How to Have a Successful Sustainability Career

NetImpact and The Center for Corporate Citizenship just released a free 80-page guide to pursuing and building a career in sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Today’s business landscape looks very different than it did just a decade ago; shifting environmental and economic realities, new business models, and changing attitudes have opened up new career opportunities among those looking to pursue work that directly reflects their personal values. With these new opportunities, of course, come new challenges.

“More and more people want to make a positive impact on the world through the work they do,” says Liz Maw, Executive Director of Net Impact, “but there are so few resources to help them turn this aspiration into a successful career. This guide fills that gap by exploring the diversity of opportunities available in corporate citizenship, and providing hands-on advice for long-term success.”

The career guide was developed to inform both graduate students and working professionals about the growing variety of positions in corporate citizenship, and to inspire readers to rethink their understanding of what it means to successfully pursue such careers. The authors have collected stories from professionals who work in a wide range of companies and industries. They perform a diversity of job functions that influence everything from product management to finance to community engagement.

The authors of the guide deliberately chose individuals with corporate responsibility or sustainability in their titles from within a more conventional business role to demonstrate the sheer variety of opportunities that exist throughout the corporate sector. These roles were most often in the following departments:

  • Dedicated Corporate Citizenship Department
  • Operations
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Product Development
  • Finance
  • Compliance
  • Marketing and Brand Management

The guide highlights eight core competencies that highly successful CSR practitioners exhibit and draw on to achieve their success. The guide strongly advises Job seekers to further develop these skills, and find opportunities to demonstrate them during the job search.
These competencies are:

  • Team Oriented
  • Determined Commitment
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Strategic Thinker
  • Systems Perspective
  • Collaborative Networker
  • Influential Communicator
  • Change Driver

The guide tells readers that if they’re willing to expand their concept of what it means to be a professional working in corporate sustainability, they likely will find the path is entirely what they make of it.

Download the guide.