How often do you wonder if you are on the right career track?
How often do you wake up in the morning and feel tired, demotivated or even depressed thinking of going to work?
When was the last time you were excited to go to work?
We at Amani Institute have met dozens of professionals who have asked themselves the same question. And we have supported those who took the leap to a more fulfilling life.
Among the 375 fellows from 52 countries who have joined the Social Innovation Management program that we run in Kenya, India and Brazil, 41% have left their job to go back to study and gain experience on the ground to learn what it means to have a social impact career.
This is what we have learned from them:
1. Look for people who have already made the leap:
There's a lot of societal pressure that pushes you to be stuck in a career you don't like. It can be because of family traditions, a good salary or the status that comes with the big brand you are working for.
Whenever you hear someone say "If I were in your place, I would not complain", - well, remember YOU are there, and YOU know what it means to work there every day and how it makes YOU feel.
If you are unhappy, do you want to be unhappy all your life?
What to do? Look for people who have already made the leap. Lower the societal pressure listening to other voices and opinions. There's a huge movement of people transitioning to a career of purpose: the work you do can deeply connect to the things that you value in life. You will not be alone, you just need to find the right crowd to find courage and share a vision.
2. Don't think of your career as a one-way path:
It's more like a spiral, that keeps on getting larger and including your past experiences. If you resign to look for a new opportunity, you are not "giving up": you are embracing new opportunities on a wider horizon. You are not moving to plan B as if it is a second level choice: You are making your Plan A, your only life - and work - better!
3. Forget your job title and the list of your technical skills:
Focus on your soft skills and reframe your CV through the lens of your passions. Technical skills will need to change throughout your career anyways.
In the recent "Future of Work" report by the World Economic Forum, it is emphasized that "by 2022 the skills required to perform most jobs will have shifted significantly. Global average skills stability— the proportion of core skills required to perform a job that will remain the same — is expected to be about 58%. That means workers will see an average shift of 42% in required workplace skills in the period leading up to 2022. Skills growing in prominence include analytical thinking and active learning as well as skills such as technology design, highlighting the growing demand for various forms of technology competency. However, proficiency in new technologies is only one part of the 2022 skills equation. 'Human' skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion ) and negotiation will likewise retain or increase their value, as will attention to detail, resilience, flexibility and complex problem-solving. Emotional intelligence, leadership and social influence, as well as service orientation, are also set to see a particular increase in demand relative to their current prominence today". (Find the full report here.)
During the 6 months of our Post-Graduate Program in Social Innovation Management (2 months online, 4 months of immersion phase with 20 Fellows in Nairobi, Sao Paulo or Bangalore to have a deep hands-on experience) Amani Institute helps you in building the blocks of your future work, teaching you the most required skills of 21st Century in an experiential and customized way:
Management and Entrepreneurship
Problem Solving and creativity
Most importantly, however, we guide you through what we call the ‘Inner Journey of the Changemaker’ to help you have a better understanding of who you are, and how to align your personal and professional life doing things that you really care about. It doesn't matter if you are going to be an employee or an entrepreneur: you will be able to apply your new level of personal understanding to your vision of change.
Learn more about the Social Innovation Management program, applications are open now!
If you have questions about our work or the program specifically, please contact our Global Community Director Geraldine Hepp at firstname.lastname@example.org – she is always happy to help!