Dale Wilkinson was living in Australia and working at News Corp, a mass media company focused on the sale of ads, when he began reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. Little did he know, the book would send him on an adventure that would completely change his direction in life.
“It got me questioning everything that I was doing,” said Dale. “Why am I doing this for a career? And once I had actually finished the book, I quit my job. Two weeks later, I was taking my first international trip from Australia to Vietnam to volunteer and build homes for the homeless.”
When he returned, Dale was inspired to find a career focused on social change. He didn't know how or where to find one, so for the next decade he worked as a creative producer at a video production company. But rather than continue to wait for something to come by, Dale decided to solve his own problem and founded goodgigs—a platform to connect mission-driven companies with professionals who want to use their skills for good.
In this episode of The Conversationalist Podcast, The Conversationalist Founder and CEO Sophie Beren sits down with social entrepreneur Dale Wilkinson, the founder of goodgigs and host of the GoodMakers podcast. Dale shares tips on how to get started in the social impact space, as well as how to navigate difficult conversations in your personal and professional life.
In proper TC fashion, we opened the conversation by breaking the ice with a series of rapid-fire questions from Sophie. Dale shared he could spend hours discussing code development and if he had a walk-up song, it would be “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen.
Dale shares that his passion for goodgigs came from his belief that every working professional should be doing something they’re passionate about. After leaving the corporate environment and taking some time off as a creative producer following his trip to Vietnam, Dale wrote a checklist of everything he wanted to do.
“Number one was to create something that had purpose, that was impactful, that was meaningful,” said Dale. From there, he founded goodgigs with the vision that every company and every professional should be working to advance humanity and do good.
“I think it comes down to something similar with The Conversationalist on this, where it's like, you know, one conversation at a time—it's one person at a time,” said Dale. “Let's educate each and every one about ethical business practices, about social issues, about how to up-skill and use their soft skills to make every company an ethical company.
Dale also reflects on a memorable experience while at home in Australia with his family where his sister came out to him as gay, inspiring him to come out to his family.
“My friends in Sydney already knew about my sexuality,” said Dale. “I had up to that point had kind of kept it cutoff [from my family] because it was such a—from my perspective, a more difficult conversation—the coming out conversation—to the people that you have grown up with your whole life versus if you're just meeting new people for the first time in Sydney. So that was a pretty pivotal conversation.”
The conversation inspired Dale to continue challenging his echo-chamber through conversation, and he mentioned that he has since been able to have more mindful and productive conversations with his friends and with his family.
Here at TC, we have a whole room in our community dedicated to Hot Takes, where members can share a controversial thought, question, or icebreaker about something that they believe in. This week’s hot take was brought to us by TC Community Ransom Fox, who believes pineapple belongs on pizza. Without any hesitation, Dale agreed.
“I love pineapple on pizza so much,” said Dale. “It's the only type of pizza to eat. Like, it's just bomb.”
Dale shared a wealth of advice on how to get started in social impact work. He suggested first looking around the local community and finding areas in need of help, like homeless shelters, food pantries, and nonprofits organizations that are focused on resolving systemic problems.
He also suggested getting to know people who are working on the initiatives you’re interested in. “Work with people that are already in that space and doing things,” said Dale. “See if you can help out and really get an insider's perspective of what the issue is, what are the systemic reasons it happens so that you can be better informed about going on and creating a solution if that's what you want to do.”
As for navigating difficult conversations in the workplace, Dale recommended practicing mindfulness while conversing with others and don’t jump to conclusions. “I think it can be very easy, especially when we're working remotely, a lot of things are virtual and you're not in person with someone,” said Dale. “That would be my biggest of advice, you know, step away.”
If you’re interested in keeping up with Dale or learning more about goodgigs, you can follow him on Twitter and check out the goodgigs website and the GoodMakers podcast for all the incredible social impact opportunities they have.
We cannot give Dale enough snaps for all of the incredible work he is doing to make the world a better place and for sharing such helpful advice.
Now, we want to hear from you! How are you using your voice for good? Join The Conversationalist Community on the Geneva app. You’ll be able to make new friends, find new opportunities, and have 24/7 conversations about anything under the sun that matters to you. Come and introduce yourself, break the ice, share your hot takes, and more. Want to be chosen as our featured hot take on our next podcast? Make sure you’re in our community and sharing your thoughts in our hot takes room.