A defining career switch

After spending past 6 years in the field of Telecom engineering, I have taken a break to get into into full time engagement with community development. This ‘paradigm shift’ has begun with a fellowship that will run for about a year. After the first 1.5 months in Bangalore (where I have been since March 1), I will travel to various places in (mostly rural) India.

There have been plenty of questions from friends and relatives upon breaking this news, but I wonder if I have been and will be able to satisfy anyone’s curiosity to the fullest! There were also typical patriarchal reactions such as “Oh so you are quitting to become a housewife?” “cool, good thing to pass time, keep yourself busy” … Not that I undermine the role of a home-maker, but it saddens me to see that the value of married woman in the society is (largely) thought to be reduced to a house-wife if she is not doing any income-generating work! Many also had concerns about the finances, when they figured that Pulkit too might take similar plunge soon. But, we have done adequate calculations and pondering on that aspect. Also, this brings me to what Gandhi once rightly said: “There’s everything for one’s need and not for one’s greed”. We had decided to do away with many of our greeds long time back; that has helped us save good amount for our sustenance for next few years :-).

For a long time, even before I came to know of the concept of volunteer work, I knew that I had slightly differing views than many in my surroundings. Be it my atheist and feminist ideas or being a bit  compassionate towards someone’s pain. But all said, I had never imagined myself being where I’m today. Like any other stereotypical Indian student, I too after my schooling had dreamt of getting a good job, having a respectful position both in society and work place.

Going through the past, I now figure that my year on year job-hopping(sometimes without much good reason or pay) was partly also because I was finding my work increasingly futile for the society. Sure, money could also bring about (i.e. fund) a great deal of change, but in my case, I believe my full time involvement would make a bigger impact. As my involvement with AID and other  groups drifted my interests to different issues, the job was becoming an obstacle for contributing to what I felt was more worthy of my time. Can’t say I found my true passion, but I am convinced of this being the best way to go.

I am currently clueless about my final destination after a year, but I will try to keep things posted on this space.


Posted on March 15, 2010, in Bits of my life. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Best of luck for the future !!!

  2. Hi Sejal,

    All the best for your future career move.

    As you rightly mentioned, wasting 10 hours a day (plus commuting time) on something which doesn’t let you see your contribution in the bigger picture ……..And many a times ……..Working in a corporate world forces us to take lot of unethical stands to increase the returns for shareholders………It’s important that we all give it a good thought as what we want to truly achieve than just living from paycheck to paycheck……..Hope your move inspire many others ……….!!!


  3. Hey Sejal,

    To start with, wish you all the best for the new career shift.
    I have always admired your thoughts and contribution towards the society. This move of yours make you respect a lot more.
    I hope some day i could be in your shoes…

    Warm Wishes,

  4. great to read that, Sejal. I’m inspired myself! Best of Luck. 🙂

  5. way to go, Sejal and Pulkit.

    Wish you all the best in your adventures 🙂



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