Andrew Ripley. Co-Founder. PurposeMatch.com.
One of the most challenging aspects of searching for a career with purpose it that there is no roadmap. Instead there’s options, trade-offs, decisions and a whole host of different paths to explore. Gone are the days where professionals settled in with a company out of college and then defined their career success by climbing the corporate latter. Careers in the impact sector are far more exciting, they’re malleable and shaped by the sum total of your previous experiences. Take Andrew Ripley, who started his career with an IT juggernaut before catching the entrepreneurial bug and creating PurposeMatch. Andrew had no roadmap, only a passion for helping others find their purpose.
What does your job entail including what a typical day might be like?
As Co-Founder of a tech startup, you wear a lot of hats, but I’m mostly responsible for our business development. So while there are many days that I’m collaborating with our team to strategize, test, and build new features, most of my time is spent talking to customers and partners. This means that I drink a lot of coffee, write a ton of emails, and spend a ridiculous amount of time on the phone or video chats! I’m also racking up the frequent ﬂier miles, as I bounce between New York City, California, DC, and many other places. My goal is always to build mutually beneﬁcial relationships and ﬁnd ways that we can help each other.
Can you brieﬂy describe your career path and how you got your current job?
When I graduated from college, I really had no idea what I wanted to do, but I got my start working in sales at IBM. For me, it was great to start with a huge company for a couple of reasons. First, they provided a lot of training. But also, as a 22 year old, I quickly got over any fear of calling on C-Level people. Once you have a few hundred phone calls with CEO’s you get pretty comfortable talking with anybody. After that, I went entrepreneurial, and spent some time as National Sales Director for a small software company out of Boston, before joining my CoFounders to create PurposeMatch. I will say that there is nothing like starting your own company. I’ve learned a thousand times more from building my own startup than I ever did before. So if I ever go back and work for someone else, being an entrepreneur provides a unique perspective and teaches you how to think strategically and creatively.
What’s the coolest part about your job and what’s the biggest challenge?
I love people, so the coolest part of my job is building relationships with amazing people who are also focused on social impact. It’s so cool to be in a community of like minded people who are passionate about making the world a better place.
My biggest challenge can often be to stay focused. There are so many opportunities out there to get excited about, but you can’t do everything. Instead you have to focus on what you do best.
What advice would you give to a job seeker looking for meaningful work?
Sign up for an account on PurposeMatch.com! This is actually what we do – help people discover purpose and ﬁnd meaningful work that makes an impact. Our assessment helps you discover your “SPARX” (which are your top 4 Strengths, Passions, Awareness of the needs in the world that you want to impact, and Relationship style). We believe that when you’re using your strengths and doing something you love, to meet an important need in the world, surrounded by people who bring out the best in you… that you’re living with a sense of purpose. And living with purpose doesn’t necessarily mean ﬁnding the one thing you’re supposed to do with the rest of your life, but rather living with purpose in whatever stage of life that you’re in. Most people will have several different jobs throughout their lifetime, and many jobs will be created in the future that don’t even exist yet. So it’s all about learning to live a life of purpose, create your own path, and be adaptable to whatever the future holds.
What can you identify as the biggest opportunity in your sector right now?
Millennials will be 75% of the global workforce by 2025, and studies show that they’re overwhelmingly passionate about making an impact with their lives. Therefore, companies understand that if they’re going to engage these millennials, they need to integrate purpose and social impact into their culture. As a result, you see companies all over the world who are focused on using their business to make the world a better place. It really is a global movement, and together we have a huge opportunity to not only revolutionize what it means to ﬁnd meaningful work, but to solve some of the biggest problems in the world today and truly make the world a better place.