Our careers got shaped by choices we made along the way and not because we had a plan. Very few ambitious, self-driven, extremely studious friends who ended up getting what they really wanted. Most others got forced into doing what they did not take by choice but by chance. Preeyan dwells on the subject of career choice, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Did you choose your career or did the career choose you? Honestly, most people in our generation are still not clear what it was. Many will deny the fact that it was the later.
I would like to tell you all that a career choice is about what you want to live your life doing, so please pay due diligence to it. In this write-up, I would like to influence the parents to give the right guidance to your children and readers just getting into college or passing out of college to make the right choice.
Let me start with an introspection of what our generation of people went through, the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century is what I am referring to here. We were as kids in school told that Engineering, Medicine, Law, and Accounting were the only fields of career. So some of us never knew what it took to join the armed forces, intelligence bureau, politics, businesses or social work. There was hardly anyone who knew what one could do for us to even seek advice, those who had people to guide them right or thought out of the box have made a mark in life already.
Our careers got shaped by choices we made along the way and not because we had a plan. Very few ambitious, self-driven, extremely studious friends who ended up getting what they really wanted. Most others got forced into doing what they did not take by choice but by chance. When we take calls by chance, you need to be very lucky to be at the right place at the right time. The education system is such in our country that career counselling is something that is not given a serious thought at all, things seem to be changing these days but we still have a long way to go.
Students pass out of colleges without having basic hireable qualities. Every company spends in the millions trying to train fresh talent to be made job-ready. Companies are selfish and will only teach you so much that will help you get a placement only in their company and may be absolutely useless for you to join elsewhere. Teaching institutions do not really invest time on getting this aspect covered.
My advice to people would be to let the youngsters explore things their own way. Encourage them to take up any part-time job as they study, this will help them to understand a few aspects to be in a job. Socialising with people will help in developing social skills like, group discussions, having constructive arguments, people management, public speaking, understanding dynamics of social relationships and many other aspects that can become a separate topic of discussion.
Your career choice has to be made basis what you are good at and interested in and not get into something that you want to try out to see if things will work out. In today’s world, we do not have the luxury of time to try something. Because in this world one mistake you make will hook on to you like a ghost of the past, which will be very difficult for you to shake it off unless you are at the level of the elite people of the world who everybody knows.
Before you choose the career you want my suggestion is that you start working, the Job can be anything from selling ice-creams to distribute newspapers to houses every morning. The learning you get out of that experience is priceless and whatever the salary, cannot be valued as much. You may choose to work where ever you want. People who have started working very early in life have one common trait that is to stay grounded. They are very simple and down to earth.
Your time at work would have given you insights into how things function at your workplace. Where the money comes from, and where the company makes the money. This understanding of transactions at work is a life lesson. Some get inspired, some become cautious, some start understanding the flaws and come up with ideas they would want to implement on their own. This experience will mould your character which will help you understand your strength and make you realise what you are capable of.
You need to research your areas of interest, today we are so well connected that you get everything online. You have a query, something very specific, say for example you want to be a chef and your dream is to become like Gordon Ramsay, you may try to reach him personally with a question and you will get a revert on that. That’s how life has become. Understand every aspect of the career you are choosing and then take a stand.
Free advice is what you get in our country in abundance, do not be discouraged by negative comments and do not get overexcited by positive comments. Make a note of all the advice you may have received. Only pay heed to the ones that match your interest and ignore all the others. If no one has spoken about your interests and wants to suggest you become a doctor or a lawyer, park those thoughts aside and introspect on what you would love to do for the rest of your life which will in return provide you with everything you need in life.
Any career you choose, with or without personal interest, the first year is going to be a testing period. There will be times you will feel to regret the decision you have made. My only suggestion here is that you have to take things in your stride and look at giving more time and quality effort. The reason I use the word quality effort is that for any work, the technique is important and the quality of your technique you use is what will give you results.
The choice of your career is something that is more important than the choice you make for your life partner, so everything you do to make a choice is vital and many lives are dependent on it.
[To be continued]
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