In your childhood many of you must have been asked this question umpteen number of times by parents, relatives, neighbors and teachers. “What do you want to become when you grow up?” This question was asked with a big smile or maybe with a pull of your chubby cheeks, while you probably stood there with a blank stare or an expression of deep thinking. After a brief pause, your parents would have snatched your power of attorney, intervened and answered this question on behalf of you!
Even after several years of this childhood encounters, nothing much has changed. You probably still find this question as daunting and tough to answer as it was for your several years ago. However, now, one thing has changed about this question. It has become a much more serious question than ever before. Also, it is you and only you who has to answer it because you are going to be responsible for what you become and not others.
But, have you ever asked this question to yourself “What do I want to become?” Try it. You will find a thousand thoughts crossing your minds. Because of the immense exposure to the outside world and the availability of options, your mind has become ever more confused. Moreover, we have been an instruction – based society. We have always been told what to do. We are influenced by near environment such as family / friends and want to do what others do.
Many a times students and parents approach me as to what field of study / specialization should be taken after by tenth, twelfth, graduation or post – graduation? And I simply ask them back “What do you want to become?” Sometimes I do get some answers. But when I ask them further as to why do they want to take up that field of study / specialization the answers are somewhat like this:
- “Everyone in my family is a <profession>, so I am also taking it up…”
- “My friends are going to study this, hence I too…”
- “My dad/mom/parents/uncle wants me to pursue this”
So, if you do not decide for yourself, someone else will decide it for you and you will be travelling a path that has been set for you by others.
When we want to go on a vacation, we decide upon the destination first before thinking about how to get there and other logistics. In your life too, you have to answer the question “What do you want to become” first before thinking about the career path and field of study that you would pursue. You need to realise your true potential, visualise your dream career and articulate your path to get there.
In the next two to three months many of you would be obtaining the results of the hard work that you had put in for your exams. You will be standing at a very important milestone in your life. The decision that you take at this milestone will impact not only you, but also your family. This decision will have an impact that will last for another forty -five years of your life. This is a decision that will have a direct impact on “What you want to become”. This is the decision about your Career.
- “What should I choose as my Career?”
- “Do I have the capabilities and skills to be successful in that career?”
- “Will I get paid well in this career?”
- “Is there a sustainable demand for this career or will this career exist in the next ten years?”
- “Do I have the personality required to pursue that career?”
- “Will I be happy in this career?”
- “Will it create a balance between my personal as well as professional life”
- “Will I be able to make my family, community, country proud in this career?”
There are various tools, assessments and career consultancy services that you can leverage to seek answers to the above questions. India is poised on a launch pad of economic, social and political growth however, it is a crowded and competitive world out there. Are you ready for it?