MY EXPERIENCE IN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY SECTOR
‘Doing good for others doesn’t come easy, if your work asks you to get your hands dirty, you get it dirty. Get indulged on the ground and work really hard to achieve what you are looking for.’ – Anonymous
Gone are the days when engineering and medical jobs were the most pursued fields. It’s an established fact that in the present time, the generation which we call the millennials are driven to take up any role they are assigned and make it work. The idea of working for any company and making profits for the company is not enough for us. We look for a lot more from a job than just stability, in exchange for the time we invest in it. More and more millennials are now wondering what the purpose of work actually is, and this is leading to a major migration of this section of the answer-seeking individuals from profit-making sectors to the social sector.
Within the corporate world, the one sector that fulfills these criteria is theCorporate Social Responsibility sector, which employs committed and passion-driven people. Being such a person myself, I have always been driven by the will to give back to society. I was fortunate enough to be born into a family which gave great importance to education, allowed me to pursue my higher education, and also allowed me to experiment with opportunities that came my way. As a postgraduate in Natural Resource Management, I engaged with a corporate foundation for my dissertation thesis on ‘Sustainable community level waste management initiative of a CSR company’, and this landed me my first job.
Reflecting on my foundation years, I realize that I came across people with the same drive as mine, and they gave me opportunities to make a difference. This was the time when I attained core knowledge of how the social sector works, i.e. from strategizing social programmes to implementing them on the ground. I was lucky enough to have mentors who allowed me to co-lead projects in various fields, which in turn helped me gain comprehensive knowledge about the holistic development of the community.
Passion Drives Success
In 2014, the Corporate Social Responsibility ruling was in a nascent stage. All of corporate India was hit by mayhem when, for the first time in the history of world economics, a country made it mandatory for businesses to direct 2% of their profit towards social benefit. For the first time, the struggles of developing a CSR policy, project frameworks, and understanding the rules was for real.
Like the companies struggling to define their social vision, I was also struggling with the work environment, expectations, systems and processes, and learning specifics of how the CSR department works. I started my career in CSR with a low pay, and it became hard for me to sustain my daily expenses and nearly made me give up my strength to continue with community work. However, the skills I developed, combined with my perseverance helped me to never give up. It didn’t take long for my peers to realize the potential I have and notice the skills I had developed over the years. It was then that my passion started to help me sustain my daily life and helped pay my bills. I realized that ‘Passion drives success’, and when you follow your passion, money will chase you.
Find Your Purpose
Keep in mind that there is no point joining a company simply because it has a purpose. The purpose has to be personal – it should matter to you. Thus, when I started looking for a switch I made a point that the next company I decide to work for shall have a moral and is genuinely involved with the holistic development of children. Not long after I had lined up interviews with various corporate CSR departments, I came across Newgen Software Technologies Ltd., a software company where every member of the company has a knack for giving back to the community in soulful existence.
At Newgen, I am part of a team of five passion-driven individuals who are working towards the holistic growth of the children; be it through the ‘Sadhbhavvna’ programme where we provide financial, mental and educational support to the children of our staff members, or through Newgen’s CSR programme where students of government schools are introduced to new horizons, by familiarising them with research oriented skills and kindling their curiosity. Working with children was something I longed for since the beginning of my career, and upon joining Newgen I found my purpose and I hope this symbiotic relationship will be rewarding for both in the long run.
To wrap up, I’d like to point out, it is never wrong to follow your dreams. I personally believe that everyone should give at least one-shot to make a career out of what they are passionate about, just so you never find yourself in the ‘what if’ dilemma. Pursuing what I wanted to, not only helped me gain perspective on the fact that humanity still exists, but also helped me love what I do.
In my next blog, I will disclose the five important skills you need in order to sustain in the Corporate Social Responsibility Sector.
Team Member, CSR Dept.