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What about YOUR net impact?

Unless you are filthy rich or a shopaholic, chances are you influence the world around you the most via your work. And that is good news.

Most of us are used to thinking about our impact on the world mainly when we’re in the grocery store, or maybe buying a new car, or flying to Thailand for a vacation.

​However, unless you consume significantly larger amounts of cash daily than the average joe, or invest notable amounts of personal funds, chances are the most decisive identity for your net impact is your professional one. It’s about what you dedicate your time, skills, education, experience, passion and energy to.

This is very good news for all of us. Where we spend more than half of our waking hours matters!

Yay!

However, things are not looking too bright.

One interesting viewpoint to understanding different phases in humanity’s history is to examine what the most skillful, able and hard-working people have been up to in each generation. We know of times when they were doctors or teachers of some sort, scientists, perhaps philosophers, or care-takers of common matters.

What are they tinkering with in 2018? Looking around at the amount of so-called solutions to virtually non-existing first world problems being engineered with great rigour, seriousness and resource-intensiveness, I must admit I am a bit worried. We are producing toys no one needs and taking ourselves very seriously in the process. Adults playing games when the planet is fighting its last battle is a sight I think we must challenge.

What should we do then? Start to really think about where we spend our days. What we use our brains for. Where we dedicate our education and passion. Which activities and companies we endorse with our most valuable, most precious and unique resources: our time and energy.

Companies that manage to attract the best talent eventually end up influencing the world more than companies without the best doers: their products are sold more by skillful marketers and engineered to be better by the best coders. If we want our species to survive, we must start allocating both planetary as well as human resources in a smarter way. How do you vote with your brainpower?

The ways of impacting the world via your work are not restricted to the obvious tricks like hugging dolphins, kissing babies and planting trees. There are also a lot of unsexy ways to bring humanity forward and use human and planetary resources smartly. Ever wondered about the impact proper plumbing has on diseases, or the development of energy-efficient engines on climate change?

Man that's cool! But...I don't know what I want to impact through my work.

One challenge slowing us down is that often we aren't even aware of how we want to impact the world. We might be familiar with our own values as consumers, but as employees we haven't thoroughly done the thought process since junior high school.

Worry no more! We built a fun test for you to help clarify what you most want to influence through your work. As part of the first public appearance of our net impact quantification model based on scientific data, our AI also ranks your job experiences based on how well they have served your values and calculates your work's net impact so far. Wild, experimental, but a step in the right direction, we believe. You are welcome to take the test here!

​And finally: what is the take-away for companies and recruiters out there? Great pay, lots of “learning opportunities" and fun toys are no longer enough. To get the best doers, employers need to have an answer to the question: how would my brains and hands impact the world if they worked for your company?

Annu.
Founder of the Upright Project
Engineer and action woman who thinks it's time we update our way of measuring value creation of companies.