by Swatee Jog
Life may have become simple now than ever before, but it has not been easy. Especially so for students at key milestones in life like the 10th, 12th and Degree classes. With these exams almost over, all thought is now on ‘What Next?’ A career choice is a crucial decision that you make, one that impacts your entire life. This column attempts to guide students on different avenues, some known, some lesser known, some surprisingly lucrative, some tough to crack but sweet to enjoy. Your queries would be welcome. However, this is just a guide, not an authoritative document on career counseling. So use some discretion and commonsense, do some introspection, take some advice and make the best decision.
Episode 1: Making Career Choices
The 90’s hero sung away his life with ‘Papa kehte hain bada kaam karega’, but it has never been that smooth sailing for all. A life is a gift, but what to make of that depends on our choices. A choice is always like taking a chance, but when it’s an informed choice, the odds of getting it right far outweigh the contrary. Students at crucial junctures like 10th, 12th and degree ought to seriously think about career choices. The days of ‘let me try science, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll come to Commerce’ kind of thinking are long passé. One must think, and deeply at that, about what will become your career for life. Here are some tips that would help students.
The first important thing is to never decide a career based on the theory of elimination. It can never be like ‘I hate maths, so I’ll choose a career in medicine that has no maths’. You cannot tick off career choices that don’t suit your liking and then make a choice between what’s left at the end. It could be a very narrow option left that way. Choose a career based on what you like and not what you don’t like.
Keep the thought out of your mind that certain careers are glamorous and many others are not. Don’t even think of all those kids of your parents’ friends who’ve done engineering or medicine and are envied in your circles for their foreign jaunts and huge pay packets. If engineering is not your liking, try something else, and excel in it. Every aspect in our life has got something to do with a career stream. Right from food, fashion, travel, wellness to technology or counseling, anything can evolve into a career and be rewarding.
Make a book where you can jot down career related notes. Revisit the book now and then. Look around you, the family, friends, friends of friends, acquaintances, relatives, neighbors, etc. Whose work attracts you the most? It is highly likely that you have dreamt of being a pilot or a fire-man or even the bus conductor in childhood. These are childhood fantasies. However, if you’ve been fascinated by a certain job or work that a known person is doing, note it in your book. Meet that person at an early age and find out what the work involves, the education needed and various opportunities.
Try and understand what you are good at. Some students need very little time and effort to understand certain subjects like maths/ languages/ history or even science. Knowing what comes easily to you helps to focus on that path. If languages interest you, focus on courses that lead to a rewarding career with languages. If you are someone who can hear out others and guide the, make that your focal point. This may not come easily. Ask your friends, speak to parents and siblings. Request them for a frank opinion.
Although easier said than done, try not to carry the baggage of family expectations and family business on your shoulders, unless there is no alternative or a threat for survival for the family business. Not every businessman’s child HAS to study at B-School nor does every doctor’s child ought to struggle for a medical seat. As long as you make an informed decision and excel at your work while making a decent living, any career can be enjoyed.
In the next piece, let us look at how to make use of various resources and zero down on a few career choices. Till then, keep that mind buzzing!
About the Author: Swatee Jog is the Training and Placement Officer at Bharatesh Global Business School ( MBA Program). She has an experience of 6 years in the media and 4 years in academics. She has written extensively in the English and Marathi newspapers on Career, Technology and Management topics. She has spoken at various forums as a resource person and has published several research papers in management journals as well as 2 books.