Over the last 8 years, Amani Institute has trained over 500 people from more than 60 countries worldwide who are looking to immerse themselves in careers that are fulfilling but also impact the world positively. Through our Post-Graduate program in Social Innovation Management, we have worked with social innovators to build up the skills, knowledge and networks needed to impact the world via a highly experiential, global program.
A lot of the social innovators within the Amani Community were career shifters - pivoting from the private and public sectors to the social sector - in the pursuit of meaning and purpose.
Most of them told us that letting go of the safety net of a good salary to pursue an uncertain path wasn't an easy decision. Often, it required going against family and friends’ recommendations and venturing into the unknown with nothing but a resolute belief in helping shape a better world.
Still, we can say, none of them regret the choice.
At the initial stages of changing careers into the social impact sector, there is a lot of adversity. Oftentimes, the workload is more, for less money (though not always the case). The fulfillment and joy derived from contributing to a better reality kept them going through the challenging times. Over the years, the importance of meaning and purpose in careers has become more prevalent, with a lot of global think tanks predicting an even greater integration in the near future of purpose in organizations and careers.
If you desire to be actively involved in the social impact sector, there is some good news for you. The truth is you have the ability to take control of your own destiny and develop a career you can thrive in and stay ahead of the curve. This is the best time to do some inner work, develop the skills and the will to stop being just a passive observer of what’s wrong and become an active global citizen to address that social problem in your community you have been yearning to change for so long.
Why do I believe the best moment is now? There are 3 main reasons.
1- The pandemic has revealed widespread global inequalities and challenges that can only be resolved by collective action. This would require that we look to acquire the needed leadership skills needed to effectively manage change. As Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General, said, “We are only as strong as the weakest. Global solidarity is not only a moral imperative, it’s in everyone’s interest”.
What if each of us become a force for good, saving themselves and everyone else?
2- A lot of people are losing their jobs because of the pandemic, many more will lose their jobs because of the economic recession resulted from global lockdowns and – even more people - will lose their current jobs because of the accelerating disruptions of the fourth industrial revolution: artificial intelligence, robots, remote working. The future of work has never been so different from (and so close to) the present of work. Change is happening at time-lapse speed and the last three months have shown us how we can be forced, from one day to the other, to adapt, quickly learning new technologies, discovering new ways of relating to each other, and exploring new business models.
What if instead of following the events, we shape them?
3- The forced isolation and the uncertainty that have characterized the last three months have made all of us think more about what’s really important, beyond trends and habits. Many mentioned we are going through a sort of a global social experiment where we all suddenly focus back on the essential needs (food, health, shelter, love and connection) and we rediscover our values.
What if our values become our compass to achieve our goals and satisfy our needs?
Much research in recent years has already mentioned Millennials and Generation Z are much more purpose-oriented generations. COVID-19 is bringing that mindset across age groups, as a pool of experts in the headhunting for the social sector confirmed in a recent roundtable hosted by Amani Institute. No matter how old and how experienced you are, we are all longing for more alignment between what we do and what we believe. We would feel uncomfortable to work not only for companies who neglect our values, but also for organizations that can’t clearly state them, that can’t say how their services or products contribute to a better future.
The workforce of the future is going to be a force for good. Individuals and organizations that aren’t ready to make a living while making good are going to have a tough time.
The usual divisions of public, private and social sectors are likely going to cease to exist given the fusion of social concerns into almost every industry. Either you do meaningful and impact work, or you don’t. No matter where you are, in whichever capacity, regardless of the organization.
So, why take that leap now?
If your current line of work has been affected, if the pandemic is already changing your daily habits, if your life goals have shifted in the last three months, don’t go back to normal. Make that extra step.
There is no need to panic, just leave your comfort zone and enter a learning zone. Develop new skills and focus on your values. A career of meaning and impact is waiting for you. The world needs doers with a strong moral compass.
The aftermath of the coronavirus will be vastly different from what we are used to but this is also an opportunity for us to shape what that future looks like. As they say, strike while the iron is hot.
You can hide and maybe survive.
Or be brave, show up, and thrive.
Would you like to learn how to reframe your professional skills and develop new ones, clarify your burning towards social challenges, build a network of like-minded people and start practicing social innovation to bring your impact career to the next level?
Check out our Post-Graduate program. A special online edition is bringing skills, insights, experience and an amazing community of impact professionals at your doorstep. Scholarship applications deadline is June 22nd. Final Deadline is July 6th.
Learn more and apply!