Who benefits from your sweat equity? You probably have already clocked 1,000 hours during the first 6 months of 2012. If at this point you know that your talents are not benefiting the audience who needs them the most then it’s time for a mid-year career evaluation. This is a particularly useful exercise if you desire to switch gears in pursuit of socially conscious efforts (e.g. a role in corporate social responsibility, social investing, an NGO, etc.).
The benefits of this exercise are to a) help you envision who is being deprived of your talents, and b) give you a mental image you can use as a source of strength as you face the very real distractions of everyday life and corporate carrot sticks. Now, the exercise:
Imagine a day in the life of those who currently benefit from your talents. Then, imagine a day in the life of those who would be benefiting if you left your current job to one with socially conscious objectives.
Consider a fictitious professional named Kevin; he is a wealth manager with an impressive book of clients yet he has always wanted to apply his skills to helping impoverished entrepreneurs whose livelihoods are exceptionally vulnerable to natural disasters.
Let’s compare the realities of Kevin’s current clients with those of his prospective clients.
Kevin’s current client, Tom:
On the other hand, if Kevin shifted his talents to the social conscious mission of helping entrepreneurs in third world countries then his end “consumer’s” day-to-day would be very different; the ramifications of Kevin’s sweat equity would also differ.
Kevin’s prospective client, Dave:
In Kevin’s case, his sweat equity is marginally benefiting his current clients like Tom; Tom will continue to live well even if his financial portfolio dips a bit. Whereas, if Kevin applied his talents to improving financial solutions suitable for impoverished entrepreneurs like Dave then Kevin’s impact would besignificant; Dave would collapse without the financial solutions that Kevin would provide. However, the reality is that until Kevin makes the decision to shift gears it is his prospective client (those like Dave) whose livelihood and ability to progress will continue to be compromised.
It’s your turn to consider this mid-year review. It’s such a personal exercise with major implications but one that deserves your immediate attention as you decide how to invest your sweat equity during the next 1,000+ hours you will work in 2012.