It is now close to 1 year that I have been working in an NGO. Very truly, after completing my Masters, not even in the wildest of my imaginations, did I think that I would end up working in an NGO. Circumstances and lack of choice led me with no options but to work there. I entered into the field without any understanding about the way an NGO works and its volatile dynamics. As I settled here, I realized that communication related work in an NGO is entirely different from that in a conventional media house like a newspaper or TV studio. I can conclude one thing for sure that an NGO is the best place to work if you want to relax, want no deadlines and wish for ease at workplace. This might not be necessarily true for all NGOs but certainly true for the one where I work. Since, I worked in the Documentation & Media Relations department ... I felt left out sometimes because NGOs channelize all their energies on project implementation. They somehow forget the importance of documentation and communication. I firmly believe that any organization be it a 'University', 'Government', 'Corporate' or a 'Non-profit' organization cannot do without a communication cell. Because after years of work you do need something to show to people as to what work you did.

In any office, you will have trouble with colleagues and back-biting but an NGO is special. There are no deadlines. Just plain work. You are expected to take upon any work that is assigned to you and not crib about it even if it is menial and mechanical. You will be offered a different job profile and you will end up doing some other work. Work keeps piling up and nobody bothers about it. Also writing about project specific activities becomes boring after a time and you don't feel that your skills are developing or honing.

Though in this one year I also found that in spite of all the limitations that I faced, I managed to do some good work. I did writing of all most all kind...some which I would not have been able to do if I had been associated with a media house. Writing news and writing about NGOs is poles apart. I also honed my managerial skills and became smarter since a job experience always lends you that. I worked on annual reports, normal descriptive reports, press briefs, communication material like brochures and advertisements, scripting documentaries, policies, research papers and proposals etc. It provided me with a wholesome experience in writing and gave me the leverage that I wanted with a job.

It is exciting to be a part of the social sector and fields like Development Communication are taking it ahead! According to me, NGOs should give more importance to communication activities and build on the potential that they have.


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