Careers in the social sector

How often does someone come to you – ranging from a recent college grad to a seasoned executive – for advice on how to construct a career for the social good?  I often talk to friends and friends of friends about this and thought it might be of use to share some of the tools I recommend.

Strengthsfinders 2.0

This book is based on the theory that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses.  Each book comes with a code to take an online test that highlights your top five strengths among 34 identified by the Gallup Organization over the past 50 years. I ran a 17-person staff retreat a month ago with this – it is useful both on the individual and team levels.  (Now, Discover Your Strengths, 2001, is the predecessor book and has additional detail.)

What Should I Do With My Life

Based on 900 interviews, this book profiles the story of about 50 people who answered “the ultimate question” and is a reminder that finding what you should do in your life is a process.  Bronson says, “It’s about people who’ve dared to be honest with themselves.”

80,000 Hours

This nonprofit is dedicated to enabling people to make a bigger difference with their careers.  Started by the founders of Giving What We Can, part of the community of effective altruists (see the The Most Good You Can Do, 2015, reviewed in my May First Monday Musing), it provides a free online career guide, 1-on-1 career counseling, and a network of people who strive to lead high-impact careers (newsletter, alumni forum, in-person events).

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