3 Things to Consider when Pursuing Social Justice as a Profession
Social justice has become an increasingly familiar term over the past several decades. Throughout the ages, aware and compassionate people have seen inequality and injustice in the world around them and far beyond, along with all the negative impacts, and have fought to minimize or eliminate those conditions from society.
More people everywhere, particularly college or college-bound students, have become fascinated with this idealistic field of study and, ultimately, a career option. The primary question is whether you can pursue social justice as an economically wise and sustainable profession in the long term.
Here are three things to consider helping you decide whether you can pursue social justice as a profession.
1. Learn What Social Justice Is and Whether It Is Your Calling
So what is social justice? It is both a philosophical and political theory that defies the typical constructs of modern society that have left the positive elements of the human condition behind, focusing more on the collective relations between different groups than the individual. There are five essential principles of social justice:
- Access to resources
- Equitable opportunities
- Diversity and the fight against discrimination in all areas
- Participation in policymaking
- Inherent human rights for all
If you feel strongly about standing up for these principles to help people who are often underrepresented, disenfranchised and at a disadvantage overcome their obstacles and thrive, a career in social justice could be your calling.
2. Social Justice Works at 3 Levels That Help Guide Your Career Path
According to The National Library of Medicine, social workers operate on three interrelated but distinct levels: micro, mezzo, and macro. Take a closer look at each level to see which one meshes with your goals:
- Usually performed by a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), working in micro social work provides direct support, services, and interventions to individuals for one-on-one counseling and groups and families with small-group assessments and therapies.
- Social justice professionals who work at the mezzo level might offer direct individual or group services outside the clinical environment. The clients are often private, and the issues focus more on problem-solving than dire need.
- Over the past decade, macro social justice has become an increasingly prevalent aspect of social justice, focusing on “big picture” issues, such as inequality and lack of access to resources for disadvantaged populations.
According to these levels, breaking down your desires can help you determine the best professional path in social justice for you.
3. You’ll Need the Right Educational Background and Relevant Degree
As the demand to address social justice issues increases, the field needs more committed professionals who are passionate and well-educated. If you have a powerful desire to enhance the well-being of individuals at any level and are willing to pursue a Master of Public Administration or a related advanced degree, you’ll find the right career as a professional in social justice. Take time to find a program that helps foster your passion for social justice, and you’ll find a broad range of career options, such as a community health worker, mental health worker, urban planner, or a non-governmental organization program officer.
The Social Justice Field Is Wide Open to Ardent, Energetic and Knowledgeable Professionals
If you’re ready to help improve lives for people around you or those in some far-off area of the world, you were made for a career in social justice. With a firm grasp of what the field is about and entails, it’s a matter of determining at which level and the population you want to serve and the education you need for the job you want in this increasingly popular field.