Welcome to the Dilemma Vault

Got a nagging anxiety about your career? 😰 Or a question about interviews that you just can’t seem to get a common answer on 🤯 Perhaps you’re looking to pivot into a new industry and don’t know where to begin?


We’re here for all the wins and worries life throws your way whether that be in your career, community or civic life cos at Ripple we’re all about figuring the future out, together!


We choose a dilemma to answer in every fortnightly goodie bag email. Sometimes we combine with another overlapping theme, and sometimes we answer yours in all it’s glory. Although we can’t answer every Q that comes through, we’ll do our best to point you in the direction of a resource that can help you work through it. Either way…it’s a win-win golden ticket to some clarity.

Search the vault below or submit your own dilemma to be answered!

The Dilemma Vault

Is it worth doing a designated grad program, or are you better off looking for ‘regular’ jobs?

When some of us in the Ripple team finished uni we were told we had two pathways:

Graduate job (in government/consulting)



And if we missed out on a grad program or their application deadlines that were randomly at the start of the year, that we had somehow failed. Thankfully, this isn’t the reality of work, despite the overwhelm still being real! (Shoutout to humanities crew and anyone else who has felt this too).

So with that being said – we highly recommend the one and only…  self-made graduate program! You can get into the very non-competitive selection process by first working backwards from what you would want YOUR ideal grad program to offer. Maybe this looks like a blend of an entry level job, some volunteering or another program that will give you the income and experience you’re looking for.

The best part is that YOU set the rotations, the schedule and the mentors based on what your needs are at the time. This could include financial stability, experimentation, mentorship, skillset deepening or peer connections. How fun!

For example – Skye graduated with a major in Anthropology and zigzagged her way to Social Impact at Airbnb, a company that hadn’t even been founded when she finished uni Volunteering for international development organisations, gaining experience in social enterprise and doing a campaigning fellowship helped give her the unique blend of experience to be a good fit for this role. This was a self-made graduate program of which there was no path!

If you do decide to look into grad programs as one element of your broader self-made plan, there’s a bunch that aren’t in government or consulting and are open to career pivoters too. Click on the words below for just a few examples of inspo in:

Circular Economy, Entrepreneurship, Community, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement, and Health

When people tell you to think outside the box, remember that there is no box – and the reality is that everything you do during and after education can contribute to your portfolio of impact, with or without a grad program (or even a uni degree). The learning never stops!

How do you not feel guilty about resigning?

Firstly… congrats! Although there are conflicting feelings right now – we just want to say that reaching a decision to leave can be a toughie, and the fact that you’ve got to this point is ALSO a cause for celebration. We’re proud as punch of you for that!

Secondly, guilt can come from many places but cos we don’t know your specific context – we’re going to focus on how to reflect as early and mid career purpose-driven people.

SO… let’s think about value for a minute. In your career, sometimes you gain value (training, experience etc.) and sometimes you create value (expertise, competency etc.). Hopefully, you find yourself in most of your career doing both! 

For many people (especially early in their career) ‘feeling guilty’ is perhaps because you feel like you’ve gained more value than you’ve given. Perhaps you’ve had opportunities to grow or gained skills, but now feel like you’ve outgrown that mode, and want to be in a place we’re you’re creating value too.

The other side of the coin is, of course, that it’s also a privilege to have fresh perspectives on the team that not all employers value. Many people decide to leave workplaces because they aren’t being invested in, they’re just being used up and this can be especially conflicting and guilt-inducing – especially if the work you are doing is ‘for good’.

 Here are some questions to reflect on:

  •  What does a smooth transition look like for you? It’s often easier to figure out what you DON’T want and work from there. It’s good you have had the chance to feel this way about an employer early in your career. Your job is not to stay in the job. Your job is to grow!
  •  What parts of the work pushed you to grow, or were in line with your values and strengths? Use this to frame up your next steps. It’s awesome that you’ve recognised there’s more for you to do elsewhere, and you should never feel guilty about wanting to grow your impact.
  •  Were there any colleagues that stood out for you as extra spesh? Take note of any awesome gems who taught you valuable things and… tell them that! If possible, keep them in your life and add them to your network of mutual support. This isn’t contingent on you being at the same workplace!
  •  Ask yourself, have you ever resented a former colleague for moving to a new role? We are often our own harshest critics. Aside from the initial sadness of losing an awesome workmate, the best teammates (and employers) are the ones who, if they can’t provide the growth opportunities that you need, will be cheering you on in your next adventure.

Now – go forth and resign with gratitude for what has been and confidence in what is to come!

Does my passion need to be my profession or can I do different things to fill this need?

Your question is golden cos it gets to the heart of impact-driven work and living a purposeful life which is what we’re all about exploring here at Ripple As a launching point – here’s some fun facts. In the average human lifetime:

You will spend 1/3 of your life sleeping

You will spend 1/3 of your life at work

You will spend 1/3 of your life on everything else

That’s why all the pillow companies are marketing so aggressively at the moment (or is that just for serious power nappers?)

