Assaf Weisz is a Co-founder and Partner at Purpose Capital, a social enterprise that makes impact investments. It’s not easy being different in the financial sector, where traditional views on investing, like the accumulation of wealth as a goal in of itself, are unassailable. At Purpose Capital, however, Assaf sees things differently. He looks for compelling investment opportunities that matter to the world, tackling the most pressing environmental and social issues. By bridging classic business theory with non-traditional thinking, Assaf is finding exceptional financial and social returns are possible. As a trailblazer in his field, his knowledge of social finance is impressive and it’s exciting and inspiring to see his company on the leading edge of impact investing in Canada. But as he tells it, there’s hard work in making the world a better place one dollar at a time.
How do you define meaningful work?
Work that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning, and makes you feel like you’re adding value to society.
When did you know you wanted to pursue a meaningful career?
I never thought of it through the lens of a career. I thought of it as becoming ever smarter about my activism and how I will achieve what I think is worthy.
What inspired you to start your social enterprise?
I saw that there was a vacuum of services for the social entrepreneurship/impact investment field and decided to try and fill it. I also thought it was a smarter route to achieving the change I wanted to than I what I was doing at the time.
Describe how your past career experiences helped get you to where you are today?
I have never had any substantively different career, so I can’t speak to a deviation from it. I can say that my entrepreneurship started more as experimentation.
What’s one thing you wish someone told you before you pursued a meaningful career?
That it’s hard and there are no clear answers. That starting something of your own is a long haul. That ‘meaning’ can come from many places and that having a career with a ‘good’ company does not guarantee that you feel meaningful every day.
What’s the one thing most people wouldn’t expect to hear about working in a meaningful job?
In between moments of adrenaline and satisfaction there are long intervals of mundane work – emails, documents, etc. – like there are in most jobs, so you have to find the thing that gets you excited enough about the job to justify everything else.
What’s the most fulfilling part of your job?
Freedom to create in whatever direction I see fit. The prerequisite that anything I work on is supposed to add value to society – there are no wasted projects.
What piece of advice would you give someone looking to get a meaningful job?
Be entrepreneurial in your approach. That doesn’t mean starting a job, but it does mean going above and beyond to learn about the topic you’re interested in, investigate the company you’re targeting, and work hard to set yourself apart. As someone who does hiring for a ‘meaningful’ job, I find lots of people interested but few true standouts. A resume isn’t enough. You have to demonstrate that you took the time to get to know the topic you’re heading into.
What qualities are important for a person to have if they want a meaningful job?
That they care about the world enough to demand of their job an opportunity to improve it every day.
If you could have one super hero power what would it be and why?
Flying. There is no earthly perspective like it.
Are you inspired by Assaf’s story and what he has to say? Are you looking for a career that has a purpose and a paycheque? Check out our recently launched career site at bmeaningful.com for jobs that are making a difference.