Why Long Term Service Should Be Incorporated To Your Career Path

Imagine if every fortune 500 company CEO had started their career with a year of service.

That’s the vision of one innovative nonprofit founder and social entrepreneur. Anna Lenhart is currently championing the efforts to help the cultural shift to encouraging long term service as a standard component to the traditional career path.
When you envision the power of that service in the minds of every single CEO in the country, you can feel the intensity and impact of this vision.
Unfortunately we are not there today, which is why we need Anna’s work with Next Generation Service Movement (NGS). This grassroots nonprofit is working on all three pillars to help take this movement from an ideal to commonplace.
NGS’s work starts with mentoring students as they prepare to graduate college (or sometimes, high school). While organizations such as Peace Corps are well known, others (even AmeriCorps) often go undetected by the individuals who would benefit most from their programs. NGS bridges that gap by pairing students with an individual who served in a long term service program that aligns with the student’s interests. These interests can range from the environment to counseling to engineering to design and more. Service is unique in the fact that it does not discriminate. Regardless of your  interests or background, there is an opportunity for you.
Now if we were to realize Anna’s vision and have every graduating college student complete a year of service, we would be grossly short of the millions of long term service positions needed. Currently NGS is working with nonprofits across the county to help build these programs.
The third pillar belongs to the companies who employ this new workforce. Currently Cisco helps sponsor a year of service. While there are a few other companies stepping to the plate, we need more. But more importantly, we need employers looking for the year of service prior to hiring.
To hear about why a year of service is so essential to, check out my interview with with Anna Lenhart from NGS service.