If you’re the average teenager, the last time you had a peal rung over your head because “You’re grown up now and it is high time you decide what you want in life!” probably isn’t too far back in the past. If you’re the average Indian teenager, deciding what you want in life probably means choosing to fall in with plans to become an Engineer or a doctor, or, in rare circumstances, a Chartered Accountant – basically what set of competitive exam you’re going to cram for now that you’re a big kid.
You begin your life as an infant, go to school the second you can form a coherent syllable with your mouth, and then spend the next ten or so years being spoon fed outdated knowledge on set subjects that you have no option but to cram. Soon, your grade 10 boards approach, and, just when information about available careers becomes more accessible, and you become more capable of processing that information; you are suddenly expected to be able to find your career path with alarming alacrity.
Do not, however, feel discouraged if you are unable to do so, because you just might be smarter than most of the ones who seem to have been born knowing what they want to do and here are five reasons why:
Grown-Ups Have A Secret:
There is no such thing as waking up one fine day and metamorphosing into an adult. It will not happen at 15, or at 18, or at 21, and it wouldn’t happen at 210 if we were to live that long. All that happens is that you live, and as you live, you get to know how to do more things. That doesn’t make you Yoda, but merely someone who knows how to do one more thing than they did before.
Your First Choice Is Rarely Your Last
The proliferation of engineering and tech education centres in India has given rise to a phenomenon that can be encapsulated in this pithy saying – “In India, you become an engineer first and then figure what to do with your life.” The vast majority of college graduates change career paths
very soon on getting out of college, if not immediately. There are, of course, those who are apparently born with their eye trained to the bulls eye, but, statistically speaking, most of these don’t ever actually hit it. That is a fact, but a fact nevertheless.
Confusion Means That You Care
High school career decisions are based on permutations and combinations of knowledge and desire. The fact that you aren’t going along with the first thing that appeals to you and are taking the time to think about it means that you care about what suits you and what you are capable of. It means that you genuinely care about assessing your skills and interests and matching them with viable career options. Speak to a career counsellor
or your high school or college guidance counsellor. They are trained to play ‘match the dots’ with your life.
People Choose Careers Several Times
So, say you were born with a glint in your eye matching that of the scalpel you will go on to hold. You go to the right schools, choose the right subjects, give the right exams, do them well and so on and so forth until you get to picking specialisations. Before that, however, you probably made small choices that got you closer to your specialty. And, after, you make choices regarding the extent of your career, your progress, how you choose to progress, your research contributions, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Your parents must have started their first job at a place where they were going to retire, but, the job scenario today is such that most people do not grow old with the career they began with.