Sunday, August 31, 2014

EXTRACTS FROM THE SPEECH PREPARED FOR MY DAUGHTER: TOPIC - ZEROING IN ON A CAREER

Every student dreams of a professional journey of very high satisfaction and is equally wary about getting into anything else. The one question that always comes up into the mind of a student, is about the career that he would finally want to pursue. That is because, as a single category of activity in our life, it is our career that is going to take up most of our time. And so, a good career can take us to very high levels of professional and emotional satisfaction. Sometimes a student takes up a career because his parents dream of seeing him in a particular position of power, in that career. And after the student takes up that career, many times he or she would find the career engine losing its steam, after a journey of a few years. Only very few hit the success path in this route.

Several years back, very few dared to explore beyond the thresholds of the traditional career choices like Engineering, Medicine, Top Management, the glamourous Civil Services or Chartered Accountancy. In fact to get a good bride or a good groom, one had to be into one of these careers. Although India is seeing a huge wave of change today, these traditional choices still dominate the marriage markets in many places in the country. Over the last decade, our conservative middle class have started opening up to choices like hotel management and fashion. A career with Indian Armed Forces is of course even today something that is taken up after lots of rumination, as there are lot of challenges for the family life in such a career.

Some times a career choice is largely influenced by a business that has been run by the family across generations and it becomes a matter of prestige for the next generation to take up the reins. So here, students go through a forced choice, curtailing their probable opportunities to exhibit capabilities in another field that they would have otherwise been a part of.

Parents have a big role in helping the child in zeroing in on a choice. Many times they could help in a big way by not taking emotional and subjective decisions, but by being very objective, keeping in mind what the child is really passionate about. Sometimes children are influenced by fancy ideas and these could influence their choices too. Parents need to spend time and if possible get them to talk to people working in different fields, so as to understand the pros and cons before making a choice.

Spending a short period, like for e.g. a self driven micro internship during a holiday period can help the student to get a feel of the processes and procedures of an engineering firm, a hospital, an accounting firm or even a few days at the office of a top management executive or a civil services bureaucrat. It will prove to be a good foundation for the career decisions that are made, as the student would get a feel at a very high level, as to whether the profession would suit his interest and temperament, These aspects cannot be decided by just reading a subject in depth or by scoring high marks in a subject.


A career well chosen, will be soaked with so much passion and that will certainly put the student on a fast track towards success, not just in material terms, but by also taking him through a professional journey of lasting satisfaction and fulfilment.

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