When someone becomes vegan, they often find themselves taking a long, hard look at their lives, and lots of times they decide they want to make changes other than what they are eating and wearing – they want to work toward a more vegan world. “How do I find a vegan job?” or “How can I do work that I feel passionate about?” are questions we frequently hear at Vegan Mainstream, and helping people to make those connections – between their work and their values – is one of our passions.
Recently one of our readers posted a question on our Q&A form, and he kindly agreed that we could share it with you. Here it is:
“I am working at a “pristine ski resort” and the food they serve is so against my values as a vegan. I cry often, feeling like I am lying to guests about why they need to buy the steak and or ham or chicken. Where can I go and make money and align my lifestyle to what I truly believe? I sometimes feel as though I would rather be homeless and jobless than continue going against my vegan values. No one here relates to my views and the food that the resort offers us as employees are directly from cans or frozen to the fryer with loads of butter. I am so tired of this that I am lost….I invite everyone to chime in.” – Raymond
I think many of us can relate. When you are vegan and your workplace is not, the world can seem a very unfriendly place indeed. Here are 5 suggestions for ways you can start to align your values with the work you do:
1) The first thing I want to mention is Vegan Mainstream’s newly renovated Vegan Job Board. There is a constant flow of new jobs being circulated on these pages – and you never know when one might fit. Not only can employers submit jobs, but you, as a prospective employee, can now submit a resumé (this is a new feature!). Most of these jobs are for the US. For people living in Canada, Good Work Canada is a good place to check out (although these are “green jobs”, not necessarily “vegan jobs”).
2) Social media is a powerful tool, and a great way to get connected to a vegan network. Once again, I can recommend a Vegan Mainstream tool – our Vegan Jobs Facebook Page, which lists new job opportunities, as well as information for job seekers and employers. Are you on LinkedIn? This social media site for professionals is a great tool for people who are job seeking. If you’re not already there, create yourself a comprehensive profile, detailing your interests – and including the type of work you are interested in. Vegan Mainstream is on LinkedIn too - be sure to hook up with us there. Network, network, network. I can’t emphasize enough the value of getting connected with other vegans – individuals, organizations, businesses – anyone vegan – online. This is where vegans come together. Open yourself to possibilities.
3) If you search “jobs” on this site, (using our search tool on the main page of the blog at www.veganmainstream.com/veganblogs), you will come up with all the articles we have published over the years around vegan jobs. There is a lot of valuable information – tips and tricks during the job hunt, as well as issues that vegans face regularly at work.
So those are some ideas for how you can search for a vegan job…but what if you don’t find anything in your area that’s suitable? Or, what if it doesn’t happen right away? That’s what #4 and #5 are about!
4) I live in a small town in Canada, and there are no “vegan businesses” here – no vegan restaurants (or even veg ones for that matter) – pretty much the only vegan thing that ever happens here is vegan potlucks, which I started with a small group of friends! However, several years ago I found myself in a similar situation to Ronald. Veganism was a big part of my life, and I felt like I was spending all my time working at a job that really didn’t speak to the things I felt to be most important – veganism and animal rights. So I decided to seek out a vegan community online. I eventually hooked up with Vegan Mainstream, and I’ve been happily working part time as the editor and blog manager ever since. Though I still do “other work” part of the time, a good portion of my week is devoted to veganism. I’d ultimately love to work with veganism full time, but this is a good balance for me right now. My point is that even if there seem to be a lot of barriers to your doing work that aligns with your values, try to think outside of the box. Can’t move? See if there’s something you can do remotely. What skills do you have to offer that can help promote veganism? Many, MANY new vegan businesses have come about precisely because vegans all over the world are asking themselves this question.
5) And that brings me to Idea #5 – are you in the position to START something? Do you have a passion within the vegan world that would make a good business? Open yourself up to possibilities and you’d be surprised what might come knocking on your door. If starting a business is something you want to think about, once again, be aware that Vegan Mainstream has a whole slew of resources for people headed in that direction. Check out these upcoming webinars with our Managing Director and Marketing Guru, Stephanie Redcross.
Thanks to Ronald for this question. If any of you have other suggestions, please post them here. Ronald, we sincerely hope you are successful in your search to find work that more closely aligns with your vegan values - as each one of us does that, footsteps will be taken to a more vegan world for us all.