Podcast: Lara Galinsky of Echoing Green, "Heart + head = hustle"

featuredBy Amy Potthast.

This week, Lara Galinsky, Senior Vice President of Echoing Green, is launching an inspiring career guide for social impact work called Work on Purpose.

We interviewed Lara about her new book. Click here to listen now!

Each chapter of Work on Purpose asks key questions for career seekers; illustrates the impact of these questions in the lives of Echoing Green community members; and offers a place for notes at the end for you to jot reflections from your own life.

In this episode of the Idealist Careers Podcast, Idealist’s Amy Potthast chats with Lara Galinsky about the central message of Work on Purpose: finding work that uses your “Heart + Head = Hustle.”

Click here to listen:

p.s. In the podcast, Lara shares the stories of the five people who illustrate this message:

  • Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green, who graduated from medical school and Kennedy School of Government, and chose social-justice over medicine.
  • Mark Hannis, founder of the Genocide Intervention Network and the child of Holocaust survivors, who discovered as a college student that genocide still occurs, and that he could mobilize action to end it.
  • Mardie Oakes, founder of Hallmark Community Solutions, combined her background in architecture, community housing, and finance to develop housing for people with special needs.
  • Socheata Poeuv, creator of the film project Khmer Legacies, which documents interviews between Khmer Rouge survivors and their adult children.
  • Andrew Youn, Founder of the One Acre Fund, who started out in a corporate consulting job but later used his business skills to develop a market system for farmers in a region of Kenya to prevent annual famines.

Click here to learn more about Work on Purpose.

Amy Potthast served as Idealist’s Director of Service and Graduate Education Programs until 2011. Read more of her work at amypotthast.com.

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Comments (3)


  1. Erica writes:
    April 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    It would be interesting to hear about some folks who had the “heart” component going (working in their chosen field) but not the “head” (in-demand skills) and what they did to change that. I chose to study environmental and development issues, but find that most nonprofit employers are in fact looking for business or technical skills. If I had it to do over again, I’d have gotten an MBA or engineering degree! And looking at the profiles above, it seems like the best advice to young people would be to get that conventional training first, then move to the nonprofit sector – do you agree?


  2. Amy Potthast writes:
    April 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Erica, I want to invite Lara to chime in too. Professionals can acquire technical skills training within any sector —- the business sector doesn’t have the corner on educating its workforce.

    Check out Idealist’s Career Center for specific ideas on entry points — including education:
    http://www.idealist.org/info/Careers/EntryPoints

    Also, check out our Grad School Resource Center + tour of Grad Fairs that kicks off in June:
    http://www.idealist.org/info/GradEducation


  3. Val Nelson writes:
    April 28, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Erica, you bring up a great question. I think your training is in demand but maybe you’re looking in the wrong places or not understanding the best ways to find work that matches who you are.

    Do you WANT to be an engineer? That would be the only reason to go to engineering school.

    Don’t focus on what’s “in demand” as much as what your heart says it wants to be doing. There is an overlap between what you feel passionate about and what the world will pay for. Believe it or not, being clear on what you want is what makes the biggest difference in the career process.

    As a career coach, that’s what I see all the time. Let your heart lead the way and the world will respond. I elaborate on this idea here:
    http://www.valnelson.com/about/why-a-black-swan/

    Feel free to write me with your specific questions.


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