Tom Slater Tom Slater

Prince Harry’s new job is hardly ‘public service’

At the tender age of 36, Prince Harry has got his first job since leaving the royal family. Congratulations to him. As most teenagers will know it is both a liberating and formative experience. Paper boy, shopfloor dogsbody, chief impact officer – the roles can be unglamorous, but they’re almost always worth it.

Harry’s big post-Megxit break into the world of work is everything we could have expected. He will be working as something called a ‘chief impact officer’ at a Silicon Valley firm called BetterUp, which offers professional-development and mental-health coaching to businesses and their employees.

Going by BetterUp’s website, it seems to peddle therapeutic burble to firms with more money than sense. A perfect fit for Harry, then, who in his campaigning on mental health, or in his dabbling in politics, has perfected the art of wispy, irksome platitudes.

Going by BetterUp’s website, it seems to peddle therapeutic burble to firms with more money than sense

Just get a load of the press release announcing the Duke’s appointment. He says his goal will be to ‘lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations’.

There’s no word on his precise responsibilities or how much he’ll be paid. He reportedly won’t be managing a team. But what he will be doing is ‘driving advocacy and awareness for mental fitness’ and ‘guiding BetterUp’s social mission and impact’, which sounds like plenty.

According to the Wall Street Journal, ‘chief impact officers’ or ‘Chimpos’ are relatively new to the corporate world. Industry blogs say they tend to focus on a firm’s ‘social and environmental impact’. ‘Businesses’, one commentator tells us, ‘are now awake to the fact that doing good in the world isn’t the sole preserve of the third sector’.

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