Once upon a time, there was a man named Raju. Raju was a responsible and industrious man. He had three children; out of which, his youngest was the most prodigious. He was remarkably brilliant and was always ahead of his siblings and classmates in his studies. But this doesn’t come to him inherently, nor was he born with a silver spoon in his mouth, every day Raju’s youngest son would devote ten to sixteen hours to his studies, exploring various subjects and reading all sorts of books. Seeing his fervour towards studies, Raju decided that his son should go to the medical college after his schooling. And when the son was done with his school, passing with high colours, the very next day Raju brought forms of various medical colleges and even asked him to try his hand in engineering too. Perplexed son didn’t know what to do, he didn’t even argue with his father as he thought “Papa keh rhe hai to sab sahi hoga.” and he started preparing for various medical colleges along with pursuing his Bachelors in science. During the years of his undergrad, he developed a strong affinity for government services; the rapport of a government officer, the tasks, all this allured him and then he decided that he would give up on medical and start preparing for government services. He performed exceptionally well in his studies, managed his extra classes but when his father got to know about his plans, Raju asked him to drop his plans and only focus on going into either engineering or medical. His son tried to persuade him but it was of no help. Raju was adamant that his son would only go for either of the two options. Being a doctor in the house was a matter of great pride. How can he give up on his dream of having one of his sons as a doctor or an engineer? His son was indignant nevertheless, he resumed his preparation. After an entire year of dedicated days, his son finally got into a prestigious medical college and made his entire family proud. His father was the happiest but he didn’t express it much, thinking that it would make his son disdainful and arrogant of his accomplishments. Years passed and Raju’s son completed his higher education. But something was not right. Although he had an aptitude for pursuing medicines, his interests and skills lied somewhere else. His son didn’t give up on his dream of becoming a government official and gave one more chance; he took the exams and cracked them but because of the sundry factors of his existing job profile, his family, and the pressure of him getting married he gave up on the idea. Soon things settled and he had his own family with a good job as a physician in the hospital. However, over these years, he developed resentment towards his parents; he didn’t wish to talk to them, and the underlying hatred and bitterness acquired in the past years resurfaced. In defiance, he left his job and had hostile disagreements with them which often turned into fights, blaming them for his downfall and unsatisfied life. 

Ever since the inception of our school life, we have always been thrust upon what we need to do in our future. “Bade ho kar humara beta Doctor ya Engineer banega.” has been an established answer to “Bade ho kar kya banoge?” Albeit thanks to the indulgent mindset of people, they are accepting many offbeat occupations nowadays yet just ten to fifteen years before what we are witnessing in today’s era, people used to think that there are only finite career options as to what a student can choose for him/ herself which significantly included medicines, technical, or teaching professions. However, the conundrum related to the process of career selection has invariably bothered me for which I often tried to seek answers from people, books, still I never got to understand the hype behind '(not) choosing the ideal profession for you.' And maybe this article sort of resolves these questions which I faced, the questions which sound simple but when asked about their answers, people were either tight-lipped or gave such opinions which almost made you realize, "aare inse kyu hi poocha?!" Through this article I also want each one of us to discern something more important and far-reaching for us than which is the highest paying job, what profession is the best etc etc. As a student myself who once stood on the threshold of starting her journey towards building the best suited and lucrative job for herself, I was also struck in the quandary of ‘school ke baad kya?’ What college to choose, what course to pursue, should I start the coaching for competitive exams from the very moment or wait for a year to assess what I am inclined towards, were a few of the multiple dilemmas I faced then. Every time I had these predicaments, I then wondered why having a career goal is important in our life? Why do people keep on asking after every class what are your plans for the future? If I have already decided what I want to become in my life at a very small age, then I think there’s no point in exploring my interests, my abilities, my skills because according to society it will always be like “aare beta tum to civil services mein Jaane ke liye keh rhe the na? Uska kya hua? Nhi karni aab tayyari?” And whatever I have decided, I should follow it blindly, not seeking the various other options which could be appropriate for me or which could bring out the best in me, isn’t it? 


