When I was a senior in college, my career goals were fairly simple. I wanted to work for a company that was doing something I cared deeply about. So, when I started actually looking for jobs, I limited my search to non-profits, because, well, in my mind: non-profits = world changers, for-profits = EVIL EMPIRES OF EVIL.
Since then, I’ve worked for both non-profits and for-profit companies. I’ve learned that you don’t need to be a non-profit to be mission-driven. The more I explored and tried on new positions and employers, the more I realized that there were loads of for-profit companies with values that resonated deeply with my own.
Here are five companies (some for profit, some not) who have missions I love and who I believe are on an unstoppable quest to change the world.
PayScale is all about the $$$. Their mission is to help employers understand what they should pay and help employees understand what they’re worth. Compensation is complicated, and PayScale seeks to keep both parties informed with relevant data. Why is this so important?! Because talking about money, especially when you’re early in your career, is really, really ridiculously tough.
When I was negotiating my first salary, I used PayScale’s salary survey to understand what people doing a job like mine were typically paid and also, what the unique skills I brought to the table were worth. It was super informative and helped me go into my negotiation meeting confident in my asks.
It’s important that we can talk candidly about compensation because it’s so important both to companies and employees. The work PayScale is doing is a big deal, and if you haven’t taken their salary survey, you probably should …
Empowering everyone to make informed and powerful political donations
.14% of Americans make 64% of political contributions. Woof. Thankfully, ActiveGiver is working hard to change that. The Seattle-based technology company’s mission is to enable everyone — no matter how much money they have — to become an impactful giver.
ActiveGiver runs a platform that helps individuals contribute to specific causes they care about. Once a donation is made, the money is split between candidates that support that cause. (ActiveGiver doesn’t take a cut of the transaction, they exist only as the connector.) ActiveGiver is here to help all of us support the causes we care about in a thoughtful, powerful way. And that rocks.
When I first heard about Medikidz, I couldn’t hide the “THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER” expression on my face. Medikidz is a children’s medical education organization that produces unique learning materials (comic books) to help educate children about their health.
They were founded by a pediatrician, Kate Hersov, who was frustrated with the lack of education materials available to her patients. As a doctor, she wanted resources that could educate kids about their health and diagnoses in an understandable, engaging way.
From their website:
Medikidz believes that every child deserves access to medical information they can understand. We are creating a global community of young people that are informed, empowered and health-aware.
So far, they’ve produced, oh, around 3.5 million comic books. Thanks for being awesome, Medikidz.
Making sure everyone has convenient access to eye care
I didn’t find out I needed glasses until well into my second year in the workforce. What followed was a good few months of having to skip work for appointments, follow ups, and even glasses fittings. When your doctor’s office is open only during the hours you work, it becomes really hard to get the care you need … fast.
2020 On-site Optometry is changing the game for eye care. How? By making it so stinking easy to get your eyes checked (and then get care if you need it).
2020 operates a state-of-the-art mobile “eye truck” that will come to you. Since launching in Boston, they’ve partnered with local businesses and schools to provide convenient and quality eye checks to everybody.
LinkedIn is a hell of a lot more than a networking platform. They’re secretly incredibly mission-driven and working their butts off to level the economic playing field around the world. In addition to their traditional platform, LinkedIn recently launched LinkedIn for good, the “social impact arm” of the company. Their goal is to create economic opportunity by connecting underserved communities to the networks, information, and opportunities they need to succeed.
While LinkedIn has experienced explosive growth, they’ve worked hard to remain true to their mission. Jeff Wiener, LinkedIn’s CEO, wrote:
It’s during this time of fastest growth that it becomes essential for the company to remain focused on its core, and that requires a clear and consistent understanding of what the company is about.
Michaela Gianotti is Koru's content manager. She attended Whitman College, where she spent the better part of four years convincing her family that English majors can get jobs too. She has since found awesome work (SEE!) at 826 Seattle, msnNOW, and Koru.