Young India is running a marathon!
It is a marathon of ambitions, aspirations and dreams. It is also a race to prove that they are capable of many things in just one life. The sad part is that sometime out of this pressure to win and race ahead, they put an end to this very precious life!
Youth is the time for self discovery. The right choice in terms of education and experience can give you a good career boost, but a wrong decision can lead to dissatisfaction and frustration over a period of time.
There is a paradox of sorts in employment. With various business expansions and new avenues opening up, the demand for workforce is increasing. At the same time in India itself the percentage of unemployed is increasing . Why? The reasons are varied but a lot of industry experts feel that it has to do between the disparity of what is taught and what the industry expects and also with the students’ mindset.
Taking education in a field which defines a person’s interest and building a career in it is an ideal situation. However with an influx of information coming from every corner, a student tends to get confused about his own capabilities and the opportunities.
Any professional would vouch for this rule that success always depends upon the individual skills, aptitude and initiative. If one is able to judge one’s forte, then he can build around hundreds of careers with just one interest. For instance, if you have a flair for writing, then the options available for you may range from journalism to writing scripts to editing and much more.
Choosing a career is no easy task and involves lots of brainstorming apart from your capabilities match and market trends and opportunities. Here are some pointers to help you narrow down your decision.
1. Self Assessment
The selection of the right career starts from the belief that you deserve a good job and that everyone has an aptitude or a talent. Although it may sound philosophical but waking up early has many advantages. The dawn time is perfect for self exploration. Ask questions to yourself, try to see you hidden positive traits. Do a SWOT analysis ( it is a management tool to judge your internal strength and weaknesses and try to figure out the opportunities and threats present in external environment.) Set your priorities and goals. What is it you want in a career ? What is expected from you? If you do this regularly, you should find answers to most of your confusions.
2. Get some counselling done
Ideally, the best time for counselling is high school where one is faced with a new form of examinations, the decision to choose a subject stream, college choice etc. Career counselling may reduce the adolescents’ stress during decision making.
The counselors may suggest different types of tests to know your personality type and traits and how it matches with various professions. They may also give you right directions to prepare for a particular profession.
The tests probe deep in to a persons’ interests, games, hobbies, social skills, art inclinations, music pursuits if any.
They can definitely help you to identify the factors which would influence your career path and help you to assess your abilities for that.
3. Listen to Professionals:
You might know people with professional experience in your family and social circles. If your father is in a government job, ask him what he likes or dislikes about his profession, whether it was his own choice or matter of circumstance. He may like the stability factor but may be unhappy about the monetary aspects. Similarly your cousin is in research job but she would warn you about the number of years needed to actually reap the benefits.
These small tips and advise may open your eyes to a broader spectrum which remains hidden or unexplored by a generic search done on the Internet.
So it’s advisable to remain connected online as well as offline!
4, Gain experience, take internships or summer jobs
All industries expects a little bit of both ” hard skills” (technical expertise) and “soft skills”( interpersonal skills). Most of the undergraduate disciplines rely on technical theories and little on practical approach and absolutely nothing on social skills. The only real connect is when you organize some event for college and learn about finances, organizing, leading and controlling.
Hands on training is the answer to this problem. As a student intern you are able to see all theories put into ‘action’ . You would always be surrounded by professionals handling their jobs efficiently . You even learn a lot by committing mistakes and then making corrections.
The training period can be the best learning ground for you so don’t hesitate to ask questions, clear doubts and observe the workplace.
5. Add to your existing skills
Develop new skill sets or refine existing ones. Whether it’s a short term language course or an IT software module, new learning always boost your confidence and gives you a high.
If you choose these workshops wisely ,it can be an added feather to your profile and an advantage in a profession later. Even the future employers would like your proactive approach and the quality of updating knowledge.
With the advent of the internet revolution, one can now even take an online course at the comfort of one’s own house and save commuting time.
It’s definitely a great way to be in sync with the rapidly changing work environment.
Career planning is a life long process and will not end with getting the right job. In fact as you move up in professional ladder, there are other aspects to look into such as work- life balance, financial planning, career growth and promotions etc.
At any stage of life it is OK to be confused and to admit to that confusion, because only then you will end up striving to find a solution.