INTRODUCTIONThis kit is designed to help you organize an Alternative Careers Fair that brings representatives from groups working for social change to campus to talk with students about job and internship opportunities.
Studs Terkel wrote in his book, Working, of "a search ... for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying."
It is a search shared by the workers he interviewed, from spot-welders and waitresses to stockbrokers and consultants. Most found their work "too small for [their] spirit," and sought ways to bring dignity, worth and "life" into eight hours of every day spent on the job.
There are jobs in social change that have great impact and meaning; jobs that not only allow, but require, you to bring your conscience to work with you. Serious unmet needs -- in housing, health care, the environment, education, peace, justice, safety -- call out for creative and committed attention.
There are positions through which you can do "good works" and receive in turn the strength and power you help others to achieve. These are jobs that increase, instead of diminish, your chances for happiness and fulfillment.
Unfortunately most groups working for social change cannot afford to send recruiters to college campuses as corporations and government agencies routinely do. While businesses and bureaucracies have predictable hiring times and quotas each year, the staff needs of the smaller and more dynamic advocacy groups are based on topical projects, funding sources and new campaigns.
Organizing an Alternative Careers Fair on your campus can open up the dialogue between students and public interest groups that is now too limited.
This is the first edition of the Alternative Careers Fair Student Organizing Guide. Future editions can be improved based on your comments. Please send us your suggestions and ideas.
Alternative Careers Project
P.O. Box 19405
Washington, DC 20036