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You could be looking for your new impact job all wrong

When you’re looking for a new job do you search your skill set and see what comes up? Or maybe you scroll through open listings and see what job titles appeal to you? Likely, it’s some sort of combination of the two because that’s how most job sites work. Companies are hiring for select positions and you’re checking out what’s available- hoping there’s a match.

But in our impact driven sector, perhaps we also need to combine this with another approach. One that will require more time, effort and thinking but in the long term result in a better fit and likely a happier you.

Enter the “company search”. The company search is about identifying the issues, causes and values that are important to you and then seeking out the organizations that meet those interests. Klaudia Olenjik, Corporate Responsibility Manager at PWC says

 “As you begin your job search, don’t fall into the trap of basing your search on a title or a specific role. Look for a company or organization that lives those values that are important to you. See what their vision is and be open minded to opportunities.”

So for example, let’s say you’re a business grad with an interest in renewable energy and health. Rather than look up your functional skills (e.g. marketing or project management), you search for companies operating in these spaces- from traditional brands to tech startups and B corps. By limiting yourself to a skills search, you may be missing out on opportunities you never knew existed.

Then, once you’ve narrowed down your top companies- figure out if you can connect with people there to talk about the work and culture. But before you send that “hey, can I talk to you about your job and company” email, make sure you do your homework. That means you’ve studied the company’s website, reviewed their social media profiles, maybe even creeped some employees LinkedIn profiles all while thinking about how you could add value to the team. By learning about their culture, employees and work, you will have a better understanding of the opportunities and whether your personality and work style would be a good fit.

While it’s true that this approach will take longer, as there’s no specific job you’re applying for, it does position you well for the future. Informational interviews are not meant to be used for asking for a job (read: don’t ask for a job), but if you make a good impression, they’ll likely keep you in mind when something does pop up. This approach is especially good for career switchers as you can learn about different industries and tell your story of why you’re interested in the change. So coffee by coffee, chat by chat, you can see which companies will be a better fit for you and how you can use your skills for good.

To get you started… check out some of the cool organizations we’ve gotten to know so far.

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Marjorie Brans the Managing Director at the School for Social Entrepreneurs

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Colleen McCormick the Director of Economic and Corporate Initiatives at BC Provincial Government

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