People find amazing jobs on EthicalJobs.com.au every day. This is part of a series of articles that go behind the scenes to meet some of the people and organisations finding each other through EthicalJobs.com.au.
EthicalJobs.com.au is a social enterprise, that helps organisations that are making a difference to find passionate and committed staff – helping them to make more of a social and environmental impact through their activities.
Starting out with work
My first ever job was at a Blockbuster video store at my local shops in Canberra, where I grew up. I think they were scrambling a bit to keep the business alive, so very soon after I started they opened a Cold Rock ice cream shop inside the video store… I assume the idea was to encourage people to get a movie and a sweet treat to take home and enjoy – a package deal, so to speak. It’s funny to think that my first job was in an industry that just doesn’t exist anymore!
I moved to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, where I majored in English and Theatre Studies and minored in Anthropology. It was important to me that my undergraduate degree was broad and general, so I could experience and learn about lots of different things.
I ended up completing my Honours in Anthropology, with a focus on environmentalism in community spaces. I conducted research with a Brunswick-based environmental social enterprise called CERES, working closely with volunteers at one of their urban farms. My studies definitely solidified my desire to work in spaces where a commitment to social change is at the forefront, and showed me that so much can be achieved when a group of passionate individuals come together.
I’m very early in my career journey – my work experience has largely been in the not-for-profit and community sector though. I tried my hand at some writing and editorial roles for small publications and literary magazines for a while, when I thought that I might end up in publishing or a field related to literature. I’ve worked in education as a study session leader, and as a volunteer for Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education and Training.
Working at EthicalJobs.com.au
The Customer Service (CS) team is affectionately referred to as the ‘engine room’ of EthicalJobs.com.au – we proof edit hundreds of job ad texts everyday, and are the first port of call for our clients. The CS team definitely plays an integral role in supporting thousands of for-purpose employers to find values-driven staff and volunteers.
When we proof jobs that go up on the website, we make sure that the role and the organisation align with our values and check in with clients to make sure everything is going smoothly. I like to say to my friends who use EthicalJobs.com.au as jobseekers that I likely edited the ads that they’re looking at!
As a team, we rely a lot on one another for opinions and advice. We’re very hands-on and highly communicative. I think that we have a very strong team culture which is built around accountability and integrity. We have a lot of fun together, and there is recognisable care for each other. It’s a very special team to get to work with everyday.
A definite highlight of my work here so far would be my involvement with our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) working group. I feel very strongly about the principle of (re)conciliation as something which needs to be material, iterative and reflexive. Getting the opportunity to work on EthicalJobs.com.au‘s first draft RAP, ‘Reflect’, has been a huge learning curve for me and I feel grateful that my input has been considered valuable, especially considering how new I am to the organisation. In developing this RAP we’ve been able to reflect on how much more we could and should be doing when it comes to First Nations people and organisations. The benefit of working for a medium sized, for-purpose organisation is you really do get to feel as though your individual work is making a difference.
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Working for a better world
As a recent graduate without much experience in the workforce, I felt like my skill set was broadly applicable to the role. I also knew that EthicalJobs.com.au would be a values-driven workplace, and therefore a great place for me to start finding my feet in a professional capacity. It can be difficult to come across entry-level positions, particularly as the job opportunities for Arts graduates have only shrunk over the years due to underfunding. So I feel very lucky to get to have my first full time workplace exposure in a medium sized social enterprise. I was also hopeful that I could learn more about the not-for-profit landscape in Australia, which has been one of the highlights of the job thus far.
My advice to those who want to work for organisations and companies who are striving to make a difference would be to back yourself and your convictions. I definitely doubted that I had enough experience to land my role with EthicalJobs.com.au, but what you can offer to a role is sometimes so much more than it seems on paper. Organisations have everything to gain by hiring values-driven, passionate people, so take courage in your abilities to be a valuable addition to a given workplace.
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