If you’ve signed up for this newsletter – you’re probably looking for opportunities that have a net positive impact on the world. And from the way you’ve phrased the question we get the sense that you’re already halfway there….

Your purpose can be informed by your passions


Your passion doesn’t need to be your profession.

Here’s what we’re talking about:

Values – The core and fundamental beliefs that guide you through life. Some examples could be authenticity, loyalty, service, joy or respect… and there’s plenty more here.

Passions – Activities or causes you feel strongly about.

Purpose – Your big picture reason for being that motivates you to contribute your skills to the greater good. It’s personally meaningful, but greater than you.

Throughout the years you’ll likely have a blend of jobs that make up a larger canvas of your working life (what we at Ripple call a portfolio or zigzag career ). Sometimes your work will very clearly contribute to the ‘greater good’, and sometimes the link is not so clear For example, you might be building core competencies in a field that is less directly related, or perhaps you need to prioritise other things in your life, or perhaps you’re just trying something different without knowing where it’ll take you. All of these options are fine!

You can still live out your passion in the other 1/3 of your life or at different points in time. Regardless of where you’re at on this spectrum – in the wise words of Dr Susan Carland:

“Never peg your identity to a role”

Instead – you can use your passions AND values as a guiding point for fulfilling your purpose (all 3 elements of your life above —which of course includes sleeping purposefully).

We seek to help you find work driven by your purpose. Explore your dashboard and head here to craft your own personal purpose statement! 

How much weight does work experience carry in the recruitment process vs Masters qualifications?

My short answer would be that Masters are great, especially if you require really specific knowledge or expertise for your next steps and beyond.

Obvs it’s a really personal thing, but one important question I’d consider reflecting on is…

What is your motivation?

If your motivation looks something like:

  • Feeling like you don’t know what other options are available
  • Feeling unsure on how you’re going to break into the sector/field you want

…then I’d suggest pausing ⏸️

If you’ve just spent 12 years at school and perhaps 3-4 years at Uni, then it’s natural that academic pathways are more familiar to you than what exists in the workforce. Thing is, the workforce is increasingly competitive and higher education qualifications are becoming less of a distinguishing factor. So, Masters won’t necessarily be enough to leverage you into your ideal job. Sure it may be a factor, but it’s important to consider whether it’s complimentary or not to building a portfolio of impact and demonstrating the change you’ve helped create in other initiatives you’ve been part of 🗺️ This is the most important thing!

Also, given it costs you ~30-40k, I’d recommend considering ways that you could get paid to develop the knowledge, skills and networks instead of wracking up more debt. That’s just me. I totally want to do Masters one day so appreciate the desire – just reflect on your motivations first and what path might best serve them. If you do decide it’s for you, there’s also a scholarship at the bottom of this email that might help!

There are really so many ways to create impact, and we have a whole section of our career program which is launching soon, dedicated to working through the elements of this question, with super practical steps for your own journey. Stay tuned for that, and whatever you choose right now, ride your own wave 🏄

We’ll be cheering you on from the beach (and also…the wave next door) 💙

“I was hoping I could get some advice for a potential job opportunity I have at the moment. It’s for a role at a large consulting company and I have been recommended by two bosses I worked with in circular economy.
Apparently they are going to call me over the next couple days to chat but I have no idea how to prepare because there is no ‘official’ job I have applied for and thus no job description, I don’t know whether the call is going to be an interview or more of a chat, and I haven’t actually had any contact with them because they have only spoken to my old bosses.
Have you got any tips around how I might prepare? Thanks in advance!”

First up, I’d say it would be highly unlikely that they’d spring an ‘interview’ on you – but more so that they would be asking questions like ‘tell me about yourself’ etc etc

I think you’re best off thinking about how you’d succinctly talk about your experience as it would relate to the company.

And second to that, thinking through a couple of prime examples from your work history that would be good and relevant stories to tell.

Rather than, more job interview style “what would you do if…”  – to me if they’re planning something like that they may give a bit more specific notice.

I think especially because you know the two people recommending you, it’s less about proving what you know, and more about showing you could apply it by understanding what they do at the company, if that makes sense?

Another idea might be to Google job descriptions for that organisation to get an idea of how they pitch themselves and similar style roles to understand a bit more about what they might be looking for.

If you know who is on the call it also never hurts to do a sneaky LinkedIn stalk as well check out recent posts from them and the company!”

Paradigm Shifters

Paradigm shifters purpose-driven path is all about tackling our world’s biggest challenges by making patterns from the madness. They have an uncanny ability to zoom out and see the bigger picture where others cannot. It also might mean that you’re great at puzzles 😹🧩

(sneak peak) opportunity areas for paradigm shifters: 

  • Change Consulting 
  • Policy 
  • Analysis

Wondering if your a paradigm shifter? Head to your inbox to find out + get your extensive list of opportunity areas, advice and more. 

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