It’s graduation time around the world and we often get questions from graduates on, “how do I get a job in the area of Corporate Responsibility?” It’s great to hear from these students because they have so much passion about the area of CSR—and they are not jaded like me.I have the following “free” advice for these recent grads: 1) There are probably not a lot of jobs that you can jump right into out of college and do CSR work full-time. Don’t be discouraged…..It’s a journey right—not a destination. 2) If you cannot find your dream CSR job, take a job in your major (e.g., engineering, finance, communications, etc.) and look to apply your passion for CSR into your job. One of the biggest challenges of CSR is integrating it into all parts of the company. Just like quality isn’t something done by a few people in the quality department, CSR needs to be integrated to be truly successful. 3) If you are at a company that already has some CSR staff, try to meet the staff and learn more about where they need help or if there are ways you can be involved? 4) Volunteer opportunities either inside or outside the company are a great way to apply your CSR passion, build skills and establish networks. 5) Depending on your company, you could start a club or employee group that focuses on CSR. 6) Depending on your background, skills and training, you could try doing CSR as an independent contractor or consultant, but that is probably tough to pull off unless you have a lot of experience and a pretty good network. If you do get that CSR job, some of the up sides about working in the area of CSR are that you get to work on interesting issues that are important to society and you get to work on a wide variety of issues. On the downside, not everyone may share your passion for CSR and in a for profit business, you probably have to spend a lot more time selling your cause than you thought, and you don’t always win, but that’s probably typical in any job. At least you can feel smug that you are usually fighting for the just cause. Good luck with the job searches and finding a position that matches your head with your heart.
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