Many people dream about a job that not only fulfils them on a professional level but also on a personal one. Knowing that your work is having a positive impact on the lives of others is a great feeling, and many people actively choose to change their career path looking for that kind of gratification. In fact, according to a 2018 research report, 9 out of 10 people are willing to work for a lesser salary to do more meaningful work.
For-purpose organizations are very diverse – from multinational corporations which choose to invest in social or environmental programs, to small-scale start-ups and social enterprises, and also nonprofit organizations. One thing they have in common is the kind of worker they are looking for: someone who is committed to their mission on a larger scale and can go the extra mile.
Are you eager to work at a for-purpose organization? Here is our rundown of the five key skills you must consider:
For-purpose organizations know that their workers need to pay mortgages, loans and earn a living. But they also expect them to want and need more than that. Workers at for-purpose organizations are not only interested in making money, but the organization as a whole and its mission.
We can define engagement as “the strength of the mental and emotional connection employees feel toward their places of work”, which in for-purpose organizations means having workers who actually care about the causes they are working for. It’s not just about reaching targets and indicators – it’s about generating the kind of long-lasting impact that actually changes people’s lives.
Plus, engaged workers are more productive, increasing profits by 21%. Feeling engaged is better for the worker’s health and happiness, but also for the organization.
For-purpose organizations are tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time. At a time when foreign aid and charity seem to be losing ground, a plethora of for-purpose organizations is filling the gaps by coming up with new ideas and investing in social innovation.
Therefore, it’s no wonder that for-purpose organizations are looking for workers who can think outside the box and mix elements from both the private and public sectors to revolutionize social impact. For-purpose organizations are notorious for fostering a great environment for innovation, and they need workers that can take advantage of that and thrive.
For-purpose organizations are not looking for stagnate workers, but rather people who actively try to learn more about the cause they are devoting their careers to. That means knowing who are the change-makers, the main trends, the most important events, and publications related to a specific social impact area, as well as which skills are essential to advance the work of the organization.
Curiosity is widely considered to be a key skill for a changing world of work, in which workers must be enthusiastic about learning new things and constantly searching for more information. Keeping up with the fast-paced environment of for-purpose organization is not easy, but a hungry mind will always keep pushing forward.
Because for-purpose organizations can have such a great impact on people’s lives, it is important that workers hold themselves accountable. After all, anyone who is in the position to create a lot of positive impact also holds great power to make horrible mistakes. In recent years, many scandals erupted of companies and nonprofits doing harm due to negligence or ignorance. Professionals working at for-purpose organizations know they have to do better to ensure their actions are actually benefiting society.
Fulfilling the mission of a for-purpose organization means carefully monitoring the impact of its actions and being open to criticism and honest feedback. Having workers who hold themselves accountable is great for the organization because it leads to better performance and results, but it is also an important step to ensuring the mission of the organization is respected by everyone involved.
For-purpose organizations need workers who know the importance of working as a team and collaborating with respect and motivation. Stimulating social impact requires the effort of many people coming together for change, and encouraging the respectful and empathetic exchange of ideas and points of view.
Feeling comfortable in a multicultural workplace and being able to work with people from diverse backgrounds is also very important because for-purpose organizations have a track record of being more diverse and inclusive. Women are much more likely to start a social enterprise, for example, than any other form of business. Promoting diversity and inclusion is not only an important step to advancing equality in the workplace, but it also pays off – diverse companies are 19% more profitable.
Working at a for-purpose organization is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it requires a high level of commitment and motivation. It will drive you to think critically about social issues, to question a lot of your preconceived notions and discover new things about yourself – all of this in a fast-paced and stimulating environment focused on innovation and social impact.
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