We have them, we work them, we believe in them, we love them, we promote them... But what does it actually mean to have one of these elusive social impact careers and how do you know if you have one?

1. Your parents don’t understand what you do. 

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2. You have the phrase, “Sorry, we’re a non-profit, we don’t have any budget.” permanently copied to your clipboard so that you can whip it out every time somebody wants you to pay for something.

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3. Whenever you hear the phrase, “Sorry, we’re a non-profit, we don’t have any budget.”, you flip out because you know that it is not really true. 

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4. You know what Triple Bottom Line means and you’re not afraid to use it. 

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5. You have have given serious consideration to crowdfunding your life. 

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6. You wonder on a weekly basis whether banking or consulting might be for you after all, but then [insert: child you care for grabs your hand/ you enable 500,000 people access to light in their homes for the first time/ you get somebody into work who has never been able to live independently before] and you realise that you have the best job in the world. 

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7. Everybody you work with is really, really nice and usually quite cool, plus very smart.

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8. You have never owned a suit. 

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9. You and your colleagues are ALWAYS first at the buffet/bar whenever there is an event with free food/drink. 

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10. The long-term goal of your job is to make yourself redundant. And that doesn’t seem like a bad thing. 

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Originally published November 18th, 2015