Finding Meaningful Work Means Finding Great Organizations

If I asked you, “What is the best part about your job right now?”, what would you say? Maybe it’s your team or flexibility of your work. Maybe it’s the opportunity to tackle new challenges or the positive impact your work has on the world. I’m guessing it’s not the specific functional tasks that you complete day-to-day. And yet, that’s exactly how we search for new jobs.

When looking for more meaningful work, it’s important to get clear on what actually matters to us and how to find it among new job opportunities. Typically, that means starting your search with organizations rather than functional roles.

The right organization represents so much more than the work you’re capable of doing. It represents an empowering culture, a strong team, and an inspiring vision. Find a set of organizations that match what you’re looking for in your next role and then start exploring job opportunities within those organizations.

This might seem like a more time-consuming approach to finding a job. After all, the organization might not have the job you’re looking for. But for an organization that really excites you, would you be open to something else?  There may be other opportunities that you hadn’t considered. There may be contract positions that can build into a full-time role. These aren’t ideal scenarios, but they do get you moving toward more meaningful work.

This is especially important in the social enterprise space. Social enterprise employers are not just concerned about your functional fit. Small, mission driven organizations are, oftentimes, more concerned with your culture and mission fit.  And if you fit the organization well, social enterprise employers are keen to find an opportunity for you.

So where do you find organizations that are a good fit for you? Beyond searching Google and Linkedin, ask people who seem to be in the type of organization you’re looking for. Look for coalitions or industry groups and browse their membership. Find reports that list top companies based on certain criteria such as geography or sustainability. If you’re looking for an impact organization in Washington DC, check out Mission Driven’s upcoming workshops on building an Impact Career in DC.