Inside Job: Making Your Impact at Work

Net Impact’s new report Making Your Impact at Work: A Practical Guide to Changing the World From Inside Any Company offers fresh ideas for greening your job without finding a new one.
And it reinforces a commonplace among career counselors: Volunteering and taking the initiative to do what you’re passionate about is one of the smartest ways to gain new skills and advance your career.
The free report – and accompanying case studies and discussion, available to Net Impact members – shows how intrapreneurs in different functions and divergent industries have created positive change and, sometimes, new jobs as sustainability leaders.
The guide’s advice, which draws on the experience of change agents at companies that include eBay, McDonald’s, Accenture, Timberland, Ingersoll Rand, and Google, is straightforward and, once you read it, relatively intuitive. If you’re angling to get involved in the green economy and on automatic at work, consider taking the suggestions to heart to reenergize yourself by aligning your values with your work and creating a project to green your office or organization.

Where to Start
Start by connecting your project to your organization’s core business objective. For example, where can you reduce waste, costs, and environmental impacts or increase employee engagement?
Then build a team of colleagues to help you make it happen. Be inclusive, but also be strategic; recruit core leaders; and build enthusiasm are a few tips from the report.
Then gather some data to measure your progress – surveys, benchmarks, outreach to external and internal stakeholders could all be a part of your plan.
Finally, deliver results.
The 15 individuals profiled for the report came away with new skills and, sometimes, new jobs. Jason McBriarty was involved in a project that rid Levi Strauss’s corporate campus of water bottles, and considers his experience with the voluteer team a critical factor in the company offering him a job as Director of Strategic Finance for Sustainability and Citizenship.
Hamlin Metzger, who started a social responsibility network at Best Buy, eventually became the company’s first Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility.
And Shoshannah Lenski, who led a team that developed a strategy for reducing the Chicago office’s carbon footprint, distinguished herself as a leader and thinks the project has helped advance her career.
The take away? Sometimes the best opportunities are right in front of you.
Frank Marquardt is the author of The Solar Job Guide and a lapsed Net Impact member.

Frank Marquardt is the author of The Solar Job Guide and Green Careers, and a contributor to How Green Is Your City? He has contributed to 100s of career guides over the past 10 years. Frank is also director of content strategy at Native Instinct, an interactive agency.

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