Everyone wants to be successful in life. Parents are so much obsessed with the future of their kids that they start planning their career even before their birth. How success can be achieved is a difficult question, however. Since every person subscribes to different concepts and meanings of success, ways and means of becoming successful are also different quite understandably. In Pakistani society , where being successful mostly means being affluent in terms of money and influential in terms of power, definition of success might be different from the one generally acceptable in other parts of the world. In the peculiar environment of Pakistan, therefore, one is always inclined to embarking on such a career that in itself is a symbol of success and achievement.
As, I myself am a civil servant, my core objective behind writing this article is to shed light on the benefits that success in CSS exam would accrue. In my personal opinion, CSS exam leads to the achieving of such prestigious positions in the country as are sufficiently enough to satisfy, to a reasonable level, if not maximum, one’s thirst of being successful. So, this write-up may be taken as an effort to encourage all those who are already preparing for CSS exam and motivate those who are still ambivalent about it.
After passing CSS examination, an individual becomes capable of playing an active and effective role in the society. CSS, which apparently is just an examination of 1500 marks, wields the potential of changing a man’s role in the society from a mere spectator to an active contributor. This exam opens the door to the Civil Service of Pakistan, the elite bureaucratic structure of the country, and every one getting through it gets authority at least to such an extent that he, unlike the other members of the society, can practically work for the eradication of widespread injustice, atrocity and oppression. Passing the CSS exam bestows ample opportunities on a man to make best use of the skills, talent and prowess he is blessed with to the best of society’s interest. More precisely, being a CSP officer, saves a man from feeling helpless at any occasion in the peculiar society of Pakistan.
Job security and career growth are two other benefits available to the officers who enter the Civil Service of Pakistan through CSS examination. Unlike private-sector employees, such officers are not required to prove themselves on a daily basis; and unlike officers belonging to other government service and cadres, they have not to wail against the long delays in promotion. These two qualities might have detrimental impact on the performance of many officers, yet this is the way the things are. CSP officers are extremely clear about their growth schedule right from the beginning and therefore are in a better position to plan their lives accordingly.
After passing CSS exam, one enters government service at a level where opportunities of getting further education are as plentiful as black berries. Educational scholarships and trainings, which broaden the vision of the officers, are frequently available at national and international level. Even after few initial years of service, a marked intellectual enhancement is radiated by the personalities of the officers bearing the tags of Commoners. Where, generally, the job in Pakistan is considered an obstacle to persisting with one’s dream of never ending the education-seeking process; the situation after passing CSS examination is entirely different: the more a person wants to learn, the more opportunities he gets. In many cases, Commoners avail such scholarships where managing family abroad is also possible and thus the educational visit becomes a family excursion as well.
Another reason to go for CSS is the honour and prestige that getting through it brings to the aspirant. Entering a medical college or an engineering university is also something widely appreciated in our society, entering Civil Services Academy (CSA) is something really special. And how much special it is? Perhaps explaining it in words won’t be possible. With a slight alteration to the axiom ‘feeling is believing,’ and experiencing it would be the only way to feel it. The moment one passes the CSS exam, all the eyes around him suddenly change and more often than not he is made to realize that he is special in the society of ‘common’ people. This joy and feeling of being the focus of eyes keeps increasing with every passing year and perhaps lasts, up to some extent, even after the retirement. While comparing a CSP officer with highly-paid private sector employees, a bureaucrat once said, “Lahore is brimful of hundreds of billionaires no one knows, yet the DCO of Lahore is one and you all know him.”
Social connections of CSS officers are many more in number and far stronger in durability as compared with those of the people associated with other professions. Civil Services Academy is the place that provides roof under which all the probationers, belonging to 12 different occupational groups, are kept together for six to eight months. This is the time that injects in them a sense of belongingness to one another, the colour of which never fades away. When a CSP officer sits in his office on the very first day, he has hundreds of batch-mates and friends sitting in hundreds of public offices across the country at the same time and this thing gives an extremely cozy feeling keeping in view the peculiarities of the age and environment we live in. Besides, CSP officers mostly hold such offices where frequent interaction with general public is in vogue; on many occasions one comes in contact with such fine, adorable personalities that one adds them to one’s contact list permanently.
In the end, I would like to clarify that I do not intend to declare Civil Services as the best job in the country. In fact, no job can be declared as best because priorities of different human beings are different and one shoe cannot fit all the feet. My words in this write-up merely aim at highlighting the benefits that the career in Central Superior Services of Pakistan entails. And honestly speaking, the benefits I listed above are but a brief synopsis of what actually is available afterwards. CSS exam provides the state the people who would run its affairs for at least 30 years to come; and this state genuinely deserves to have the best lot. This is an attempt to assure the best minds of this country that if they decide to burn the midnight oil for CSS preparation, it is really worth it!