The holidays are coming up, and with any luck, that means time off for family, friends, and fun – with a sprinkle of job searching on top. In that spirit, I'm turning this week's newsletter on its head to help you make the most of the next few months: we're diving into how I find these opportunities in the first place.
If you want the TL:DR version, here it is:
- Find companies with social impact credentials
- Find companies backed by impact investors
- Find industry associations tied to your mission area
- Find high-rated nonprofits
- Find listicles in a social impact area
Here's the key insight into why this makes a difference: it cuts down on volume. There are millions of jobs out there. You can find the ones that fit your keywords quickly, but finding ones that align with your values? What's the keyword for that? So we use a proxy – something that implies this is a company that cares about social impact.
Let's go over how this works:
Social Impact Credentials
A social impact credential, like Certified B Corp, means the company has been vetted by a third party for their social impact efforts. That's the strongest credential I am aware of, however, there are other, more specific impact credentials as well. Consider Just or 1% for the Planet – these are more focused on DEI and environmental impact, respectively. These organizations provide directories for searching companies who have these credentials.
Impact investors can be a single person or an entire venture capital organization that prioritizes social impact alongside financial return. In effect, the impact investor has done the vetting for you. As a starting point, check out Unreasonable and City Light.
Sometimes these organizations host their own job boards designed to serve the companies in which they've invested, or you can do what I do: find companies whose descriptions resonate with you, then go directly to their websites.
Note that these companies are often early-stage, so they are great if you want that fast-paced environment. If you are risk-averse and want a more traditional 9 to 5, you should cross this option off your list.
Industry associations can be a great way to find a long list of mission-aligned companies quickly. The idea here is that entire groups of companies join organizations focused on a given mission area – think education, solar energy, and healthcare. These organizations list their members on their websites, making it easy to find ones whose mission aligns with your own.
Here are a couple of examples: The American Council on Renewable Energy, ACORE, and the Solar Energy Industries Association, SEIA. As with the options above, sometimes these organizations host their own job boards in addition to detailing out their member companies.
Everyone knows a few nonprofits, but I was shocked to learn there were over 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. alone. Working at a nonprofit isn't for everyone, but they don't pay as poorly as you might think, and you're pretty much guaranteed to find a team whose passion for social impact rivals your own.
Honestly though, 1.5 million nonprofits is a lot to look through. That's why I'd recommend using a nonprofit review website instead. The proxy in this case is the nonprofit rating – as with product reviews, a large number of high ratings indicates that the nonprofit has some credibility and scale. Charity Navigator is the first website that comes to mind, though you'll find others as well. You can also do a Google search for nonprofits in your mission area, like "early childhood education nonprofits."
This last option is rather unique. If you're not familiar with listicles, these are articles like "10 best taco restaurants in SoHo" or "25 movies to watch on Netflix before they disappear."
I am as much a fan of tacos and movies as the next guy, but in this case, you're looking for listicles about companies in your mission area. For example, check out "The 10 most innovative companies in social good of 2023" from Fast Company and "20 Companies That Use Their Profits For Social Good" from Forbes.
One thing to note – verify the data. Listicles can put you on the right path, but they don't always live up to our standards of what it means to be a social impact company. They're a great source of ideas regardless.
That's all for this week! If you do find a great job opportunity using one of the techniques above, I'd love to hear about it. Just drop me a reply.
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