jasa konveksi baju surabaya untuk mengerjakan keperluan seragam kerja kami selama ini. Tak lupa juga rekanan kami kurator kepailitan

Paket wisata di Lombok hemat bersama keluarga 2018. Pastikan anda mendapatkan penawaran paket tour Lombok dengan harga paling terjangkau untuk Anda sekeluarga. Breeze Lombok memberikan harga paket liburan ke Lombok dan paket wisata labuan bajo paling murah untuk menghabiskan waktu santai Anda bersama kami

Jasa transportasi Lombok menghadirkan penawaran spesial awal tahun 2018 berupa rental mobil di lombok / rental mobil lombok atau sewa mobil di lombok dan sewa mobil murah lombok yang juga memiliki rental bus pariwisata lombok untuk melayani wisatawan yang ingin berlibur ke pulau lombok. Harga khusus untuk 10 customer pertama yang booking kendaran diatas 3 hari. Silahkan buktikan dengan mengunjungi website kami

Solar cell Indonesia dengan main resources dari pju tenaga surya selalu berinovasi menciptakan tekhnologi yang ramah lingkungan. Kami hadir memberikan penawaran menarik berupa pju tenaga surya yang banyak digunakan untuk jalan raya dan juga taman. Untuk lebih hemat bisa dikombinasikan dengan menggunakan lampu sehen indonesia buatan PLN. Selain lampu penerangan jalan, kami juga bekerjasama dengan Lorentz sebagai produsen pompa tenaga surya kelas dunia.

Anda cari penjual botol kaca yang memberikan harga dan jaminan pengiriman on time? Silahkan langsung kunjungi website kami www.muliaindah.com untuk mendapatkan berbagai macam jenis botol kaca yang sesuai kebutuhan Anda. Ada juga botol kaca ASI lho. Yuk, segera klik muliaindah.com untuk mendapatkan promo harga termurah

I just want to say thanks for your wonderful post free gift card generator

One can for sure build such a career but also make sure to have knowledge in Fortnite hacking as this is becoming increasingly important in today's world. Everyone is addicted to Fortnite Battle Royale and this knowledge would definitely help.

Nice write-up! I really like the many articles or blog posts; I actually beloved, together with I need guidance relating to this, for the reason that it's beneficial.
Islamic Dua For Success
Muslim Kala Jadu

Very effective post, it's give me new ideas on my life.
Love Problem Solution By Vashikaran Mantra
Love Dispute Solution By Pandit Ji

gadai bpkb cepatgadai bpkb mobil cepat gadai bpkb mobil di pegadaian syariah
jasa web jasa pembuatan website perusahaan
jual komputer bekas warnet terima komputer bekas terima lelang komputer bekas lelang komputer bekas kantor terima server bekas jakarta
web hosting indonesia hosting murah unlimited indonesia
jasa pembuatan website perusahaan jasa website perusahaan jasa web profesional>
jasa pembuatan website profesionaljasa website profesionaljasa pembuatan website perusahaan
jasa pembuatan websitejasa website
jual komputer bekas warnet jual beli komputer bekas terima komputer bekas kantor
terima beli komputer bekas beli komputer bekas warnet jual laptop bekas
pinjaman dana tunai cepat dana tunai jaminan bpkb mobil
gadai bpkb mobil cepat gadai bpkb mobil di pegadaian
obat aborsi asli jual obat aborsi terpercaya
obat aborsi ampuh jual obat aborsi ampuh
obat aborsi jual obat aborsi terpercaya obat penggugur kandungan terampuh
sedot wc surabaya barat sedot wc sidoarjo murah
cara menggugurkan kandungan 1 bulan cara menggugurkan kandungan 100 persen berhasil
jasa desain interior kantor jasa desain interior apartemenjasa desain interior toko jasa desain interior tangerang
jasa pembuatan website perusahaanjasa website company profile jasa web profesional
jasa seo terbaik jasa seo website bulanan
gadai mobil tanpa bpkb jakarta gadai mobil di pegadaian tanpa bpkb
daftar harga pipa 2018 pipa pvc sni pipa limbah wavin pipa hdpe wavin pipa air bersih
jasa penerbitan bank garansi jakarta jasa surety bond jakarta
obat aborsi kandungan obat aborsi asli obat aborsi cytotec
asuransi mobil terbaik asuransi mobil terbaik dan lengkap asuransi mobil all risk terbaik
mesin crusher mini mesin stone crusher type 3040 harga mesin stone crusher
best steam cleaner
pagar brc surabaya harga pagar brc surabayajual pagar brc murah
jual obat aborsi surabaya kotajual obat aborsi semarang codjual obat aborsi daerah karawang
jual obat aborsi asli jual cytotec asli obat aborsi asli ampuh
gadai bpkb cepatgadai bpkb mobil cepat gadai bpkb mobil di pegadaian syariah
harga madu hutan harga madu hutan sumatera

I would like to say thanks for share an interesting and informative post. keep posting ..
Vashikarn mantra for Love

I Have Never read this type effective And Unique content! Keep Undated….
World Famous Astrologer in India

Pages

Shannon Houde

Join Now

Popular Impact Articles

Subscribe to the blog

By email

By RSS