It is totally possible for you to have the impact you hope to have in the world while maintaining your career ambitions. The two are not mutually exclusive. You can contribute to positive social change AND be successful professionally. In fact, being able to marry the two is the key to maximizing your Purposeful Hustle. Investing in and developing yourself to be the best you can be means that your contributions to the greater good have the capacity to be that much better.
Three ways that I like to use the value of my career to live out my purpose are with my talent, time and treasure:
You have so much to bring to the table and so much value to add to organizations that are doing the work that aligns with your purpose. While you hustle in your career or your day job, there are still so many meaningful ways you can use your talents to further good work in really significant ways, such as joining a board. Joining a board of a nonprofit organization that is doing work aligned with your purpose is a great way to contribute your gifts and leadership to a vision and a mission that you care about deeply. You can have a direct impact on the funding, decision-making and overall direction of the organization. Especially if you can bring a different perspective, network or set of experiences to the makeup of the board, you can make a huge difference.
When you look at the current state of your calendar and wish that you were devoting more time to purpose-filled work, consider volunteer opportunities, especially for specific projects or work in the area of your expertise. A lot of nonprofit organizations are either understaffed or underfunded, so if you can give even a few hours a week to complete or accomplish something that you’re good at and that they’re in need of, that can be invaluable. Schedule a meeting with an organization’s leaders and see how your knowledge and skills could improve the quality of work happening there. If you have additional time, consider hosting lunch and learns, where you can host mini-workshops or hold discussions about professional topics that could build capacity within the staff of a nonprofit organization.
In addition to being intentional about the ways that you are spending your own personal resources, consider how you can raise funds for an organization that carries out your purpose. Get creative! Fundraising events can be a lot of fun and don’t have to be anything fancy. Host a dinner party, a benefit concert, or a book club - any kind of gathering where you can create space to raise awareness about an organization and the funds they need. Instead of gifts for a major milestone, ask for donations to an organization you are passionate about. Don’t hesitate to talk to those in your network about work that is important to you. You never know who else is passionate about a similar purpose and who may be interested in contributing to a certain organization that they didn’t know about before. Allocate funding to sponsor a specific project so you can see the fruits of your donation or so you can have a tangible example to talk to your friends about.
While you’re chasing your dreams in your career, you are simultaneously developing skill sets, building relationships, and getting connected to assets that can be really influential to those doing the work that is directly aligned to your purpose. Be attuned to how your talents, time and treasure can serve a purpose bigger than you!