Career Advice

 
There are so many books out there for jobseekers, career changers and ‘what should I do with my life’-ers that it can feel overwhelming. Throw a sustainability, social impact, or corporate responsibility lens into the mix, and it’s even tougher to know where to start. Below are my reviews of two books that anyone asking themselves ‘What should I do when I want to do everything?’ should put on their wish-list!

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Many wanting to break into the sustainability field struggle to focus on the type of role that would fit them best. One client said they could see themselves working in consulting, in-house or for a non-profit.  That raises a red flag!  These are all very different cultures and offer very different roles within them.  So if you are trying to decide what is the best focus for you in order to develop a competitive story for the market, here are five ways that consulting is very different from in-house positions.

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Almost every time I speak to a new client about why they want to move into an impact-driven career, they say, “I want to make a difference.” Sound familiar? As you think about your 2017 resolutions, why not set a goal to finally make that difference: to find a job that will empower you to do the work you really want to do and make an impact.

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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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