Sunday, January 8, 2012

Review: Careers for Good Samaritans and Other Humanitarian Types (2006)

Careers for Good Samaritans and Other Humanitarian Types (2006) by Marjorie Eberts and Margaret Gisler, is a comprehensive vocational book about social change careers. It defines what is a Good Samaritan(someone concerned about the homeless, illiterate, drug addicts, working poor, hungry, refugees, pollution, or endangered species) and an overview of careers based on social value and altruism. It contains seven seven chapters plus three appendices on agencies, organizations and state offices of volunteerism and community service.

Occupations listed in this book include social service and community organizations, local and federal government, the health professions, religious groups, and volunteerism. Each chapter covers the history, educational options, job qualifications, and working conditions in each field. The authors also include numerous real-life career profiles of people working in these organizations. Good Samaritans and humanitarians can also find valuable work at foundations or work as teachers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. The authors also explain how you can find a humanitarian job through your college placement office, United Way office, Internet classifieds, and nonprofit-oriented periodicals. Most importantly, many jobs are never advertised so networking is key.

Overall, the authors provide good advice in four ways: 1) which specific profession is best for you; 2) how to make the right choices the first time around; 3) how to begin your job search focused and confident; and 4) how to present yourself as a knowledgeable, serious job candidate. I thought this book did an excellent job providing information about humanitarian and social service careers in different sectors (public, non-profit, and NGOs). There is also an equal balance of career profiles in domestic and international organizations. I recommend this book to college students and recent graduates who want to make a difference in the world but are not sure where to begin.

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