I recently found out about this organization called School for Change. They aim to inspire others to invest in themselves to be the best changemakers they can be by offering classes and workshops on social change. I registered for their free course that offers learning guides of resources and activities as a starting point to create change. Similar to that of Echoing Green’s Work on Purpose, and Net Impact, School for Change believes in the power of finding meaningful work that positively affects the world. I encourage you to check them out, specifically their learning guide “Careers that Matter”. Just sign-up with your email and get them sent directly to you.
Their approach to finding meaningful work was simple: Line up your approach, Reflect, Define, and Launch. Easy as that. The bottom line, just like discussed in previous posts, is that you need to know where you are trying to go. You might not know every step along the way, but only you can figure out where you want to take your career. That way, when the going gets tough, you still know why you are doing what you are doing. The first activity they suggest you do to prep is very straightforward, start with a goal you have for work, and write down why you have that goal. Ask yourself as many times as you need to in order to uncover the roots behind the why. Working to solve some of the worlds toughest problems is not easy, so not only does focusing on the “why” make your job easier, it keeps you motivated along the way.
This activity they built in their learning guide reminded me of Simon Sinek’s, “Start with Why”. If you have never read his book, you are crazy, and you should. If you need some coercing, watch his Ted Talk first. Sinek does a great job explaining how leaders in businesses and organizations inspire action among others by focusing on the why, but this lesson can be applied in so many other ways. Starting with why can help you make big decisions in your life, can keep you motivated, and, can even help you become a great presenter (tune in for next week’s post).
The “Golden Circle”, as he calls it, allows you to narrow down the three levels in which we all function; WHAT we do, HOW we do it, and WHY we do it. Everyone knows what they do. If someone asks you what you do for a living, you know the answer to that question. Then comes the “how”. Some people, not everyone, know how they do what they do. The how, he says, are the “things that make you special or set apart from others”. If you are being asked about your career, the how is the way you do things. Next to someone who has the same career as you, what is different? You don’t both do things the exact same way.
Lastly, he discusses the “why”. This is where you lose people. This is the purpose, cause or belief behind what we do. What inspires you? What drives you? What sparked you to do this in the first place? This is a perfect fit for career planning. Working towards social change is not easy, so why are you doing it?
Take the time to read the Learning Guide from School for Change, it is a informative and simple way to get to the “launch” part of your career.
Check out Net Impacts Self Assessment: Passions Mosaic to help clarify the impact you want to make.