Where to Find Meaningful Work and How to Really Find a Job That Matters
Learn how to find a job that makes a real impact on people and the planet while bringing meaning and fulfillment into your own life. You've been given so many gifts, resources, opportunities, and privileges in this lifetime, so you might as well be happy using them for the greater good.
For those who want to make a difference in the world or find jobs that save the world, finding the right social impact companies and do-good corporations that are solving the big issues can be difficult. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't because there are a lack of jobs that make a positive impact. Rather, many workers lack awareness that there are many jobs and even more companies doing good for the world.
The Good Startup got started because too many people hate their meaningless jobs. Our research shows that many burnt-out employees are confessing to Google and anonymous forums that they want help on"what to do when they hate their jobs," are seeking mid-life career changes, question what the meaning of life is, and need to see the direct impact that their job is making on others' lives.
It's really nothing new. People have been complaining about their jobs for so long that at some point in each of our lives, we accept doing unfulfilling jobs (as long as they pay the bills) for the rest of our lives as a social norm and then give up on believing that we can save the world.
But what is new is that there are more opportunities for finding personal life fulfillment.
Maybe it's a dreamy thought, but we believe that these miserable workers instead should be at a job that makes a difference in the world, and there are already so many social impact companies seeking the right employees to make a difference in the world and reach their moonshot goals. Management experts are turning to social impact as a long-term growth strategy. 90% of millennial workers demand to have both purpose and profits while 50% would accept a pay cut if it provided them fulfillment. Impact investing is growing exponentially each year, totaling $502 billion compared to just $228 billion the year before.
Each day, we get closer to not having to choose between financial stability and personal fulfillment. You can have a job that makes a difference and pays a lot of money -- more than enough money really, but the meaningful work is what adds the most happiness to your life.
Life is too short to be doing a meaningless job. Most of the questions and comments we get at The Good Startup are about how to really find these elusive-seeming (but not at all in reality) social impact jobs, or how to reach out to particular social enterprises, so we're starting off the New Year right by showing you how to find them.
From Day 0 of The Good Startup, we've always said "stop trying to find meaning in your unfulfilling job, and do something that matters instead," so let's start talking about the best sources for finding jobs that really make a difference in the world.
Jobs That Make a Difference
1. The B Corp Directory by B Lab: a collection of certified social impact companies
To be honest, this is my go-to resource when it comes to finding the newest startups that care about social and environmental impact. B Corp companies go through a rigorous vetting process and meet the highest standards of impact, transparency, and benefits for the greater good, and this community of businesses works together to solve the biggest issues our planet faces today.
Visit B Lab's directory here, and you can learn about new companies by sorting through their industry and location. The only thing is this is a list of companies rather than open job opportunities. However, sometimes I prefer that because it prevents me from looking over the social impact companies that are doing really cool things that are saving the world even if they don't have a job opportunity right now. That lets me know which companies I should be checking up on or cold-emailing from time to time and find what causes I'm really passionate about working on.
2. 80,000 Hours: verified by research on how to solve the most pressing problems in the world
This is one of my favorite job boards because it's very easy for me to trust the work that comes from 80,000 Hours. 80,000 Hours is a nonprofit that looks into how we can make the most of our time in our careers and on this planet, and they have a ton of extra resources on which issues you can be solving to make the highest impact.
Their job board focuses on opportunities that help reduce extinction and positively impact the future long-term, but they also have a different list of jobs on the same page that solve other pressing global problems.
3. Idealist: the most established source for job opportunities that change the world
Idealist is definitely one of the oldest, most well-known job boards out there that shares opportunities for change-makers, activists, and individuals seeking meaningful work. They have over 5,000 jobs listed and updated regularly, and recently they've expanded into grad programs and ways to immediately take action. We actually interviewed them a few months ago, and you can read more about Idealist here on The Good Startup!
The Idealist community helps you constantly find new ways to get involved and take action. Beyond jobs, they also offer internships, volunteer opportunities, and organizations to join.
4. Tech Jobs for Good: mission-driven companies need the best people in tech
We've been keeping up with Tech Jobs for Good before The Good Startup even was founded. In fact, seeing how many jobs in tech were available at mission-driven companies is what gave us that extra confidence that The Good Startup's blog should exist. This very straightforward job board allows you to look for jobs in various industries very easily, and they even have an option for finding remote jobs that impact the planet too.
If you work in tech, you are probably very aware of how lacking it can be of substantial human interaction and how it's hard to see how your end-product makes a difference. That's why we love Tech Jobs for Good: this job source allows you to find tech jobs at companies that already have impact ingrained into their value proposition from the start.
5. Design Gigs for Good: design for a cause
Like Tech Jobs for Good, Design Gigs for Good is also popular among the maker community online. It caters to designers by providing opportunities for jobs, gigs, side hustles, and more to really affect change around the world.
A lot of freelancers like this platform. Because it's also mission-driven like Wethos, who we interviewed last month, independent contractors really enjoy Design Gigs for Good because it's easy to make money for design work that helps a company actually make a difference.
6. Dolphin: swipe right on the impact jobs you want
We love Dolphin because it's an app that makes applying to jobs so much easier. It's a pretty new careers app dedicated to helping you find meaningful, high-impact work at organizations such as the ACLU, The Climate Corporation, and SpaceX. I remember learning about Dolphin on Product Hunt in 2019, and it was so quick and easy to get started in finding the right jobs for me! Not to mention how cute I thought the app design is.
Dolphin notifies you when you have a new "batch" of job opportunities each day, and you swipe right or left to mark which ones seem right for you. If you're not ready to apply, you can save the job for later and apply at another time.
7. GoodGigs: a social impact directory and opportunity finder
I learned about GoodGigs from Indie Hackers awhile ago, and I am beyond ecstatic that they've taken the time to compile a directory of over 600 companies that are doing good for the world. I refer to this directory whenever people ask me about finding work in particular industries that I don't have much expertise in, and it looks like they have a job platform up too.
You can find good startups that are really making a difference under the opportunities section, where you can sort through full-time jobs, remote jobs, or freelance gigs that change the world.
8. NextBillion: initiatives that alleviate inequality
NextBillion is an open publication that shares guest articles on breakthroughs in agriculture, education, environment, healthcare, and more. In addition to sharing the new technology and resources going towards underserved communities and discussion on how to "scale up without selling out" in your career, NextBillion has a job opportunity board to help you find a meaningful career with conscious, good startups.
NextBillion has the most interesting opportunities, and what makes them even more interesting is that their jobs are all over the world. My imagination goes wild thinking about the next adventure my life will meet from one of these purposeful careers, so if you're needing a breakthrough or change of pace in your life, NextBillion has them all on their job board.