‘Doing good’: a graduate’s observations
Graduating can be very daunting, and so I felt thrilled to be joining Uscreates for an internship after leaving University earlier this year. Like many other final year students that had been sweating in the library over the last few months, I knew that I wanted to use my degree in a job that involved ‘doing good’. After 3 months at Uscreates, that desire is as strong as ever. Here are some of my observations on how this links to the graduate market.
Young people entering the job market are increasingly concerned about the social and ethical practices of organisations which they consider working for. A survey by non-profit NetImpact showed most graduates were prepared to take a pay-cut to have a job with a company that invests in social impact. University career services often recommend young job seekers to use the Corporate Responsibility Index to find out how organisations perform sustainability and social responsibility wise. While it is certainly true that the job market is competitive, it is not necessary money graduates are competing for.
Another sort of value
Many graduates want to invest their time and skills in jobs which brings social rather than just financial value. But this doesn’t have to mean working for a charity or a company like Uscreates. Many businesses that create social value do so in their everyday work, whether it is by investing and engaging in local communities (using sustainable resources like Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan), or promoting positive workplace behaviours such as WSP’s Environment and Energy Pact. When companies create social value, staff are automatically receiving return on it too, no matter their role in the organisation.
It feels good to do good. During my first week at Uscreates, I assisted at an innovation workshop for employees at an insurance company, who were brainstorming ideas on how to use their resources to create positive social outcomes. It was a really fun day, and the reward the team felt in applying their work skills in setting targets beyond ‘work’ was evident. Having been part of the Uscreates team, I can testify to this too. Knowing that your work creates social value has made me feel better and perform better. It affects a team as a whole too, because group dynamics feel good when the shared goal is a social good.
We all understand that engaged and happy employees are better employees. Recruiters understand this too. My advice to graduates is to not be afraid to express that you want social impact return in your job. Employers will value and want to utilise your enthusiasm. If you are an employer, make sure you communicate the opportunities for social impact in your recruitment strategies. People who really want to make a difference will always contribute positively to the organisation.
Blog post by Joanna Kindebergdownload pdf