The search for meaningful employment: jobs with impact

Written for Kitchener Today

There’s an old saying that goes, “do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”

Careers in social responsibility are becoming top priority for job seekers.

To be able to support yourself financially while doing something you feel passionate about is no longer a pipe dream. Employment opportunities in roles that include sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are allowing job seekers to align their career goals with their personal values.

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer 68% say that CEOs should take the lead on change, rather than waiting for government to impose it. There’s been a shift in whom the public deems as trustworthy, with media and government suffering most. Canadians expect businesses to advocate, and as a result this has created employment opportunities in CSR and Sustainability.

From grassroots administrations to organizations who use their brand power to foster change – there’s an emerging work trend that hinges on the importance of a work-life balance, encouraging employees to examine their own core values, while creating opportunities to find meaning in the 9-5.

According to a survey done by IPSOS Reid and Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR) 68% of the Canadian public is paying attention to issues related to corporate social responsibility.

Heather Mak has been working in sustainability for over a decade. Her self-named consulting business, Heather Mak Consulting, was founded on the intentions of acting as an agent of change for sustainability, in food and consumer goods.  She says, “businesses can use their scale and voice to make changes that can affect the everyday lives of people.”

With almost 70% of Canadians as an active and engaged audience, internal CSR opportunities encourages employee satisfaction, increases public reputation, and stimulates support from stakeholders.

Earning a sustainable living, while genuinely loving the process, was once reserved for the elite few. Leaping out of bed in the morning, anticipating the day ahead, wasn’t something the average human could afford. Dream jobs were for those who were either born into them or had the good fortune of becoming wealthy – but meaningful work is no longer wishful thinking, it’s a human right.

Unique job opportunities include cause marketing, communications, ethical hacking, impact investing, engagement, and philanthropy roles. Experience levels embrace entry-level, to senior leadership roles – with commitment levels encompassing everything from part-time, to full-time and even work from home.

CSR roles rarely necessitate nonprofit experience, but requirements do include some variation of communications or marketing experience, as well as a form of secondary education – a fraction require a Master’s degree.

Do what you love and you will never dread another Monday. Here’s how to get started with your own meaningful job search:

Welcome to the career site that helps you connect purpose & paycheque. (Yes, it’s a thing). Resources, job listings, and profiles of companies where you can bring your values to work. Canada-wide job listings.

Find your next position on Canada’s favourite site for nonprofit professionals. The CharityVillage Knowledge Centre is where you can find free resources to help guide your career in the nonprofit sector along with industry news and information about CharityVillage.

Canada’s premier environmental job board. Environmental Careers Organization of Canada (ECO Canada) is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1992 to help nurture Canada’s growing environmental sector.

A sampling of such job postings, from across Canada, found recently on Monster.ca. They’re listed in ascending order of experience required, from none to five years or more.

Top 20 Corporate Social Responsibility jobs in Ontario. 

Why I chose to reinvent myself.

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After 15 years of working in different facets of broadcasting, it was time for a change. I love media, so I needed to find a way to make a fresh start – while staying true to my first love. A colleague suggested a career counselor. During months of evaluation, I found my calling.

I enrolled in Public Relations.

My kids thought it was hilarious, and my friends questioned my sanity.

I guess being the oldest ‘kid’ in class has some benefits; my decision was based on years of experience. I know what I want…and what I don’t want. Most importantly, though, I have three daughters watching.

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Why do I love PR?

That’s easy.

It’s an opportunity to reinvent yourself through communication.

This industry is full of possibility, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.

Reinvent yourself

What is PR Anyway?

If PR was described using an emotion it would be empathy. Reputation, like trust, is earned and can easily be lost. A PR professional is there to help you define your demographic, understand their needs and build a relationship that mutually benefits both parties.

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Defining public relations.

The simplest way to define public relations is – the relationship between an organization and its publics. Publics can be defined as employees, clients, shareholders and the surrounding community.

PR is about building relationships. It’s a give and take between two parties while maintaining two-way communication.

If PR was described using an emotion it would be empathy. Reputation, like trust, is earned and can easily be lost. A PR professional is there to help you define your demographic, understand their needs and build a relationship that mutually benefits both parties.

No spin. No lies. No facades.

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Who needs PR?

  • Talent
  • Businesses
  • Charities/Nonprofit Organizations
  • Public figures
  • Hospitals
  • Cities
  • Everyone who has an audience, client, employee, community or following.

What does a PR professional do?

Quite simply we are expert communicators. Our avenues of communication include social media, media relations, internal and external speaking engagements, multimedia, events, blogs, and publications.

PR is strategic, persuasive and motivated. We are storytellers, self-producing content that encourages engagement and promotes a positive reputation.