Does your job change the world?

Is it possible to do work that contributes in a way that is both meaningful, makes a positive impact and provides a great living? This weeks Podcast www.careerjoy.com/podcast is with Alison Leung, brand manager of Dove for the Unilever Company. I am not sure if you have seen their real beauty campaign but, in my own opinion, it is probably the most compelling marketing campaign running – it is fantastic. I call it "photoshop free" ads. They use woman of all races, shapes, sizes, ages and none of them are professional models. 92% of women feel that there is something they would like to change about their body. This campaign was piloted in Canada and was so successful that it has been rolled out across the globe. What I love about the concept is their ability to connect with the market. What woman are really needing is to be affirmed for what beauty really is – the whole person.

Alison said, "Products are functional things, we are trying to make changes to our society". They are selling more than soap. They are really selling the idea that you are beautiful. You don’t have to look like a supermodel. They have great products to help you maintain your beauty and bring vitality to your entire life. What they are selling is something they can deliver. The Dove brand is authentic and no, they didn’t send me a free year of soap!

In my conversation with Alison, she shared her own career journey and what I considered are some very important career goals that most professionals are looking for and few have – the ability to work on projects that have greater impact than just generating profit for your company and filling up your RRSP’s. Alison shared a story in our conversation of a woman in Newfoundland who had saved $10,000 for plastic surgery. She realized that the beauty she was looking to buy from a plastic surgeon was something that she already had. She cancelled the surgery and Dove got a customer for life. The Dove brand team came together and made a difference in this woman’s soul.

Incidentially, I spoke with a client who was a very senior member in one of Canada’s largest grocery chains who spoke about her experience working with the Dove team. She said, "They were really a special group of people, from the President to the sales reps – they stood apart from their competition". I think the real beauty campaign started years before. Soap you can get anywhere, people are priceless.

When companies put together a group of people that are passionate and talented, you end up with a product or service that is truly unique. Alison spoke of what an amazing group of people that she works with. You may be thinking, "what else would she say?" However, I could tell she believed in it. Another observation that I had is that often people perceive it is easier to make a difference with a not for profit or a small company. While I would agree that is more likely, there are many examples of for profit enterprises that are doing great things in this world. "I feel like I have the best job in the world", said Alison. Is that something that you could say about your situation? Dove and us are in the same business, we just use different tools to help people reach thier full potential – it is very possible, but it isn’t a guarantee.

Looking to change the world? Book a consultation.

Next weeks interview is with Rob Clarke, The Executive Director of Fair Trade Canada.

P.S. The winner of our contest for $500 worth of Flygurlz stuff is Gillian White.

P.P.S. I apologize for the absence of the podcast with the founders of TheHumm from last week. It is now up on our site.