This article was written by ESCP Master in Management student Inès Berthou.

Creating Career Impact: Insights from the CHANGE NOW Summit

The aim for many professionals is straightforward: to create a positive impact. However, the challenge lies in identifying how to achieve this goal. Drawing insights from academic experts, company founders, change makers, and even Rose-May Lucotte, Co-founder and COO of ChangeNOW, this article offers a clear action plan to maximise your career impact.

3 questions to start your journey

Why do you want to make a change? Finding your purpose for impact

Understanding why you want to make a change in your career is crucial. It is like having a map before going on a journey - without it, you might get lost. In difficult situations during your career, orientation is key, and purpose can provide guidance.

Having a clear intention and including it in your mission is a recipe for making a real difference. As Julie Reneau, Head of Coffee Sustainability at Nestle Nespresso SA, said, "To create a legacy, have a mission".

What are my values and how can I align them with my career?

Including sustainability criteria in our daily decision-making processes is a good first step. Therefore, ensure that organisations’ values are aligned with yours. Certifications such as the ones provided by B Lab are a good reference point.

To aid in the decision-making process regarding educational institutions, Julia Lemarchand, Editor-in-chief of Les Echos Le Parisien group, presents the 2023 ChangeNOW/Les Echos START ranking, identifying the schools leading in ecological transition commitments.

Where do I start? Ways to create a positive change

There are 1001 ways to have a positive impact, as mentioned by Lemarchand. All roads lead to Rome, no matter where: large company, start-up, personal project, and no matter how: intrapreneurship or entrepreneurship. What matters is starting now.

There is an ongoing need for students to tackle sustainable development challenges. Start-ups that are committed to creating change struggle to find talent. And the same applies to large companies. Nancy Mahon, Chief Sustainability & ESG Officer at Estée Lauder, underscores the need for intrapreneurial efforts within companies to drive sustainability initiatives forward.

To dive deeper into this topic, Les Echos Start created “The guide to jobs with a positive impact”. There you can find an overview of how to make a difference in your career, providing sources of inspiration, checklists, and training opportunities.

2 messages from the speakers to you

At the end of the “Make an impact in your career” conference, I had the opportunity to exchange for a few minutes with the moderator Claire Petreault, CEO Les Pépites Vertes, and Rose-May Lucotte, Co-founder and COO of ChangeNOW. The question I asked was: “What is a piece of advice you would give to a changemaker?”

Claire Petreault: “I have two messages, the first - fail and try again. Do not expect to find the answer immediately. And the second - it is not about where you are going, but who you are going with.

Rose-May Lucotte: “Never neglect a meeting, and do not underestimate any acquaintance. You do not know the power this new connection may have in your life or project.

One action - The first step

Question your daily actions and identify how to make an impact from there. Start small, in the different spheres of your life, and do not expect change to be overnight.

For instance, within your professional realm, delve into your company's sustainability efforts, either through research or through direct engagement with the sustainability officer. Explore avenues for involvement or initiate the groundwork for your own project. Similarly, as a student, consider ways to incorporate ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria into business models, or align them with planetary boundaries.

What’s next? - A roadmap to follow

CHANGE NOW is an event that creates bridges between different players in society, from different industries, backgrounds, and stories. When you enter the room, you feel the colours, the excitement, and the hope. It was a moment of synergy in which I was able to understand how actors at different levels partner to create a greater impact. But attending this event or reading this article will be pointless if we do not start.

To sum up, the steps to create an impact in your career begin with identifying your purpose and values. Then, seek out companies that align with your principles, make conscious consumer choices, and integrate the sustainability criteria into your daily routines. And most importantly, stay consistent, embracing setbacks as part of the journey. Value the connections around you and remain open to forging new ones.

About the author

Inès Berthou

Inès Berthou

French Mexican at ESCP in the MiM program as international exchange student, passionate about ESG and international business. Currently pursuing her undergraduate studies at Tecnológico de Monterrey in México.