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I once attended a workshop that examined the issue of leadership for change: integrating sustainability into an institution’s core mission and transforming organizational identity, culture and processes to enable change. It was delivered by Leith Sharp, director of executive education for sustainability leadership at Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment. She has 20 years’ experience greening universities all over the world and is the one-woman sustainability machine behind Harvard University’s green transformation.

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As hiring trends show that most roles are being filled internally, HR managers need new tricks to assess talent in the sustainability space. The key is to identify individuals who are already creating change and exhibiting leadership through disruptive innovation. But who are these people, and where can they be found?

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More than 50 percent of jobs are landed due to personal connections or referrals, so it is crucial to leverage your network of contacts for your professional development. Even though many people find networking to be intimidating, you don’t have to worry. Reaching out to your network doesn’t have to be scary and salesy. Think of it as a mutual friendship where you are simply reconnecting or offering something in exchange for a favor. You have to give a little to get a little.

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If you are like many job seekers, you may feel lost negotiating the rocky terrain of impact careers. No one can deny the accessibility of a well-blazed trail like lawyers, doctors and teachers have. But have no fear! There are many exciting possibilities in mapping your own path – your dream job isn’t as far away as you think!

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If the New Year (or recent election) has got you thinking about overhauling your career – whether it’s a sideways move to a different sector, a push for a higher-level position at a new company, or a complete professional U-turn – you’ll be needing a strategy.

As I regularly tell my clients and the audiences at my speaking events, dream jobs don’t just land in your lap. It’s all very well sitting at your desk daydreaming about a new start in a perfect role, but if you want to actually make it happen, press pause on the wishful thinking and start planning to make those wishes come true.

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You spent hours on your CV, targeted the right employers and positions, tackled the dreaded cover letter, and made it through the initial screening process. Then you landed the interview — congratulations! With sustainability jobs in high demand (most hiring managers receive an average of 200 applications per role) this is quite an accomplishment. You are getting close to the finish line but still need to give a great interview before you land your dream job.

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At the 24th Net Impact Conference 2016 we saw 2,400 committed change leaders brought together to discuss how to drive positive impact around the world. And just as I felt a few days before at the BSR conference in Manhattan, I left the conference inspired to continue facilitating the career growth of these impact- driven professionals and Masters students.

In the wake of the presidential election, I’ve been thinking a lot about each of us needs to protect and foster our personal commitment to positive change, a commitment that was so prevalent at Net Impact earlier this month. Every one of the speeches and sessions explored tangible ways that our work can have a positive impact on the world and on our communities, including my own joint sessions on Impact Investing and the Sustainability Job Market.

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