In order to somewhat guide my job search process, I’ve been talking to people who work in the roles and/or industries that I’m interested in. There are two general goals I have in mind as I search for my next role: 1) To have greater ownership of my work, and 2) To be “doing good.”
The nonprofit world is one I’ve been on-and-off interested in since high school. I want to use my skills to make a difference, and to do good; I want to help people. One of my strengths is being able to do that on a personal level: I’m good at being a loyal, caring friend, and I’ve heard that I’m pretty good at giving sage life advice. In that sense, I think I have indeed fulfilled my hopes of helping people and of making an impact.
But I don’t feel like that’s good enough; I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential: I want to do more.
So I’ve continued to explore different career paths that would allow me to do good in my job. One of those paths is through education: my own K-12 years were incredibly important in shaping me into who I am today, and I firmly believe that one’s experience as a child – particularly in terms of SEL – is a strong influencing factor in one’s success later on. Even as I talk to people in the education sector, though, I’m overwhelmed by just how many different types of roles there are – some directly related to the students, and others not much at all.
This has been a recurring theme in my ongoing job search: that there are so, so, so many ways out there to “do good,” to “make a difference.” It’s partially encouraging that there are so many potential paths to take; but on the other hand, it makes it a lot harder to narrow down how exactly to go about doing good. And it doesn’t have to be nonprofit, either: many corporations have foundations or CSR departments, while mission-oriented startups also focus on doing good while churning a profit.
All this to say: although it’s not that easy to narrow it down, the important thing is to choose a path and just try it out. Some people even see jobs as a way to fund their lives, and engage in side projects to make that difference.
I hope that whichever path I choose to go in this next phase of my life, I remember to keep that ultimate goal in mind: to be doing good, in the best way(s) that I can.