Why did I choose this title? I will tell you why?
I thought to write about career clarity because my journey on career choice began when I was in the 8th standard. Like any young person I was clueless what I wanted to do, where I wanted to reach and how to do it all. Earlier the pattern of school curriculum was that from 9th standard we had to select our main stream discipline like arts, science or commerce. I chose science! Disaster!! Because maths was not my friend and double whammy, the math teacher was the perfect evil in a beautiful face. By the first semester I knew that a change was needed to move out of science and join Arts. I did that. Phew! What a relief! This mistake happened because I was trying to live someone else’s unfulfilled dream.
The school journey ended happily and then the second hurdle appeared in my life? What next to take, what do I want to become? I was confused, and my mother made me feel more insecure because she felt I was going nowhere. This had to be corrected I decided! But how do I do it because there were not many career counsellors in those days (I am talking about 70s) to whom we could go and get clarity. So I dug up on my own various options, what I felt about subjects, what relation I had with the main stream subjects and what really did I feel most comfortable in? Did I enjoy people interface or was it the machines that attracted my attention. I started getting more confused than ever so I turned to my mother for her advice. Yes my mother who was nervous about my un-clarity of career choice. I still remember how she sat down with me after dinner one day and started asking very probing but straight questions. I felt as though I was answering tree of questions with multiple branches peeping out from all the sides. My mother and I must have sat for over three hours trying to see where my personality fit and what thrilled me. Conclusion – psychology or sociology (incidentally my mother was MA is Sociology Honours from Kashi Vidyapeeth college). She was good at counselling and had asked all the right questions. The choice was made.
I choose sociology honours because it matched with my personality – people oriented and interest in the life of people. The next ladder to climb came after finishing the college and I again went with my inner inclination – to remain connected to people.
Why I felt the need to write this article is manifold. In the current scenario I observe that most of the young people are aimless, clueless and hence pick up the wrong education courses and then there are endless steps of confusion, unhappiness and mental stress. I must add here that Indian education system sucks. It does not encourage real time studying habit, no exploration of wider subject courses. Rote learning is given precedent over exploratory style. End result most of the young people are trapped in undesired stream and total unhappiness.
Hence I feel few steps are needed in our education system at the earliest.
Few of them are as below:
- While the child is studying, take various battery of tests to gauge the intelligent, mental score of the child
- Put them through the vocational experience like machine learning, artificial intelligence, performing arts. Do alongside the school curriculum to know the early signs of the child’s interest
- Develop life skills and let them go through with those skills so that their development is holistic in nature
- Let the studying pattern be more interactive and less lecture oriented. We must encourage our children to ask questions freely, encourage them to work in teams
- Let the family become the part of the career choice of the child and not enforce the child to take what the parents desire. This being the major gap in picking the right career
- Above all let the child be encouraged to select their choice early in life and let them make changes as they keep growing. Connecting them to themselves is the key to selecting the right choice.
I do hope the parents realise that their children too have dreams and let them live their dreams. As a parent feel proud of their achievements as individuals. The contribution of the child when decided by them should be encouraged.
A seasoned HR professional possessing over 20 years’ of HR experience, she is an HR fellow from MECI-CAMI, PG in both social work & personnel management from TISS. She is also a qualified PGD in stress management and career counselling, POSH certified, coach & facilitator & an emotional intelligent specialist.