“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in Life”, they say. Now that’s pure bull shit; a job’s always a job with its usual downsides like the deadlines, routine, etc. However, it definitely helps to make the right choice of career, as Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. It does get trickier with doubts like “How to identify my calling?” “How can I be sure about pursuing my passion?” and “What if it doesn’t pay my bills?”
With right career counselling, one not only will be able to choose the most suitable career but will achieve a better work-life integration, comparatively more job satisfaction and perform consistently better.
Through this article, I’ll touch upon certain aspects of career counselling which, if used well may bring one success in their own terms. I chose to pursue my passion against lucrative choices and not only I enjoy my job but also make good money and get better every passing day. Now for me, most of it was accidental and I did have my own share of sleepless nights pondering over the choices (or even lack of them) that I had. But the whole experience did enlighten me on what I could have done better.
Traditionally in India the most common choices after school are Medicine, Engineering or CA. Influenced by Family, Peers, the crowd and trend, we mostly fail to sense the very obvious fact that,
“Everyone has some unique talents, but if we judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll live it’s whole life believing that it’s stupid”.
[Quote by Albert Einstein]
I suggest seeking help from a professional Career counsellor, and a good one at that, as an investment. It’s just a little cost you invest for life long benefits.
A good counsellor will take you through a series of Psychometric, Analytical, Aptitude and Technical quizzes to eventually generate a score based on your:
- Values and Interests
Upon which, he/she will map the score with various alternatives available in the Job/Business Market. This will be followed up with a few sessions to understand your perspective and finally make a set of recommendations for you to pursue.
Alternatively [only if your do not wish to seek professional support yet], you could also:
- Speak with relatives and seniors who are doing well. Ask them about what’s trending and what seems to be futuristic. Try to get their opinions for at least 5 years ahead.
- Do a Strength-Values-Interest-Skill Analysis of yourself. The key is identifying what drives you? Money, Power, Status, Respect, etc. Involve your teachers, parents and seniors again to seek feedback from them around what they think about you.
- Analyse if all of it points, clearly, to a certain careers. If it does, nothing like it. If it doesn’t research more. Take help from experts online. Make a profile on business networking sites like LinkedIn and go through people’s profile. Give yourself more time and brainstorm with elders who are doing well.
1. Do not get influenced by every successful person. Not everyone has the same traits. The key is to know oneself [Strengths-Values-Interests-Skills].
2. Your passion may not necessarily convert into a job. Identify if it will pay your bills. If you fear it won’t, find the closest alternative that allows you to stay in touch with your passion. [May be just as a hobby]. If you ensure dedicating some time to your hobby and investing on getting better at it with time, it may prove as good as having your hobby as a job. After all, it’s you who has to integrate work in life to lead a balanced thus content life.
3. Take risks, but only after a cost-benefit analysis. Have a plan B as much as you can. And when it becomes impossible to continue, move on. But be mindful always.
4. It’s never too late to make the right choice. And it’s also not wrong to correct a mistake. Change is the only constant. You change, so do your strengths, values, interests and skills. Change after sufficient cost-benefit analysis and a futuristic vision. If you feel like changing too often, look for a career that brings you more variety, challenges and newness.
When encountered by choices, ask yourself :
- Can I do it for 15 hours without getting bored?
- Will it pay my bills?
- Will it pay five years from now?
- Who will I swap jobs with if I could and why? OR whose job would I steal if I could and what would it take for me to get there? Is it Feasible in the given timeline I have for taking it up?
- What do I enjoy the most, of the following:
• Speaking, debating and working with people.
• Solve mathematical problems or analyse situations to find solutions.
• Persuade, negotiate or convince people.
• Art of any form.
• Playing with Gadgets or creating new devices.
There are no rules but one: It’s THE BIGGEST DECISION of life, give it the time, effort, thought and energy it deserves.