Try this for a perfect, enduring graduating gift . . . One could do a dissertation on what’s under the robes at graduation time. Formal to flip, natty to butt-naked. Under the robes also are the dual sentiments of accomplishment and dread. Graduation angst: next steps have always been obvious. Now the future feels disturbingly uncertain.
Many recent graduates also claim they want to make a difference with their lives. They don’t want to work, to just work. They want to blend passion, purpose and a paycheck, but they don’t have a plan. And “a dream without a plan is just an hallucination!” Will Rogers once said.
We were compelled to write our book, Compassionate Careers: Making a Living by Making a Difference (Career Press, 2015), partly by this recognition that graduates (and many others) could benefit greatly from combining a vision for what’s possible with a plan to make it happen.
Does making a difference mean teaching, healthcare and social work? Yes, but options are expanding daily in social enterprise, science, business, government, philanthropy and nonprofit organizations. Today, it’s more and more common to create a product that has social and environmental benefit, to be an entrepreneur who drives to both profit and purpose, to work in a responsible company. And, although we hate the moniker “nonprofit,” there is a rapidly growing need for new leaders in this wide field.
This may sound like a thinly disguised advertisement for our book (which it is), but those who’ve read Compassionate Careers say the stories are hugely inspiring and the tools are extremely useful. The book has a five star rating on Amazon, it was selected by Stanford Social Innovations Review as a subscriber incentive, it’s been featured by FastCompany, Forbes, Foundation Review and many more, the second print was just released.
Compassionate Careers has been heralded by visionaries such as Desmond Tutu and Dan Pollatta, who writes, “We need to usher in and embrace a new wave of social entrepreneurs, visionaries and change-makers. The authors take on this challenge by providing an inspiring and practical, research-based guide for people seeking both purpose and a paycheck. I encourage you to check it out!” One person said it was the best book she’d ever read. Well, that’s perhaps a tad overboard, but we do know that our world needs a new frontier spirit, and that we can no longer continue the division between what we do and what is in our hearts.
Another famous Rogers (a.k.a. Mister Rogers) once said, “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
So what can you do? Buy the book and give it to a graduate. See the need and respond. It’s more than a gift—it’s a life.
Compassionate Careers is available in stores or online in print, e-reader or audio book format. If you buy it directly from us through our website, we’re happy to autograph the book with a dedication to the person you’d like to gift it to.