Care2 Book Giveaway! Do You “Work On Purpose”?

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!

Related reading

Feeding Africa One Acre At A Time

Echoing Green Finalist: Afghan Scholars Initiative

Shining Hope For Communities: An Innovative Solution to Gender Inequality

The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project: 450 People Safe And Counting…

Drop the Chalk: Changing Classroom Focus [VIDEO]

Global Cycle Solutions: Power To The Pedal


Photo: Work On Purpose book cover graphic courtesy of Echoing Green


Wioletta S.
Wioletta S6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jenna Corbett
Jenna Corbett6 years ago

Thanks :)

janine k.
janine k6 years ago

Every life is different. Some of us have lived many times, some haven't. That is, if you believe in that sort of philosophy. Some of us are something new every year. Some are one thing their entire life. Perhaps some of us are magic and change whenever the mood suits. I do know that if you have no career or love you can feel like empty. I think love is more important sometimes because if you are not loved nor appreciated, and are treated miserably, your psyche can get irreparably destroyed. I've seen almost every profession when I was actively working in New York. Now it seems that everything is a total illusion. What really is odd is that while some have the luxury of having something to do to make a living, they mock those who don't. I believe all people should have some way to contribute but I notice that things haven't changed much since Shakespeare's times.

Nancy L.
Nancy L.6 years ago

I left teaching and moved to the business world. I thought I had made the right choice. I kept getting work that was supposed to take an hour but I did it in 15 min. I had to look 'busy' for the rest of the time. Then I wanted to move into the Common Stock trading room. At that time no women allowed. Little by little all the roadblocks made me realize I was meant to be a teacher. I recently retired after 35 years of teaching in the same school. It was my true calling after all.

Ann F.
Ann F6 years ago

just now.. from reading article.

Anandi P.
Anandi P6 years ago

My A-Ha moment happened when I realized that the work I was doing for free to help the community and the environment made me happier and more fulfilled than work I was being paid to do! Another moment was on 9/11 when I decided that I wasn't going to wait to enjoy life or do the things I wanted to do and acted on them with a quickness! Now I'm starting my own non-profit to help the community and my volunteer resume is still growing.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago


Sarah K.
Sarah K.6 years ago

My aha moment was probably when i met my husband. He believed in me and what I could do. I had always thought I wanted to teach abroad, but ended up teaching ESL to recent immigrants and college test prep to high school kids. It may not be incredibly lucrative or glamorous, but I know that I have helped lots of people pursue their dreams, and that makes me happy.

May Howie
may Howie6 years ago