A career driven by a meaningful purpose

Millennials are redefining the meaning of ‘Young and restless’. They are restless to change things around them, restless for betterment, restless to change the approach and are willing to take the responsibility. This restlessness has put a search for meaning and purpose on the agendas of most millennials in the country and other developing economies. Thus, most undergraduate and MBA holders are actively looking for opportunities in NGOs or Corporates, which have development responsibility programmes this in turn gives them satisfaction at work as well as enables them to make an impact on the society at large.

A survey conducted with millennials states that 76 per cent of respondents admit that it is important for them to be in a meaningful workplace that enables them to contribute to society. The claim that ‘purpose’ tops the agenda for millennials is also backed up by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (MNC) recent Workforce of the Future survey.

The survey found that 88% of millennials want to work for a company whose values align with their own. There has been an increased sense of ethics, which affect the choice of organisation millennials aspire to work. 

The deep desire to have a purposeful life is because most millennials have grown up with a sense of certainty and accessibility. They use GPS for directions, Google for answers, websites for choosing prospective partners and eCommerce, etc.

They do not accept ‘impossibility’ rather are restless in finding a way to problems. The innovative mood has made them find new possibilities to face challenges.

Engaging sector

The development sector is one of the venues that offer ample opportunities for students to make life better while taking up challenging responsibilities to create an impact in this world. The sector is not just limited to volunteering, for those having aptitude and qualification, but promises jobs that surpass traditionally popular disciplines like engineers, MBAs or IT.

Pursuing development management does not necessarily mean taking up a job, it also opens up doors for an entrepreneurial journey to follow one’s passion towards a cause and equips a person to build a social purpose organisation.

Many institutes in the country offer Development Management Programme, which prepares students to lead organisations in the field of development and public policy. 

The landscape of career opportunities in the social sector in the country is widening with the emergence of social organisations such as domestic and international NGOs, social foundations, corporate foundations, social enterprises, social consulting organisations, funders, ecosystem creators and research organisations.

This eventually provides a wide range of career options like strategy and planning, behaviour change communication, collaborative partnerships, government advocacy, value-based fundraising, systems thinking, design and management, mission-first social entrepreneurship, holistic decision-making, corporate social responsibility, ethical and pragmatic M&E, etc. 

This is one of the sectors, corporate or otherwise, that offer this range of work profiles. It provides an additional opportunity to improve the lives of students. There are certain areas which a student can choose in accordance with his or her interest. 

The research and knowledge creation are mostly for the academically bent and analytical brains. Behaviour change communication suits those students who consider human behaviour and communication as their strong point. Strategy and planning are for those who want to use their organisation, analytical and practical know-how towards creating strategies and plans for social organisations to maximise social impact.

Corporate Social Responsibility gives a chance to play varied roles such as innovating, auditing, monitoring, collaborating, strategising and planning community investment, programme management, partnerships, events, marketing, communication, employee engagement, etc.  

Structure needed

Social Work is a field that looks for individuals who enhance social functioning and well-being by causing an impact at the grassroots level when working on social projects.

The field also provides mission-motivated social entrepreneurs to build a social organisation towards the betterment of society. Hence, this mainstream course can be further developed with more new activities and creative programme curriculum so that it would make the country a torchbearer for the rest of the world. To mark the enormous change fused in by the many leaders in the field, the country declared February 1 as ‘Development Management Day.’

The Development sector motivates millennials to pour their heart, engage their passion and put a lot of effort into the job as they know their work is making an impact and they made a difference. It is this sense of contribution that makes them feel fulfilled more than a paycheck.

(The author is with Indian School of Development Management, Uttar Pradesh) 

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