Originally posted here.
I’m seeing it show up more and more. In the voices of people who are bright, young, talented, and motivated.
People want to make the world a better place. They want to feel like the work they are doing contributes to a higher purpose– something more emotionally and morally satisfying than simply having produced something that makes money.
The problem is that most people don’t know how to act on that inclination and still pay their bills. Truth be told, there’s no shortage of unpaid ways to help people. Given the philanthropic nature of organizations dedicated to making the world better, they are inevitably focused on purpose over money.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get paid to change the world.
Some of the largest, most successful nonprofits pay tons of employees full salaries, and the people at the top aren’t hurting either. But do you think of nonprofits as places where you could make a living? I don’t.
That’s in part because corporations do their part to make it clear that they’re the ones with the money. They’re the ones with recruitment programs hooked into the universities from which impressionable young adults spill into the real world.
But they don’t have all the money, and they don’t ultimately have control over the direction of their businesses.
In Saving the World at Work, Tim Sanders posits that the millennial generation is increasingly demanding jobs that involve creating a positive impact on the world, even if it means working for less money. My generation, for all its faults, seems to be highly motivated to make the world a better place– and might even be willing to give up some extra money to do it.
But the infrastructure isn’t in place to show these people where to go and how to make a difference. Countless friends work in gigs that pay the bills but don’t satisfy their need for something more.
This is a problem.
So how do we go about solving it?
Do you want to do more than what you’re doing now?