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Getting a job in impact investing

By
Nicole Sara Sivens
February 8, 2018
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As awareness and interest grow in impact investing, more and more people seek to begin their career in the field. Our entire Swell team has gotten the messages on LinkedIn that all essentially ask the same question: How do I get a job in impact investing?

What if there’s no equivalent for your current role?

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that impact investing is a financial field just as much as a force for social good. If your career path has taken you into finance and you’ve become interested in impact, our Business Strategist Tanaaz Jasani recommends that you “should develop your skill set and have a unique offering. I don’t generally ask to fill an existing role, instead, I find a need in a company and demonstrate that I can solve that need.”

Are the rules the same when you interview for an impact position?

As with any new-ish industry, a lot of the skills needed are ones you’ll only develop with hands-on experience. Be ok with working in the field, but not at your dream position from the get-go. Our recruiter, Liz Lewine, has this advice: “The most important thing a candidate can do is their homework! They need to research the company, know what the company does and who its competitors are. Also, candidates need to look at the big players LinkedIn profile - know their background. Once candidates get an interview, they must come prepared with questions to ask the team. And always send a thank you note.”

How do you keep up with the impact crowd?

With a lot of finance companies now just shifting slightly toward the impact angle, there’s lots of road to run. Our Impact Research Analyst, Amberjae Freeman describes her own path by explaining that she “views learning as a journey, not a destination. You have to continually develop your talents and work to stand out from the crown. It’s not just enough to be a strong learner, you also have to be a quick learner.”

What if you’re not in finance?

It’s not all about the money. The retail finance world is going online. Technology and algorithms will mostly replace IRL financial advisors, and impact is no different – just ask BlackRock’s CEO. Our Product Manager Arianna Savant says “to get into impact investing, get into technology and become literate. This doesn't mean learning to code necessarily, but it does mean having an understanding about how web and native applications are built, common working patterns of these kinds of tech teams, and building up communication skills to be able to work with cross-functional teams.”

How do you know if working in impact investing is right for you?

The most important questions to ask when looking for a job in impact investing are the ones that you ask yourself. What do you like doing? What are you good at? What are your goals? Does your value set align with the mission of your current company?

Where are the jobs posted?

The top three sites to find employers seeking to hire in the impact investing field are: LinkedIn, Angel’s List, BuiltinLA, Indeed.com. There’s also this excellent article on The Good Trade that links to some other great job hunting sites.

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