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The Social Entrepreneurship Dilemma

I like doing fulfilling work. Fulfilling work to me is working for companies that are making a positive social impact in the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to work for these types of companies in the past. But I’ve also been fortunate to work as a well-paid contractor for companies that aren’t necessarily in the social space. Almost every time, they contract work pays better. (Sometimes twice as much).

So here’s the dilemma:

How do I as a person who gets (needs) fulfilment from his work balance the potential for high income with the desire to make the world a better place? Sometimes it seems like it’s one or the other.

I understand this is a good problem to have and very much a “first world” problem. However, there’s no denying that my happiness and mental health hinges on doing impactful work.

I have gone back and forth on this issue. On the one hand I think that I should focus only on doing impactful work and not worry about the money. On the flip-side, I could work 100% contract work and spend a majority of the surplus donating to causes or investing in impact companies. Or maybe I take on contract work 50% of the time, spending the rest of my time on passion projects where I don’t have to worry about the pay?

I haven’t really found the solution. I think maybe it lies somewhere between the two extremes? Is there a perfect mix? Or is there some solution I haven’t thought of?

(Image taken by Ryan’s Well Foundation)

Published in All Life