Are You Looking for CSR Job Openings? Look into Benefits Corporations!

Following my lastest post, I received emails and comments about job openings available for aspiring CSR professionals. Many of the comments were focused on how to get into CSR at a big recognizable for-profit company.   But why would so many professionals want a CSR job in companies that most often (comparatively to their revenue) provide little support and staff to drive their CSR initiatives?

In fact, many aspiring CSR professionals want these types of opportunities because they are highly visible.  The majority of these aspiring professionals really want to do good while doing well, and would love any kind of opportunity that enable them to not only create economic value for shareholders, but also create social and environmental value that strengthens communities and restore our environment.

If this is your goal, let me introduce a fresh idea: Why not look into Benefits Corporations (B Corps)? B Corps are for profit entities that operate and measure results according to the economic, social and environmental value they create for their shareholders. There are currently about 300 B Corps operating in the US. As you might know, last week the B Corps website announced that ‘Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law the nation’s first legislation creating Benefit Corporations, a new class of corporations required to create benefit for society as well as shareholders’. Similar legislation has been introduced in other states, including Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.

But why is this important? Well, the new law enables B Corps Directors to go beyond shareholder value, and also consider employees, community and the environment when they make any operating or liquidity decisions. Importantly, the new law also offers B Corps Directors legal protection for those considerations. This new law means that employees and managers working at B Corps can really be considered CSR professionals who truly can evaluate the economic, social, and environmental value they create when making business decisions.

So if your career goals are to maximize economic, social and environmental value creation, working at a B Corps might be a great fit. Of course, when competing for these jobs, you will of course need to demonstrate your passion for the products and services that the business offers. You will also need to articulate how your values align with those of the organization. Finally, you will also need to demonstrate that you possess specific skills, including:

  • The ability to measure the social impact of your projects – See ideas on how to develop this skill set here.
  • The ability to develop metrics to demonstrate how your projects have at most a minimal environmental impact – See ideas on how to develop this skill set here.
  • Soft Skills, including Communication with stakeholders, problem solving, as well as inspiring and motivating others. For more information about these skills, see our previous post on skills for sustainability professionals.

Going beyond well-known companies can enable you to reach your goals and build a career in business that successfully blends financial return with social impact and environmental responsibility! So when looking for job openings, go beyond big firms and identify opportunities with Justmeans Affiliated companies or with B Corps. These job openings will enable you to create blended value that will maximize profit, strengthen communities, and minimize environmental impact.

As always, my goal is simple: Help you amplify your impact and accelerate your learning as you build your career as a socio-eco innovator who does Business - Better. I look forward to receiving your career planning questions and to addressing them in future posts!

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