Good Business Makes for Great Careers
When deciding on career paths, people often pick “good work” for the world or “great careers” on paper. With Flexport.org, I carved out a niche that let me do good work I was passionate about without sacrificing career aspirations.
During my time as a Flexport employee, I haven’t always been facilitating equitable trade or getting goods to people who need them most. As director of solutions, I coordinated the product development for the supply side of our business. But, throughout my time in this role, I had experiences that confirmed how valuable our technology was for solving social and environmental issues.
This realization, paired with my previous experience as a counselor for children and young adults, made me wonder how Flexport could support humanitarian aid. At the end of 2016, Flexport partnered with a disaster relief nonprofit for the first time to bring medicine to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey. After that experience, I started a small group that met to identify the ways that we, as a logistics technology company, could power social good through our business model. We piloted more programs and quickly gained traction. Flexport.org became an important part of our company DNA and needed a committed full-time leader.
While senior leadership was excited by this opportunity, there was some concern about me moving out of my position as director of solutions. I was personally concerned about what moving into the impact world would mean for my career. I asked myself, “Can I achieve professional success in a new, impact-centric venture? Or should I continue down a path with existing upward mobility?”
Ultimately, I chose impact. I was passionate about it and knew it could drive business objectives like customer retention. Today, Flexport.org has gone from a passion project to a business unit with dedicated team members. Last year, our efforts helped offset more than 11,700 tons of carbon dioxide and unlock 20–25 percent in shipping savings for nonprofits.
If you are passionate about creating an impact, it’s important to work with people and companies that recognize the value of good business, so your passion and professional ambitions can align. Without working on a topic that motivates me every day, I wouldn’t have been able to learn so much, so fast, and ultimately, be so successful. I am glad I followed my internal compass and would encourage everyone to do the same.