Two guys in pursuit of jobs with impact
Lars Martin Haukohl and Thomas Damgaard Hasselager took a chance. They said goodbye to prestigious jobs and steady incomes in search for something more. Something impactful. What makes two men in the prime of their lives quit their jobs and walk into the unknown? We asked them.
You both decided to leave your jobs? How come?
Thomas: “After spending more than six years in the public sector, I asked myself ‘what am I doing with my life? Am I making any significant difference to others?’. I wanted to make an impact, leave a sustainable footprint and be able to make a difference for the people around me. I don’t believe that I can save the entire world, but I want to make sure that when I leave this planet, I did what I could, and I made an impact.
I quit my job before the summer, because I needed some time to reflect upon my situation. This is when I met Lars and we quickly discovered that we had a lot I common.”
Lars: “For me, it’s quite the same story, actually. I was a former engineer turned
industrial designer, spending eight years designing headphones, TV and audio/video equipment for companies in the automotive industry. Even though my career offered plenty of opportunities to work with some of the best designers in the world and going on business trips to New York and Silicon Valley, I was not at all proud of what I did. Before I knew it, I found myself in a position where my work didn’t make any sense to me and I felt like I’ve spent my valuable time designing products nobody really needed. I couldn’t perform because it didn’t really seem meaningful to me. Like Thomas, I wanted to see that my work was making a real, significant and positive difference. It just didn’t, so I quit.”
How did your close family and friends react to you quitting your jobs?
Lars: “The general reaction has been ‘wow, that sounds pretty cool – I wish I could do that’.
I think that this mindset of wanting to make an impact in your job, resonates strongly with the younger generation especially, but also the older generation, actually. You see, they have already climbed the ladder and to some extent reached their full potential, and now they want to redefine themselves by adding more impact into their daily lives.”
We have so little impact in our spare time and such an enormous impact during the eight hours we’re at work, which are the most productive hours of the day. Founder Lars Martin Haukohl, Impactful Jobs
You launched Impactful Jobs recently. What is the idea behind this community?
Thomas: “So, Impactful Jobs is both a career portal and a career community. We work for promoting, attracting and retaining what we call ‘purpose driven professionals and purposeful companies’, so it’s a two-fold business model where we serve both the talents and the companies – the employers.”
Lars: “We really want to inspire, advice and provide tools for talents who are searching for a meaningful and impactful career. We want to be more than a recruitment company, so we are building a sustainable network platform, an open source platform, that goes beyond the job search process, so that people can be inspired continuously, and be given proper advice and right tools for creating further impact in their jobs and essentially in their daily lives. For the community to grow, we aim to host an event once a month where we focus on different sectors and companies.
What is the purpose of Impactful Jobs?
Lars: “To make people realize that they will be much happier if they can actually feel and see the impact of their work in their daily lives. It would also be nice, if we could put a bit more perspective into what a job should contain. For instance, there is an emphasis on various factors when choosing to apply for a new job, such as wage and travel distance. However,
there’s also a great deal of focus on company lunch programmes, which is a nice perk, but what a trade–off it would be if we ditched the focus on lunch programmes and added a bit of purpose and impact instead.
We have so little impact in our spare time and an enormous impact during the eight hours we’re at work, which are the most productive hours of the day. We’re talking about how we can save the environment by recycling plastic bottles, cardboard and bio-waste, which is a good way to go, but we’re not talking about doing a difference while we’re at work. Wewant to change that.”
Thomas: “Exactly! But where do you find the jobs where you can make an impact? I struggled finding an overview of jobs with a sustainable focus myself, so this is what created the foundation for our company, basically”.
Cool! So, if you want to apply for a job on the platform, how does that work?
Thomas: “On our website, we’ve listed a bunch of vacant positions in companies that work with sustainability at its core. Attached to each position is at least one the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN. This is to provide more transparency and guidance to talents, as you’re able to see which of the 17 goals this particular job meets.