1. AIS to Ace your career

The story at the start is something that I have seen happening in my own family. Often parents, to secure the future of their child, guide them through the process of career selection but there's a thin line between guiding the child and imposing their own will on them. Agreed that parents also worry about their future and they want the best for them but how frequently do they ask what the child wants to do? Or assess what he or she is good at and then let him go in that field? I have seen my friends who have no idea what they are doing yet are doing it only because they don't want to disappoint their parents. But again the question is why do something which you are not interested in in the first place and then regret later? And therefore, comes rule number one of selecting the right career option for you which is; 'Aptitude, Interest, and Skills, follow the AIS to ACE it.'

Most people get confused about this rule. When I talk about aptitude it means what type of skills are readily acquired if provided sufficient training opportunities. Now, this may sound accurate that if you have an aptitude for mathematics then you can go into the technical line. However, what many fail to realize is that aptitude is not sufficient to predict the precise set of skills one may ultimately develop.

What many of us do is that we take a job based on either of the two. Knowing the difference between these two is crucial before we devote our time, resources, and efforts to any occupation.

When it comes to the interest of a person; interest provides a direction for the habits and activities to develop which eventually emerges as the skills of a person. What interest does is that it primarily selects a particular activity out of a mix of potential activities in which the individual will further engage. Consequently, the smoothest and the surest way of finding your skills is the intersection of aptitude with interests: that set of activities for which the individual has a raw native talent for (aptitude) and simultaneously the desire (interest). Suppose an individual whose interest lies in writing but has an aptitude in psychology so to choose the best job domain for him he can pursue his education in the field of psychology and go ahead along with which he can write for several publications on psychology, thus substantiating his skill sets in the best possible ways.

What many of us do is that we take a job based on either of the two. If I have sufficient aptitude for all sorts of talent fields but without any interest in any of those, I will not devote the time and efforts required to develop the skills set for any of the fields. Similarly, if I do have the interest, it might satisfy me in the leisure activities, despite that, I won’t be able to handle the responsibilities which come with it and take more time and effort than others regardless of how interested I am. Knowing the difference between these two is crucial before we devote our time, resources, and efforts to any occupation. 

Source: Pinterest 

2. Find Your Purpose and Go After It

Another thing which I have personally felt is that many times people will say that you can do it, you just need to do some hard work, don't avoid the difficult things, take challenges, etc. Whenever I studied maths in my school, I always used to struggle a lot and spend more time on that subject. Even though I gave hours and hours to that one subject, I didn't score as well in maths as I did in the other subjects. But my mother always said that I could do well in the subject if I gave it more time and practiced it regularly. In my X standard, all I studied was maths and nothing else yet when the final result came, I only managed to secure eighty percent marks and in other subjects, I scored more than ninety-five percent. The irony of the situation is that I only studied maths and no other subject, and still didn't get a perfect score, hence bringing us to our next important rule of selecting the right career: no matter what anyone says to you, no matter how much people convince you that you can do a specific task if you put in just more effort, you, yourself are the right person who knows about your abilities and proficiencies. People will say things, sometimes to want the best for you or sometimes just to jibe at you but you know within yourself what you can do and what you can not. Never choose a line because of peer, family, or societal pressure. Know your vocation, prepare for it and do your best in it. Just think about it for a second, when you know that yes this is something which I can do because I want to do it and when you know that you have the perfect skills (remember skills are the intersection of aptitude and interest) then despite all the risks and challenges in that arena you will perform. Why? Because you have the confidence to face it. Howbeit if you are into a job that does not make you satisfied and rather drains you then even though you try, it is always going to be less. ‘Choose a job in which you won’t feel like working because when you enjoy doing the work you do, you will get success notwithstanding the challenges in it.’

3. Already a Teacher? But have Baking as a Passion? Worry Not because You Can Still Do That! 

I have noticed that these days some people are engaged in a multitude of activities and have more than one niche which, I must say, has also inspired me to turn my hands-on things. Once I was talking to one of my friends and I asked him, ''Why are you involved in so many different things? You are a content creator, you even write, and what is it that you can't do? To which he replied that you never know when one of your knacks might give up on you so you should be always trying new things and learning at every stage of your life because that is what we humans are meant to do; to discover new skills and do something great with them. And I can’t agree more.

Everyone is in a rat race of earning money, getting a reputed job but there are only a few who do things in an unwonted way and go after what they want and not what others want from them. 

