How do you choose your career? Since the day we’re born our fates have been decided of what we are to be when we grow up. It’s a concept I’ll never understand. Whether we like it or not, what our parents have chosen as our careers for us is what we’ll end up doing. Anyone who has seen 3 idiots can relate to this topic wholeheartedly. Beta hoga tou engineer aur beti hogi tou doctor. Kyun. KYUNNN. If the entire world ran on this concept tou duniya mein kuch na hota. Desi parents are weird man.
Anyway, so there onwards we are enrolled in places that encourage and lead their agendas. And God forbid we try to peruse other things such as … cricket or football*gasp* or dare I say this… parents please look away as I say this because you will throw up… anything in the line of arts!! ARTS? Us say kya hoga? Funkar bane ga tumhara beta. FUNKAR! Bus aur cinema keh board paint karey ga. Humph, bara aya hai Picasso ki aulaad.
Anything you do or say will be held against you. The earlier years don’t matter immensely because you are still pooping in your pants till the 8th grade. And then comes the horror. O-levels. A goora devised system to frustrate children and put them in a state of immense pressure, where at the age of 14 they have mental breakdowns. And after no thought whatsoever you are asked to pick subjects that you have no clue about. If you’re as dumb as I was you’d only see that there are two roads to this highway to hell. One is picking physics, chemistry and biology. The other is picking business, economics and accounting. If you’re slightly smart you’d know they offer more than these subjects and if you’re lucky your school might even offer you computer studies, psychology and fine arts.
You have no clue why you’re taking these subjects but it’s one of the two reasons, you’re horrible in medical/engineering studies or you find them mildly interesting. And sometimes the subjects you like the teacher tries to their maximum potential to make your life a living hell. Tou baqi gaya bhaar mein.
And it continues to A-levels because you still have no clue what you’re doing. By the time you apply for university, the career line you wanted to go with you can’t take because you didn’t know some specific subjects were required to take up those classes and there is nothing you can do about it by then. Before I go on, I want to give a word of advice to those who are still doing their O/A levels / FSC. Please for the love of God look up potential universities you want to apply in and take those subjects that match what you want to opt for or these 4 years will be a huge waste of time.
Moving forward, you then apply for university and think Yar meiny tou duniya badalni hai. You’re filled with immense energy the first year and come up with ideas that could make you a billionaire or change the world. You make sure you do everything in those 4 years and try to love the career path that you’ve taken. And if you don’t like what you’re doing in university, you are miserable for 4 years and probably are trying to sabotage your own careers at this point. You read two books and a paper (probably) and think you’re Stephen Hawking and you’re ready to take on the world. Nothing can stop you and as soon as you get out of here you’re going to start earning and do the job that you love the most.
People who are younger than you think ‘They know what they’re doing. They’ve got it all figured out.’ I’m going to be very honest with you today. We don’t have a clue. You’d think by now we’ve figured it out, but we don’t. We have absolutely no idea where our life is going and we’re just trying to make it through bachelors. Bas. We don’t know what we want, we don’t know isky baad kya hai, we don’t know where our lives are going. So anyone who hasn’t started university yet, this is for you, don’t stay in the illusion that any one of the grown ups know what they’re doing. Maybe 1% of us. Maybe. But the rest of us are a lost cause. We are still asking you guys what you want to be and what careers you want to take up because we’re still looking for ideas.
And after you graduate, that’s when reality hits you hard. The degree you spent 4 years on, spending 10-20 lac or more, has no value. The job you’ll get is starting off at 10,000 rs/per month. You’d think all those classes or books would help you get through this, but they literally don’t prepare you for the real world. And that’s when you start to sink. Everything around you starts to fall and nothing matters. You end up at a job you hate and survive every day. You blame your parents, your teachers, your universities, yourself, God, everything.
I know the topic got a little serious but I the reason why I’m telling you this is so that you’d dodge all of this and try to do something you love. I know that might bring problems in the family because desi parents can really get emotional and try to lure you in the same motion, but at least you won’t end up hating the world for it, and they’ll eventually come around. You’d do what you love, and you wouldn’t need to go in a state of depression. So, before it’s too late, if you’ve started with your O/A levels/ FSC, even if you’re doing your bachelors, or are lost with your career after bachelors, or have even started doing a job, I’d like to take this platform to help you figure somethings out. I hope it helps.
Steps to take while planning your career
Step 1: Know Thy Self
A lot of us are unaware of what we are and what we aren’t, what we like and dislike, where our strength and weaknesses lay. And we choose career paths that repel our personalities. So take the time to take this test and it’ll show you what personality type you fall in. Its by a great researcher, namely Myer Briggs.
This is how it works:
Step 2: Know What Motivates You
After you know yourself, know what motivates you and keeps you doing what you do. Your work will never bore or annoy you. And it’ll help you align your personality type as well. If the motivation and personality types don’t match, you’re either lying to yourself, or contradicting your own words. Career Anchors are meant to help you stay focused and motivated on your work.
Here’s the test made by Edgar Schein, a Sloan Fellows Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
You’ll need a laptop/PC/browser, since you have to copy paste the link.
Step 3: Find a List of Probable Careers
There’s probably no ‘perfect’ career choice, per say, but after you’ve taken these tests list down a possible career choice in accordance to your personality types. This helps to eliminate as well as keep backups in case Plan A or Plan B fails i.e. for some reason you are unable to take the career you liked the most out of this list.
Step 4: Look at Institutions
Find institutions, universities, seminars, etc. that are trying to provide you with the skill/degree/diploma and plan accordingly. Look at their subject requirements, forms, time of enrollment, duration of degree/certification, affiliations, the works. Ask around if the place is any good. If you can’t go there physically, the world is now online. A lot of institutions give online classes and degrees as well.
Step 5: Be Content
That is to say, be at ease with your decision. This is your future and the rest of your life. It’s okay if things don’t go EXACTLY the way you planned them. You will try to change these paths, very realistically, down the road. Keep backup plans and stay flexible to hurdles. But most importantly, be satisfied with what you want to do. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.