1. Be Creative
"You have to try different things to get there. My first job after business school was a business strategy role. But I was also building relationships to let people know that this [CSR] was an area that I had expertise in. At some point, I was hoping that that company would be willing to carve out a space for me to work on those issues."
2. Focus on Skills, Not a Job in CSR
"It's very important to not put all of your focus, on "I want a CSR job" because in the future there are going to be more opportunities for jobs at companies where CSR is a part of your job. I think it's going to be more embedded in the functional groups across a company, within marketing, within finance, within supply chain. "
"So even though it worked out for me, it may not have. If it hadn't, I still think I would have been okay working my way back eventually into a CSR role in some capacity."
3. Network. Extensively
"I went to a lot of conferences during my MBA and after and sought out projects that had a CSR focus in classes that I took. I found professors very supportive of letting me tailor papers and projects to include a CSR angle."
4. Believe in Yourself
"Be creative and patient; even if you can't find your dream job through a regular search, find a company that you believe in, get into the company, and try to carve out space for yourself to contribute in some way – through a green team, by leading volunteer projects, by incorporating CSR considerations into your team’s planning. "
5. Discouragement Is Not an Option
"There's way too much work to be done in this area for people to get discouraged. Just because you can't find CSR in a job title immediately, doesn't mean you can't do CSR in your job. It just might take a little bit longer, and a different path. I’m very optimistic about the opportunities in CSR in the future."
6. Have a Traditional Business Functional Focus
"Make sure to complement your knowledge and experience in CSR/sustainability. If you look at how change is being driven today within companies, this helps tremendously. For example, the people who are leading the change in our supply chain organization have years of experience in supply chain – they did not start out as sustainability experts. They're going to be the ones who really understand what can have the biggest impact in that space. Being in a CSR team, we can serve as good partners and help with strategic alignment, but it’s more effective if the business groups own and drive the results in their area."
How Do You Make CSR Make Sense?
A CSR Executive's Career Path
How to Pursue a Responsible Career in 2011
Job Hunting in CSR
Reporting from Net Impact 2010: How to Pursue a Career in CSR
The Sustainability Jobs Debate
Don't Let Your Jobsearch Define You: Tips from a CSR Jobseeker
For more news, advice and tips on how to incorporate CSR in your career path or job search, visit Vault's CSR blog: In Good Company.
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