When it comes to the third and final rule of the process of career selection, (at least for me) it is to not limit ourselves to certain opportunities. It doesn’t matter if you have a well-established occupation and you are already earning because that is just not the culmination of your career. You can still go and pursue singing or modelling or volunteering for that matter. It's never too late to do something new which makes you feel positive about yourself. The human mind is like a maze. Just like in the maze, you keep on finding new ways, similarly, our minds want to try something new and exciting every day and that’s the beauty of it, not restricting our abilities because when we stay within the limits of what we already know, our lives get boring. Many people have found their calling in a different field after they have already been in a job. Even studies have shown that people who feel a higher calling to their jobs are more content. Now people might think that how will this possibly help in choosing a job? But trust me, some people don't even follow their passion only because they are scared of what might unfold or because of the risks involved. They keep on doing the same thing and in the end, say that they are not satisfied with their lives. They are the same people who will appreciate a person who is following his passion but when it comes to them, well I won’t have to say it aloud, I hope you have got the hint! The point here is that did they ever try to do something to make their lives worth living and remembering? Did they ever do something which would have made them happy? Everyone is in a rat race of earning money, getting a reputed job but there are only a few who do things in an unwonted way and go after what they want and not what others want from them. Everyone will tell you how to ‘choose the right career for yourself ’ but no one will tell you ‘when to give up on that so-called right career for you and go ahead and pursue where your heart lies!'  

Have a stable job, do what you have always wanted to do nonetheless. What I want to say is that don't settle for less or think that where you are right now, it's the end for you. 

Source: Gracious Quotes 

So What I Want You to Do Now is...

My father has always done things that have made him happy and what inspires me is that he never said that he regrets the decisions he made in his life. He once said to me that, “Sanya there’s no perfect job in this world and every job is a dream job. What matters is where your potential lies. Believe in yourself and your capabilities as it’s you who is doing that job, not vice versa. So choose a profession that suits you, not you suiting to that profession.”

As for me, I have nothing much to share because I have seen both sides of the coin in my home. I have seen someone who hasn't chosen a career of his preference and I have even seen another person who had a job of his own choice and never regretted it, rather enjoyed it. Maybe that's why my concepts are clear as to what I want to go after. My pursuit is in the field of writing and speaking. Furthermore, I also love volunteering for social causes and upliftment of people, and accordingly, after a thorough reckoning of what I want to do, I have decided to go into the field of journalism. Writing for bringing a change in the lives of many, using my voice for the not so privileged, questioning the norms of our society, and trying to bring in a change are a few of the things which I want to achieve and I believe going into journalism will make it happen. 

People have jobs, they are earning but do they have a purpose, a meaning in their profession? 

For past generations, choosing a career was more about financial security and stability but now professional satisfaction and happiness are also an equally important part of it. It is indeed a major life decision, however, one should not feel as if their entire life depends on the one decision they take after/during their higher studies. While earlier people tended to stick to one career for their entire life, now it is becoming more common for them to switch their professions. What we need to understand is that if we have made a mistake while choosing the right career for ourselves or are not sure which path to choose then that doesn't mean that our choices have to be permanent. You can always make a change and find the best choice for you. People have jobs, they are earning but do they have a purpose, a meaning in their profession? Well, the question needs no guessing as it’s clearly visible from the work efficiencies of the employees and how badly they want to retire from their jobs, alas!

Further, keep in mind that you are not restricted by anything. It isn't required that if your parents did a job, your friends are doing a job then you have to do it too. Think different and create your job. Yes, it will take time for your set-up/ initiative to flourish but it's better than doing a job that will probably make you feel sorry about it for the rest of your life. Be creative, own your originality and come up with something that it makes people show that you built your job in that field where they thought it wouldn't even exist in a million years. And not only do you create your job, but you create a job for many others who are perhaps struggling to choose the right career in the same field and are unable to follow it, only because they have been told that "isme kuch nhi rakha hai, ek aachi saarkari naukri ki tayari karo."

The purpose of this article is to make each of us introspect what we want from ourselves and what makes us feel fulfilled. Recognize your skills and capacities and go for the promising and suitable occupation which validates them. Don’t push your failures on others by saying that they didn’t let us choose or as everyone was doing it, I also did it. It’s your life, so stand for it and yourself. Chasing money might get you things but chasing your dreams will not only get you money but also things that money can't give you :)

Source: Forbes

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