Net Impact has advice to make positive changes at work, like starting a recycling program and making sure your company sources products responsibly.
This post is in partnership with Net Impact
It’s easier to do good on the job when the organization you work with is set on changing business for the better. But what if your place of work doesn’t embrace the difference between blue and brown waste bins or isn't concerned with working conditions in the factory where your widgets are manufactured? You might be biting your tongue until you get promoted to a position of authority to start cleaning up your company’s act, but why wait? Net Impact, an international network of professionals committed to using their business savvy for good, is debunking that myth. The fact is, the most influential seat can be your very own office chair. Net Impact’s Jennifer Chin breaks down how you can start your own social "intrapreneurship" to start positive initiatives.
Forget the silver platter
A lucky few might have their do-good opportunity handed straight to them. More often, people find an effective way to integrate positive change into their day job, even if their normal tasks don’t explicitly lead to social impact. Whether you’re in finance, marketing, operations, or retail there’s always a window open to do good—it’s just a matter of taking the initiative. Net Impact mentors come from every department. They’ve taken their role in design to make product packaging more green, prioritized sustainability when planning community gatherings, and more.
Think outside the cubicle
You can make an impact outside of your specific function, too. Programs like Impact at Work encourage employees to start environmental and social good projects all throughout their offices. Help launch a composting program in the kitchen, or help get your coworkers off bottled water. Side projects like these can help pave the way for bigger involvement down the road.
Treat your company like a first date
Get to know it extremely well. Listen to your colleagues’ needs and concerns, and learn their lingo. The folks profiled in Corporate Careers That Make a Difference insist the best way to make an impact at work is to really, truly know the business. Not only will it earn you respect, it will help you figure out where to direct your time and energy to do more good.
Find a great wingman (or two or three)
You’ll need the support of others to really get your project off the ground. If you don’t already have someone in your corner, you might need to turn on the charm and convince someone—colleague, manager, or executive—about the value of the work you’re doing. Mastering soft skills like listening and negotiating will help you win them over.
For more advice, check out Corporate Careers That Make a Difference, their recently released guide on how to make change happen from the inside out, regardless of your title.
Image (cc) by Flickr user Gabriel Saldana