I recently attended a launch party for Lara Galinsky’s new career advice book Work on Purpose. Each guest was greeted with a nametag and a request to add what we wanted to be when we grew up (ok, so I wrote “architect”). As I milled around the room, I was fascinated to see what others had written: artist, writer, firefighter, ballerina, astronaut and yes, I did notice at least one other aspirational architect.
Galinsky, who had jotted “veterinarian” on her nametag, and is now senior vice president of Echoing Green, the nonprofit that provides seed funding and technical support to emerging social entrepreneurs, wrote the book — which carries the tag line I want a meaningful career — not just a job. But how do I get there? — after she realized there were few resources for young people in search of impact-driven careers.
Work on Purpose is aimed at people in the first decade or so of developing their careers and as Galinsky points out, “for both the folks who are very clear and those who are not so clear at all” about what they want to do.
Galinsky likes to say that finding a meaningful career is truly a journey. “It’s critical to reflect. What you decide today might be very different than what you decide in five years,” she tells me.
Over the years, Galinsky has seen many a young person with a bold idea for changing the world walk through her door. After all, her organization has awarded more than 500 social entrepreneurs working in over 40 countries with $30 million in start up funding. Along the way she’s developed some pretty strong and savvy ideas about how to get from A-Z.
Work on Purpose imparts that knowledge through the stories of five Echoing Green fellows: Andrew Youn, Cheryl Dorsey (now actually president of Echoing Green), Mark Hanis, Mardie Oakes and Socheata Poeuv.
“Our main philosophy is Heart + Head = Hustle, and in these five stories we explain that every single person, whether it’s me, you, or anyone, can use that framework to think about what’s important to them and create a meaningful and impactful career,” Galinsky explains, adding, “It’s not a straight line, and giving yourself permission to fall and mess up, and to get back on the road is very valuable. It’s what I think every person I know who’s had an unbelievable path has embraced.”
Care2 is giving away 10 copies of Work on Purpose. Answer the following question in the comments section at the end of this post and we’ll select 10 lucky winners based on your responses:
What was an AH-HA moment that ended up changing the course of your life and your career? Tell us about it!
Photo: Work On Purpose book cover graphic courtesy of Echoing Green