HOW CHOOSE YOUR CAREER – 10 MYTHS AND REALITIES
What will you become when you grow up?" a guest asked 5 year old girl named Rajalakshmi. The girl promptly said I will be only Rajalakshmi. The lesson is you will be only what you can be and what is that you are intrinsically made up of. You cannot change the chemistry. But you can train yourself to change the way you interact with your surroundings.
However, as many young adults will tell you, the question gets more difficult to answer when the time comes to actually pick a profession. Several books, counselors and well-meaning relatives will attempt to guide you to the 'right' path when it comes to your career nirvana. However, it is important to separate the wheat from the chaff. So, here we look at some of the myths about choosing a career.
Myth 1: If I don't have a career goal already,
I am doomed:
Not really when you are in school, because our thinking, prospects and interests evolve as we go along. A better approach could be to have an idea of what kind of activities those interest you more and a broad understanding of what kind of job you may enjoy doing. Specific details can emerge as you learn and grow. As you see more of the world, your perspective expands. Important you must closely follow your instincts.
For example, you like adventures, heroics, you want to join Military. But medically you are not fit. What is next best .You can try to become a military analysts or anthropologists – a research highly exciting. What is important is that you must be passionate about what you are doing and should feel proud of your work.
Myth 2: A wise man can tell me what's best for me:
No one can tell you what's best for you, be it a counselor or your illustrious uncle. All they can do is to explain what is what and what you can expect in a particular career role. Know yourself, your interests, your strengths and weaknesses, and your options and then make your own decisions. It's you who has to live with the decision. Any career will occupy a huge portion of your life so it's important that it hits an inner resonance with you.
Myth 3: This field is 'hot' so let me go here
How well you do in a career depends on how well it excites the inner you and not how many people are choosing it or how fast the opportunities are growing. Choose a field that interest you and reach top five or ten level. In any field if you are just another one, the field may be hottest but you will be left in cold because your mind is not in it.
Myth 4: A lot of money equals a lot of happiness
Money is basic and anyone who claims otherwise is simply not telling the truth. However, a career is much more than money. If you do what you like doing, your performance will go up, money will automatically come to you.
At the start of your career, don't make salary the sole criteria. Instead go after excitement of work and your interest. Look for learning scope and what can you achieve that will make better man tomorrow. Money is always a by-product of excellent performance. Excellence can never happen if you choose a field for the wrong reasons.
My best friend is doing this so it's right for me
In spite of you having so much in common with your best friend, you are still different. Look for what you like, look for your own song because only then you will be able to sing it well and also, enjoy singing it.
Myth 6: If I choose career X my skills will go waste:
A common argument many young people encounter is, "If you wanted to do MBA finance, why did you do electrical engineering?"
At any point of time, we are a sum total of our experiences, skills and knowledge. None of your skills go waste even if you are doing something that may ostensibly look like drawing upon a completely different set of skills.
Going back to the engineering-MBA question, your aptitude developed in engineering will help you being quantitative and analytical in your MBA. Moreover, why should you let your qualification be the chain around your feet; your education should help you soar, not tie you down.
The decision today determines what I do for the rest of my life:
Not a complete truth. People make career changes almost throughout their working lives. New opportunities come up, interests evolve, priorities change or they simply get bored (which is perfectly okay!). You only need to be careful about why you want a career change. Is it because of a wrong decision early on or because you are unwilling to slug it out long enough to excel or is it because your career interests have evolved and you want to fulfill changed priorities?
The point is making a decision does not mean going down a one-way tunnel; there will always be several roads branching off from where you are and confidence, perseverance and balanced decision-making will take you down the best one.
Nothing wrong to be flexible. You and everything around you are dynamic .It is about adapting to different situations. Important follow your heart.
Hobbies are hobbies and a job is a job
Several people have made outstanding careers working on their hobbies and interests and making a living out of it, a good one at that. Of course, not all hobbies can be made into careers but there can be a sizeable intersection between your interests and your career. Try to find the common area because pursuing a career asks for a lot of commitment and you cannot be committed to something if you don't like it.
Myth 9: To know about a field, I need to work in it:
Not really. Of course, there's nothing like firsthand experience but you can always find out enough about a career option to determine whether it should figure in your shortlist without really diving in.
Read about a career, talk to people who are already in and try to determine if the job excites you. When talking to people, try to gather information rather than get influenced by their opinions "You get a lot of free time generally but when the deadlines are near, you may even have to work 14 hours" is much more valuable than, "I love being a software developer".
Myth 10: I don't have any interests;
I just want to pay my bills:
It may sound like a nice thought, even somewhat macho but it's not true. Saying that you don't have any interests just means you haven't really looked at yourself closely enough. Get in touch with your inner self. Discover what you like because everyone has preferences. Discovering oneself is the first step towards a 'right' career decision.