Choose A Career
In today's time of so many career options making the Right Career Choice is not a very easy decision. There are often three category of students –
- Those who are absolutely confident of what they want to do in their life and what career they would like to build for themselves.
- Those who know what their potential is, but have absolutely no idea about what to do with that potential. Or for that matter, whether there is any scope for them to pursue a career in the field of their interest or not.
- Then there are those who have absolutely no idea as to what career path they should build for themselves or what subjects they should study or what course they should take up.
In all three cases, whether a student is confident about their career choice, or whether they are confused or completely unclear of their career choice, it can become a very tricky ball game if the career plan is not backed with the market reality and if this career choice is not in tune with their own inherent strengths and capabilities.
Let us explore all these three possibilities of making the right career choice:
Case scenario 1 : I know my potential and I have decided my career choice.
In this scenario, the student is well aware about what his / her true potential is and has a career plan in mind. He knows he wants to become a doctor or an engineer or a CA or an IAS officer or any other specific career, and he knows what it takes to become one. He has therefore chalked out the complete process – taking the appropriate required stream in class 11, taking up coaching classes, clearing the entrance exams as the case may be, studying diligently in the required course, and then finally looking for a good company offering the desired profile with a good salary.
- However, what the students many a times overlook in this scenario is the market reality. One needs to look at the aspect of what the market is offering. Is there a crunch in the economy? Is there a demand-supply gap for the profile in the market? Is there any alternate career option which utilizes the same potential of a person but offers a better return? Though one has made the career choice, but do I actually have the capability to deliver to that profile?
Case scenario 2 : I know my potential but I have no idea of what career choice to make.
- Many students know what their inherent strengths are. For example: there are students who know that they are good with numbers, or there are those who are good in writing, or perhaps they are creative thinkers, and there are some who have an extremely high verbal aptitude, then there are also those who have a natural acumen for science, then there is a whole breed of artistic students as well, which includes those who are good in singing, dancing, painting, etc.
- Though these students know what they are good at, or what their talents are, but they are not quite sure of what career to pursue, or, even if they do have a career in mind, they are not confident about the scope in that career, or probably face some opposition from the family for that career (for example: many students who wish to pursue a career in dancing or arts or sports etc often face some opposition from their parents).
- This category also includes those students who are aware about their inherent strengths but have multiple career choices in their mind. For example: a student who is good in written and verbal communication may be confused whether to pursue mass communication or whether to get into sales and marketing, or advertising, or journalism, etc.
- This category also often includes those students who do not know what expectations to have from a career – whether they should stay in their home towns or should they be open to change their location, what salary to expect at the start of a career, what kind of profile will suit theme best, etc.
Case Scenario 3 : I don’t know what I am good at, what are my capabilities, and I don’t know what career choice to make.
- This category includes those students who have no knowledge about either their inherent strengths or weaknesses. They usually decide a stream in class 11 based on whatever the school allots them on the basis of their marks, or they take up that stream or course which their friends or siblings have taken up, or perhaps that stream or course about which they have heard or read somewhere and developed some kind of an affinity for it.
- In this scenario, what usually happens is that the student grows up to become a frustrated individual who is neither happy with the career choice he has made for himself, nor does he have any clue about how to rectify the mistake he has done of making a wrong career choice. This kind of a situation often leads to a low self confidence and a low self esteem in students when they grow up as they are not able to deliver at their jobs and therefore, they start believing that they are good for nothing. Even in school or college, they really have to struggle to pass their exams, and coping up with the studies is a real challenge.
Given these three scenarios, it becomes very clear that a career choice must be given a proper thought if one wants to avoid life long suffering and misery of being stuck in a wrong career.
This is precisely why the role of a career counselor becomes all the more important in today’s time and day. This is because –
A good career counselor, before doling out any career advice, will first understand what the student’s inherent strengths and capabilities are. That is, he will try to understand what the aptitude and personality of the student is through the use of aptitude tests and personality tests.
Secondly, a good career counselor will not just be well aware about the market reality, but also, about the various career choices that are available in the market for a given profile and what the demand for a career is and which career has what scope in the long run.
And thirdly, a good career counselor will correlate both these aspects, that is, the capabilities of the student along with the market reality, and offer the most appropriate and relevant career advice to the student for helping him chalk out his career plan.
Therefore, whether you are a student who has made up his career choice or whether you are a student who is still not clear about which career to pursue, or, whether you are a professional who is stuck in a wrong career, it is very important that –
You first must know what your inherent strengths, weaknesses, capabilities and potentials are. This can be done through a scientifically developed aptitude test and personality test or career test. However, do keep in mind that the psychometric assessment that you are taking is a reliable and standardized test.
Secondly, you must consult a career counselor who has sound knowledge about the industry and who offers advice based on your aptitude test and personality test report, rather than relying on those career counselors who offer just about any unsolicited free advice.
And thirdly, once you know what your right career choice is, you must follow up the career plan with proper due diligence, dedication and hard work, without slacking in your efforts towards building your career.
After all, one can only lead a horse to water, not make it drink! :)