During my school days, after we cleared 10th standard exams, we were sorted into science, commerce and humanities, based on our scores. Since I was considered as a model student by my teachers and parents alike, I was lumped together with the science students and before I knew it, I was studying physics, chemistry and maths. Nobody bothered to enquire, that had always been the system. The path was clear, science followed by engineering. This story resonates with a lot of students today and this shows that there is something very wrong with our system. Fortunately for me, I was never one to follow the chosen path. But not everyone can muster up the courage to change paths after walking on the chosen path even if they realise that it’s not the right choice for them.This leads to them becoming a part of a setup which they do not like and makes for an unfulfilling career.
Despite having such strong primary education system in India, nobody understands that choosing a career is a very difficult choice which needs a whole lot of help from guardians, teachers and professionals.
After a lot of research and consultation, we are putting this article forward in hope that no other student suffers in making a choice which is his/ her right.
Choosing a career can be very tricky, as you might do something for a few years only to realise that you didn’t want to do it in the first place. But that is alright because life works in strange ways. There are people who realised what they wanted to do with life after changing two to three careers.
There are a few things one must ponder about before making a career choice.
1. It’s a dynamic process.
Choosing a career is a dynamic process. There will always be fringed ends. There are choices at the end nodes also. What I mean by this is, if you think you are good at maths and that is where you want your career to be, you will have numerous choices. Let’s say engineering is one of the choices, then there will be 30 more options to choose from.
The world that we are living in right now is much more demanding than it used to be. Career options today are very intricate. The requirements are very different. New career options are emerging at a very fast pace and old systems of getting a degree then other degrees are slowly becoming obsolete. This is the era of skill development.
For example, nobody thought that one could travel the entire world and make money at the same time to suffice his/her need but this is possible today.
Making videos and earning money out of it was very much Bollywood showbiz centric but today companies like TVF (The viral fever) and many others are showing that youtube can be used for a full-time career also.
With all the new options, changing demands and end products, it is very important to understand how dynamic this decision is.
2. Passion is not the main ingredient when it comes to choosing a career.
How many times have you heard that ‘following your passion’ is the key to a successful career?
Well, research denies this fact.
Most of the human beings like arts in different forms, it might be music, painting, singing, dancing, writing, etc. but job opportunities in these fields are scarce and the competition is fierce. Most of the available jobs are in fields like engineering, finance, media, accountancy, advertising, etc
Even if 100 out of 100 people follow their passion and there are only 10 jobs 90 people are bound to fail.
Choosing a career that pays and also excites you is the combination you should thrive for.
For example :
If you are passionate about sketching and painting you should learn different software. Study the demand of your business and learn the related skills. Flexibility is the key here.
3. Make an impact
It has been observed that a job that really makes an impact is more fulfilling. One might earn a lot of money but there are instances where people have left everything they had to find that fulfilling feeling.
It doesn’t mean that you have to do social service and open a non-government organisation. But your job must have a purpose. A reason that you not only know but are also proud of. Your work should reach out and affect other people’s lives. If this happens, there is a very high chance of you sticking to your job for an entire lifetime without getting bored and feeling unfulfilled.
There are a few things that are to be taken into consideration when you make that choice.
4.The economy of your country
The economy of a country, all the legal decisions and bills that are passed in the parliament affect your career decision to some extent.
We got to see many startups that were dealing with the unorganised sector like the vegetable market had to shut down after demonetisation.
The construction industry was very badly affected by demonetisation. We have to look at job scenario in the near future for the field we are working in to make an informed decision.
This is the era of computer science and therefore in all the fields knowledge of software is a must. So, even if such courses do not run as a part of your curriculum, you should keep your skills up to date.
5. Soft skills take you much farther than you think.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm was not good in the English language. He once said that it took him a lot of time to understand and develop his spoken skills which thereafter helped him a lot.
Most companies emphasise more on soft skills than technical skills because it takes a lot of time to properly inculcate soft skills.
You should work on yours from the beginning. Participate in extracurricular activities and do different projects to hone your skills.
STEPS TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CAREER
- Find your personality type
There are basically 16 known categorizations of personality types which exist. There is a lot more to making a career choice than just highlighting your interests and seeking a feasible market scenario.
You need to see if you are fit for the job. Even if all the trends are saying that this career is hot right now, you need to see if it works for you.
Below is the link to find out your personality type.
Take this test to know what career options are suitable for your personality type.
- Choosing one out of all the options
Now, that you know what your personality type is, there must be a list of careers that are suitable for you. Read about all of them.
Get to know the pros and cons of all the careers and try to imagine yourself getting into one of them.
This process will take a lot of time but this decision will affect your life the most.
Choose wisely and live well.
- Talk to the people of the professions of your likings
Now you know certain fields you would like to work in, talk to the professionals of that field. Here in our initiative, we are interviewing as many professionals as we can and writing about them, their journey so that this step might come out handy for you.
With the resources like LinkedIn and Quora around you can always leave your queries to the professionals and they certainly will answer if not immediately, be patient!
This will give you a professional insight and you will have an idea about the type of work you will be doing in future.
Search about the vacancies, talk to your seniors, gather as much information as you can and then work hard to achieve your goals.
- Get your practical hands-on
Try getting an internship in the industry you want to work. There are many platforms like internshala, LinkedIn, Glassdoor etc which could help you get the internship of your choice.
This step is the most important step because here you will realise if you are willing to give what this profession demands.
If the career choice you have made is not mainstream and there aren’t any internships, start your own thing. For example, if you want to be a musician just record your work and upload on some platform for people to see. If you are a writer, start your blog and test yourself.
If, after you have done all the steps and you are still confused, don’t leave it like that! Go to career counsellors, seek professional help. They exist for a reason. If that seems like an expensive way, read various articles on our website. We will keep writing about the psychological procedures adopted by the experts.
One thing that I would definitely like to highlight is that in the initial years of school and college develop a problem-solving attitude. Classroom courses don’t teach this attitude but it is in high demand and will never fade away.