After Greg Smith’s very public departure from Goldman Sachs, the growing intolerance for “toxic” business environments represents an undercurrent that is sweeping the work force. As more and more individuals begin to veer away from traditional 9-5pm career paths, job hunters are searching for meaningful, intrinsically satisfying work. 401ks no longer offer that same beam of promise that was once extended to previous generations. Instead, perks come in the form of cuddly office dogs and unlimited snacks, and businesses look to cultivate hip working environments and relaxed cultures that attract the best and brightest.
But what happens when the best and brightest want to shine even brighter?
“Don’t settle,” urges ReWork, one company that has set out to encourage this shift in the working class. “We believe that no one should have to choose between making money and making a difference in the world,” advises their mission. And that’s the pillar from which their company has grown: encouraging individuals to find the job that simultaneously inspires passion and delight.
By matching eager, ambitious workers with organizations looking to do good, ReWork is determined to maximize the potential of both employee and employer. Whether a one-off project or a long-term position, ReWork links ideal prospects to that perfect fit – bypassing the hunting, searching, application processes for businesses and job seekers.
Working with a range of start-ups, non-profits, and corporations, ReWork is setting out to redefine what it means to be an employee, encouraging individuals to seek out the path that’s most rewarding for them. They’ve recognized this path is not always straight-forward, however, and meaningful work can be hard to come by.
“We’ve realized that there’s no road map…no community of people dedicated to this pursuit.” But by asking the right questions and collecting a database of impact-driven professionals and organizations, they’re hoping to blaze a trail that is easy to follow, shortening the distance between that first moment of employee discontent and basking in career utopia.
The career trajectories of co-founders Nathaniel Koloc, Evan Walden, and Abe Taleb emphasize this fact. Nathaniel earned his M.S. in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability, completing programs at Starting Bloc and Unreasonable Institute. Evan was an account manager for Dow Chemical, eventually consulting socially responsible start-ups. Abe holds a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering.
The team took time to shed light on their company’s work, offering tips for professionals looking to make a switch.
Is there a secret to connecting impact-driven professionals with impact-driven organizations?
Active listening provides the foundation to every connection we make. We’ve tried to create a system that encourages relationship and rapport building before anything else. Once this foundation of trust is established, both our talent and our clients can get real and honest about what they’re looking for. That’s when the magic happens.
What advice would you share with those looking to make money AND make a difference?
1. Don’t give up. It’s real. People are doing it every day. Give yourself permission to explore the possibility! We promise you will love what you find.
2. Discover your purpose. Think hard about what you care about. What makes you feel alive? What breaks your heart? What are you good at? Be as specific as possible to make it easy for people to help you.
3. Set a SMART goal and find an accountability partner. Schedule check-ins to make sure you’re on track.
4. Network your ass off! Ask questions. Do favors for no reason. Smile. Open your world up to opportunity.
You’ve recognized that the workforce is changing. How do you see REWORK accompanying that change?
The statistics on how often young people change jobs during the course of their careers continues to rise. This isn’t going to change. People are looking for experiences, not jobs. Instead of trying to battle this truth, we’re building a business that embraces it.
We make matches not only based on skill, but on values and culture. We’ve found this leads to an increase in employee retention. Also, our curated talent pool acts as a steady flow of good people which helps companies rapidly adapt to turnover.
Do you have any tips on the ways professionals might make themselves more appealing to organizations?
1. Be specific as hell about the value you can bring to the role you are applying for. What tangible results have you produced in the past that show off your ability to execute and follow up?
2. Be persistent. People are busy. If you email once and don’t hear a response, that’s par for the course. Keep at it (while being respectful) and let them tell you when they’ve had enough.
3. No one wants to hire a robot; no one is perfect. Don’t be afraid to get real and let your true self shine through.
How do you stay inspired?
By surrounding ourselves with inspirational people. Community is the key to sustainable inspiration. This is core to everything that we do.
From start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations, Michelle Welsch has helped brands refine the ways in which they connect with audiences. As a licensed social worker, she is committed to meaningful communication and strategy. When she’s not programming tweets or spinning words, you can find her rock climbing, hiking, or somewhere in Central Park.