Source: Pixabay 

To help you choose the right career for you, let me go back to the beginning. I still remember the essay topic in the Vernacular Paper that I chose for my Annual Exam when I was in class - IX. It was a very common topic: The Aim in Your Life.

Life in the late 60s was quite easy-going and being a doctor or engineer was not the craze in those days as it is now. Teaching was considered to be the most noble profession and most wanted to be a teacher. Why I decided to write about being a doctor one day, I can't tell you now. But I did write that my aim in life was to be a doctor.

Probably a few days before the exam, I might have gone through a Book of Essays and the essay in the book on the same topic must have touched a cord in my heart. So, in the introductory paragraph, I wrote why I wanted to be a doctor in the first place, I wrote about the suffering millions in the remote villages across India and how as a doctor I wanted to serve them.

I didn't know at that time, a mere child that I was, what it meant to be a doctor. The sacrifices a wannabe doctor or his parents have to make. I realised that only after I started working as a teacher in government schools throughout the length and breadth of The Happiness Country called Bhutan.

Whenever I asked a class to talk about their aim in life, after I had told them how I landed up being a teacher in the country despite my intention of never being one - most of them would express their desire to be a doctor, an engineer, even an air hostess but not a single student wanted to be a teacher. When I asked for the reason, they told me that the teacher's job was quite hazardous. A teacher has to work long hours, check the homework of the students, prepare lessons for the next day, and so on.

They felt that a doctor's job was more lucrative and exciting. When an ordinary student got up to tell me that he wanted to be a doctor in the introductory class, I couldn't help asking him if he was good at Maths or Science. To which he shook his head. I told him that without being good in Maths or Biology, being a doctor was never going to be easy.

Things started changing by the 80s. People found working in a bank was a safe bet as well, and the benefits and facilities offered to a banker were just unbelievable!

Coming back to the topic of How to Choose the Right Career - the first thing that you have to find out for yourself is if you like Maths or Science. If you are good in those subjects, you can think of cracking the NEET or JEE. But let me also tell you something in this connection. A close relative of mine was extraordinarily good both in Maths and Science. In the H. S. Exam, he got above 90% in all these subjects. He also secured Letter Marks in English and in Bengali, he scored 145 or something out of 200. His aim was to be a great literateur one day.

His parents didn't understand that. They enrolled him for a Course in MBBS. The boy got the degree alright, but he never practised as a doc as the sight of the headless chickens, live rats and blood were too much for him to handle. He did a Course in Genetics afterward and ended up in the U. S. A as a research scholar instead.

So, you see, dead reader, why it is important for you to choose the right career. Find out your likes and dislikes regarding the subjects by the time you are in Class-VIII. If Biology appeals to you, go for the MBBS. If History is your forte, go for the Master's in History then. You can be a History Teacher or even a college Lecturer or Professor.

Some of our students are good at Games and Sports. If you think that you have it in you what it takes to be a professional player. Just go for it, man. Who or what is stopping you? If Football is your passion, devote all your energy and passion to being a footballer. Don't ever be someone like me. I have already told you about the essay that might have made my teacher think highly of me as I expressed the view of being a doctor one day through it. Truth was, I was very poor in Maths and average in the Science Subjects. I even dreaded English till class - X. Now tell me, can anyone be a good doctor without being able to read, write or speak good English? Very unlikely as most of the books for the MBBS Course are written in English only, and a doctor in a country like ours needs to communicate in English at times.

No wonder I ended up being a Teacher. I told my students though that I never wanted to be one as teaching was considered to be a family tradition. I wanted to be something different - a singer, actor, player or what not! All my people, starting with my late father down to the brother closest to me, were teachers. Not that I regretted being a Teacher, especially in a gorgeous country like Bhutan where teachers are respected highly even today.

Source: Pixabay

So find out what drives you on and be passionate about it from early on. I used to write, translate stories from English and Hindi to Bengali when I was working for a bilingual magazine called "Anubad Patrika", published from Calcutta. I was even making a name for myself. When the offer from Bhutan materialized, the proprietor asked me to stay back with the magazine. He told me that I had a bright future working for it. But the pay was meagre and a teaching job seemed more attractive. So, I left for Bhutan.

As luck would have it I started writing a lot as an English Teacher of the higher classes. I had to teach them how to write different types of essays, short stories and so on. Even then I didn't realize that my first and only love was Writing.

After my superannuation, when I came back to my hometown, Calcutta, I started sending my stories and poems to various online magazines. Some got selected while most were rejected. But the realization that I was never going to make much money really hit me hard. Things could have been different had I started earlier when I was young. Even yesterday I read an article in Google about 4 Indian teenagers who have already had their first novels published!

So, whatever you do, try to find out your passion - what gives you the greatest satisfaction. If studies interest you the most, find out the subject/s of your liking and prepare accordingly. If you want to be the next Virat Kohli of Indian Cricket, you have to spend hours not only at the nets but also at the gym and places like that. And don't you forget, dear reader, that the present Indian Cricket Captain is a great communicator as well. If Football, Badminton, Tennis, Boxing or even Chess is your passion, go all out for it. There is a World of Opportunities waiting out there for you. Anchoring, Modelling, DJ, Content Writing and many more are options we didn't hear much about in our youth.

Finally, let me conclude by telling you about another relative. Some 10 years back, he decided to major in Microbiology. He performed brilliantly in the subject even while pursuing his Master's or PHd. But Microbiology didn't have much of a scope in India, he might have gone abroad to make a living out of it. The subject that is one of the most sought after in the rest of the world, was yet to make its mark in India. So, whatever you choose, make sure of its scope and relevance when it's time for you to get employed. Otherwise, you will have none to blame but yourself.

I wish all my young readers, still pursuing their studies at various institutes, all Success and Happiness. May God bless you to find your true calling at the earliest.

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