Key Questions in this Post:
- Why do people seek”sustainability” or “corporate responsibility” jobs?
- Should “sustainability” jobs be actually part of “do good” careers, or rather “do not as much bad”?
- What does it really mean to work in a “sustainable” job vs. a “normal” job? What is the value in this difference?
Today, let me speak especially to the aspiring or graduated MBAs and undergraduate business/economics students among you. Let me be blunt. First, I can indeed see why gray-haired corporate executives, looking back on long, illustrious, successful and profitable careers in what used to be “traditional” companies, find an appeal in preaching for sustainability and corporate social responsibility today. Yes, I can follow the “whole triple bottom line, it’s good for all, it’s good for us, it’s strategic growth engines, we ALSO have an obligation to invest in our communities” types of rationale.
Fine, so maybe they DO feel genuinely guilty about their firms’ past footprint on the environment. Or maybe they have always been environmentalists and community lovers at heart. Or maybe they just want to keep up with their executive peers/Joneses at the local country club. Kidding aside, my point is I get why they do this (good and bad reasons all in all) and why they try so hard to make sure everyone else hears about it, too.
But, I ask, what about young professionals nowadays? Why are many of you so enthusiastic about embracing CSR and sustainability as careers? What is it that you seek to accomplish that is better, more noble, than your peers pursuing “traditional” jobs?