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Exploring Public Policy Careers: Opportunities And Challenges – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

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Session Report
Rehmat Arora

Careers in Public Policy was a three-day immersive online introductory career counselling and awareness certificate training workshop conducted by IMPRI. The last speaker of the workshop was Mr. Yash Aggarwal, Founder, Public Policy India (PPI) & Proficy.

Mr. Aggarwal served as an invaluable guide for individuals with aspirations of establishing a fulfilling career in the realm of public policy within India. This session provided a comprehensive overview of essential principles and strategies aimed at navigating the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of public policy.

Navigating the Changing Nature of Work

The session commenced with Mr. Aggarwal’s profound exploration of the transformative effects of automation on the workforce. It underscored the growing prevalence of automated solutions for repetitive and highly technical tasks. It further emphasized the critical role of human-centric skills as a cornerstone for the future of work.

In an age where technology is rapidly reshaping the workplace, it has become imperative to adapt. The significance of human-centric skills such as communication, critical thinking, stakeholder management, and empathy has grown immensely. These soft skills, often referred to as the “human element,” are emerging as fundamental competencies for thriving in the evolving landscape of employment.

In this evolving landscape, it is clear that the future of work is not solely about technical skills but also about our unique human capabilities. As the session highlighted, the ability to communicate effectively, think critically, and empathize with others is more crucial than ever. These skills cannot be automated and will continue to be in high demand in the job market.

Finding Your Niche

One of the central themes of the session was the critical importance of aligning one’s career pursuits with their genuine passions. Attendees were encouraged to explore a multitude of fields and sectors through internships to discover their authentic interests. Specialization in an area of sincere concern was presented as a powerful competitive advantage.

Passion is a driving force behind career success. The session emphasized that dedicating one’s efforts to a field of personal passion not only enhances job satisfaction but also provides a unique competitive edge in the professional arena. The advice provided was to explore different areas through internships, gaining hands-on experience to uncover genuine interests. This period of exploration allows individuals to discover what truly resonates with them, leading to a more fulfilling career.

Identifying one’s passion and aligning it with their career pursuits can be the key to both personal fulfilment and professional success. It’s not just about getting a job; it’s about finding a career that genuinely excites and motivates you.

Networking and Leveraging Your Personal Brand

The concept of creating and maintaining a strong online presence was a pivotal component of the discussion. Mr. Aggarwal introduced the notion of “surface area,” which promotes making it easy for others to support one’s endeavours through the active sharing of work and experiences.

In the digital age, an online presence is crucial. Cultivating an online presence through the establishment of personal websites and active LinkedIn profiles was stressed. The concept of “surface area” was explained as a means of enhancing one’s visibility and facilitating collaboration and support from peers and professionals. Effective networking strategies, including reaching out to professionals and articulating one’s potential contributions in collaborative efforts, were highlighted.

In a world where connections can open doors, building and maintaining a strong personal brand can make a significant difference in one’s career. An online presence not only showcases your work but also invites others to engage with your ideas and initiatives.

Proactive Career Development

A central theme of the session was the idea of taking a proactive role in career development. Attendees were encouraged to create opportunities for themselves by reaching out to individuals and organizations aligned with their interests.

Proactivity in career development is essential. Strategies such as cold emailing and direct outreach to individuals and organizations were recommended. By taking these steps, individuals can increase their chances of gaining relevant experience and furthering their careers.

The job market is highly competitive, and opportunities are not always readily available. Taking the initiative to create your opportunities can set you apart and lead to unique experiences and growth.

Building Credentials and Establishing a Strong Foundation

The session concluded with a three-step process for building strong credentials, a critical element in pursuing a successful career in public policy.

The main elements of this process included:

1. Awareness of Essential Credentials: The first step highlighted the significance of gaining awareness about the key credentials relevant to one’s chosen field.

2. Effective Presentation: The session emphasized the need to present one’s existing credentials effectively through well-crafted resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and personal websites.

3. Creating New Credentials: The third step encouraged active involvement in projects, internships, volunteer work, and hands-on experiences to create new and relevant credentials.

Building a strong foundation of credentials is crucial in a competitive field like public policy. Being aware of the key credentials and presenting them effectively is essential for success. Additionally, actively seeking opportunities to gain new credentials through practical experience can further bolster one’s qualifications.

The “Careers in Public Policy” workshop offered a comprehensive and structured framework for individuals seeking to establish a successful career in public policy within India. In an ever-changing job market, the ability to adapt and develop both soft and technical skills is paramount. The advice provided in the session empowers individuals to explore their true passions, leverage their personal brand, and actively create opportunities for themselves. By taking proactive steps to build a strong foundation of credentials, individuals can confidently navigate the path to a successful career in public policy.

Read more session reports from Day 3 of Careers in Public Policy:
Public Policy Careers: A Deep Dive

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IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.

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