“Verily, We give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before (them) and their traces (foot prints), and We have recorded everything in a clear writing (book)” [Qur’an: 36:12]
These words from the Holy Quran give us a strong and unavoidable insight on how to choose our options. Of course, it is not limited to the career options but our entire life itself. Our career determines how we spent our lives. So, we have to think again on our priorities and intentions before making a choice on it. We should analyze all the options thoroughly and shall decide what we are going to ‘send to hereafter’ during our lives, and what we are going to ‘leave as our traces (footprints) here’ after our lives.
As student activists who are committed to reconstruct the society for a just and prosperous tomorrow, we shall see our careers on a wider canvas, beyond just a job or a mere income generating activity. We shall integrate our personal and professional lives in order to achieve our goals. The opportunities before us are plenty as we are living in an era of knowledge explosion. Some of the career options where we can meet our social obligations are briefly introduced here.
Social Work has been developed into an academic stream with plenty of professional opportunities. This profession addresses the barriers, inequities and injustices that exist in society. Focused on problem solving and change, its mission is to help people to develop their full potential, enrich their lives, and prevent dysfunction. As such, social workers are change agents in society and in the lives of the individuals, families and communities they serve.
Social work interventions range from individual psychosocial processes to involvement in social policy, planning and development. These include counseling, clinical social, social work, group work, social pedagogical work, and family treatment and therapy as well as efforts to help people obtain services and resources in the community. The field of practice for professional Social Worker is expanding day by day.
Social Work courses such as Master of Social Work (MSW) are provided by many reputed Universities and Institutes in India. NGOs, Non-Profits and Government Agencies provide job opportunities to Qualified Social Workers.
Social Entrepreneurship combines entrepreneurship with social welfare. It has emerged as an answer to numerous unsolved challenges which have been hunting the society for long. Selco, funded by Magsaysay Award winner Harish Hande is a good example of Social Enterprise. Providing solar lanterns and torches to the household of farmers in remote villages where Power Grid is yet to be reached, Selco have created a revolution in that field.
Social Entrepreneurship combines entrepreneurship with social welfare. It has emerged as an answer to numerous unsolved challenges which have been hunting the society for long
There are numerous inspiring stories of such Social Entrepreneurs who have successfully overcome the barriers for improving the lives of disadvantaged people.
There are Masters Degree courses in Social Entrepreneurship in premier institutes like TISS etc.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programs:
Today’s new age info-politics have created universal awareness about social and environmental values. All organizations, from MNCs and Governments to small scale industries, are undoubtedly facing pressure from a range of stakeholders to operate in a more socially and environmentally responsible manner. As a result, all major organizations are focusing on creating “shared value” for its share holders, environment and society through Corporate Social Responsibility programs. This will be a key driver to uplift the socio-economic status of the marginalized and caring for the environment.
So, in coming days what we have to do is simply be best in wherever we may be working, and be in a position to influence the policy making of our institution. We can create greater impacts this way and can achieve our goals of social reconstruction.
Fellowships and Internships:
Many fellowship and internship programs are available for those who want to be an active change maker, doing something for the society and the nation. These programs offer challenging situations, rigorous training and an opportunity to work on the ground. Teach for India Fellowship, Young India Fellowship, Legislative Assistants to Members of Parliament (LAMP) fellowship, Prime Ministers Rural Fellowship, Gandhi Fellowship, Azim Premji Foundation Fellowship etc are some of the best programs in India.
What’s Our Choice:
So the opportunities and choices are plenty. It’s we who shall make the choice. Only we know our strengths and weaknesses. We shall determine the fields where we can excel, and shall grow in to an authority, an expert in that field. Only then we can be counted as human resource. We shouldn’t remain as ordinary humans; we shall excel and be the master in our fields; we shall become human ‘resources’. That’s what we have been created for – to excel in our lives.