Before you ask the question, it is important to understand that Teach For India Fellowship is not a career move, it’s a commitment move. It is apt for you only if you have a selfless streak inside you, you love people, and you want to develop yourself in a way where money is secondary for at least two years. It’s a rare sacrifice opportunity for two years, not a regular career/job opportunity, and be absolutely clear about this much.
Now, whether you’re a fresh graduate or have worked for several years, consider joining the Fellowship only if:
- you genuinely believe in the mission and wish to be part of it. (If you do not, you won’t be able to give your 100% for two years, which severely jeopardizes the education you give to the kids you teach. On a personal level, you run the risk of dropping out midway, in which case you don’t have any evidence of having been on the Fellowship.)
- you are not there primarily to build your résumé. (The Fellowship is too tough a task to do only for a résumé.)
- you have basic entrepreneurial skills. (And “entrepreneurial skills” is not just the fantastical cool one-liner, “being your own boss”; it means each of these: leadership, aptitude, self-belief, ability to constantly compete against yourself, genuine love for people and especially your stakeholders, and extreme perseverance that can make you exercise all these skills for not just weeks, but for years. People may want to develop these skills at the Fellowship, but having them at some basic level is essential.)
- you are not in dire need of money for the time being. (The Fellowship has a fine stipend but it is all about limited budgets and resourcefulness.)
Now that you have decided to join, we can finally call it a career move. And, it is the best career move you’ll ever make. You’ll get to develop yourself a lot with one of the best NGOs to work for (haven’t seen anyone here use the phrase “work for”; we all voluntarily choose to use “work with”—and that’s where an organization wins), and make positive change at the same time. TFI will change your life path, as well as change the life path of some dozens of children you get to teach.