At a Crossroads

If I were to sum up the things I’ve learned in my college degree, it would be that:

  1. Communication and media can be used as a tool for human development in all aspects
  2. We (“development communicators”), by any means, cannot impose our values or opinions to the marginalized; we are merely facilitators of development
  3. Last but absolutely not the least, the golden rule of development communication: know your audience

The last one is my personal favorite because creating person-centered messages makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Kind of. It’s like making a unique and personalized present for a friend (i.e. your stakeholders). Then again, from a different perspective, I think this is a marketing tool as well? (Correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t know much about marketing.)

  • Having said that, devcom and marketing are two sides of the same coin; communication being the coin lol
    • it’s just that you have a different purpose for each: devcom, to facilitate change; marketing, to sell.
    • both need to do research among the stakeholders/market before doing any campaigns or programs
  • I hope you learned something from this segment, as I am posting this mostly on my behalf in an effort to clear my head.

You see, I’m having trouble deciding. Should I go back to my home country (a developing country) and do development work (which I might find more meaningful), to apply what I’ve actually learned in college? OR to stay here, a developed country, to do work that has nothing to do with helping the marginalized or to facilitate development?
To make things clearer, meaningful work for me would be letting people feel empowered or at least lending a hand with whatever they need within their community.

To baffle me further, here’s another question: do you wanna earn less, but do meaningful work? Or would you rather earn more, but do work that isn’t aligned with the field you studied in college?

I’ve heard people say that a majority (or more) of what we’ve learned in college won’t be useful in the real world so if I were to succumb to capitalism, I’d choose the latter. But, having no clear sense of who I am, I think doing something that will contribute in that aspect in my life would be better. From the top of my head, I think volunteering would help a lot in discovering who I am. Although doing so would mean shelling out money — something that I don’t have, at the moment. I have the option to ask my parents though, but I don’t think I have the face to do it as I’m already living off the money they’re supposed to be using for my siblings’ schooling or their retirement savings.

With this dilemma at hand, must I allow myself to be a hollow, empty vessel that follows orders from superiors for about a year or two so I can save money to go volunteering to help the marginalized?

… that seems practical, don’t you think?
And kind of sad.

I want to be able to help the marginalized while earning good money! Is that so much to ask?



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