With today’s generation of new graduates and the emerging workforce there is one theme that is becoming more common: the idea of corporate social responsibility, or CSR. Without diving deep into the very concept of CSR, I’d like you to think about how this affects you, as both a job seeker and citizen. Generation Y is known for many things – many of these things of which aren’t positive. But, one thing that is positive is the generation’s desire to give back, make a difference in others’ lives, and empower them to create a better life for themselves.
This week, I have the pleasure of experiencing social responsibility and economic empowerment on a level that gives me great inspiration and hope that the world will be a better place; thanks to the impact this generation has the opportunity to make on their communities. That experience is summed up in one event: Enactus World Cup. Enactus’ mission is to enable progress through entrepreneurial action. The World Cup brings together the top young professionals (college students) and the top business executives from around the world in an event where each country (the countries have university teams that give an audio/visual presentation on the impact of their community projects, evaluated on how they empowered those in need to help increase their standard of living and overall quality of life.) There were 34 countries represented at this year’s event.
Here are few testimonials from Enactus students around the world:
When I think of the impact they have on their fellow man, the incredible experience they’re gaining through this organization, and how they’re changing the world, I’m left inspired, motivated, and to be honest, quite humbled.
As a job seeker, it’s to your advantage to get involved with your community. This is a great way to gain leadership experience, project management skills, and be part of the greater good. So, here are my tips for those of you that are weighing your options with this:
Find your fit. There are plenty of worthy organizations in your local community, state, and nation. Find what fits you the best. Ask yourself: “What am I passionate about?” Then, do a little research on organizations that support your cause. Google it. Call your church. Ask a friend, co-worker or family member. They’ll know where to start.
Actively participate. Once you find your fit, participate. Don’t just show up. Show up with a purpose. Come with some ideas, but most of all, simply ask where you can help the most. Offer your expertise – don’t take it for granted.
Be humble. Regardless of the cause that you decide to support, chances are, you’ll be helping people, animals, or the environment to name a few. I’ve learned that humility goes a long way. No one wants to hear (ALL the time) how much you give back to the community, help people, etc. If you toot your horn too much, your involvement begins to sound self-serving vs. serving the cause.
Document your experience. If you’re a job seeker (or not), document your experience! Did you lead a team or project? Did you have to communicate the impact of your projects to an audience? How many people did you help impact and how? Knowing how to answer these questions will not only help you write your resume, but it will also add a great aspect: active, unpaid community involvement. That goes a long way – sometimes farther than actual “job” experience!
This isn’t meant to be a commercial about Enactus, but I do want to let you know that I work for the organization. I can only say great things about what we’re doing on the local, regional, national and global scale. The students involved are truly the future leaders of business. Businesses from Fortune 100 and 500 companies know this – that’s why they’re involved in the organization, seeing it as the premier business and higher education network, the leading source of effective, responsible business leaders, and a best-in-class non-profit organization. I would be happy to speak with anyone interested in learning more.
So, what are you waiting for? Go out and find someone to help, pay it forward, and build your engagement with the community!
Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. The experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world. For more information, please visit www.enactus.org.