Prove You’re Worth It: Getting A Job In The Social Sector

Cross-posted from The Amani Institute Blog

Last week, I guest-lectured on social entrepreneurship to a group of master’s students at a well-known university in the Washington, DC area. Towards the end, the conversation veered towards the idea behind what we’re doinghere at The Amani Institute. When I described a disillusionment amongst employers with certain types of higher education, a few students reacted with annoyance and pique.

“But we do have valuable skills”, they exclaimed. “Don’t you think that its up to employers to figure out how to deploy us? They need to meet us half-way. Isn’t part of the problem that organizations aren’t being creative enough?”

To which I have a simple answer. If you think you’re worth hiring, prove it. Show that you can add value that the organization needs. I often tell the story of the summer intern at Ashoka who led other summer interns in the production of this video, which is now used all around the world by Ashoka staff when presenting the organization. And, surprise, surprise, Ashoka hired this intern as soon as she graduated! Because she had proved she could do something the organization needed.

Marketing guru Seth Godin laid out another way of thinking about this in his blog post, How to get a job with a small company. For the words “small company”, substitute “NGO” or “social sector organization” and everything else applies. Everything else.

And he ends with a gem:

 ”Once you demonstrate that you contribute far more than you cost, now it’s merely a matter of figuring out a payment schedule.”

As more people start social businesses (like us), this way of thinking, this way of proving that you’re worth it, is going to become a key to job-getting success. Sadly, most universities’ Career Services centers are still focused on nabbing jobs in the “large companies economy”. This needs to change. But students like the ones I spoke with last week can’t wait around for that change to happen. They need jobs now, and that’s why they need to start showing they are worth it.

And then companies and organizations will not only meet them half-way, but will in fact begin to pursue them.

Views: 417


You need to be a member of Peace and Collaborative Development Network to add comments!

Join Peace and Collaborative Development Network

Comment by Maheswar Satpathy on May 9, 2012 at 12:42am

Agree whole-heartedly. I have always emphasized on the point of proving one's deservingness and merit to the employer, as well as the importance of working with emerging and small-scale organizations to my students and known people...

Sponsored Link

Please Pay What You Can to Support PCDN

Please consider Paying What You Can to help PCDN grow. We encourage you to consider any amount from $1 and up. Read the SUPPORT page prior to making a payment to see PCDN's impact and how your payment will help.

Sponsored Link

Translate This Page


PCDN Guidelines and Share Pages

By using this site you're agreeing to the terms of use as outlined in the community guidelines (in particular PCDN is an open network indexed by Google and users should review the privacy options). Please note individual requests for funding or jobs are NOT permitted on the network.

Click BELOW to share site resources Bookmark and Share
or Share on LINKEDIN




© 2016   Created by Craig Zelizer.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service