Making The Right Career Choices…

Making the right career choices...

The road not taken..
Life provides us with ample opportunities to learn. It is up to us to make the best of it. Travelling in a school bus has been one such enriched journey for me over the years. It has helped me get a better insight into the lives of the kids, being in the crowd with them compared to being on the other side of the table in the classroom.
At the end of a taxing day, perching yourself on a bus seat, gearing up to face the demands of a different set of people at home, it is best to de-stress and unwind during the journey. Just forget the teacher in you and interact with the kids around, encourage them to sing and play – they will love you for it!!
If you are too tired, just be a passive listener, or pretend to sleep. You will get to know a lot more about the kids around you as they  interact freely with their peers without the fear of being watched by you.
It is during such travel sessions, I got a firsthand experience about the dilemma faced by the youth of today. On one such trip I heard the following – “A month from now, our results will be out and we have to choose our stream! I mean what career we have to pursue… I am not sure what interests me.” Aparna quickly added, ” both my parents are doctors, so my parents want me to study medicine only and I am okay with it.”
Deepa blurted out, “That’s the problem! My parents are doctors too. They are hoping that one day I will be a doctor too! But hospitals, patients, and medicines are a big no for me!! I am tired of convincing them!!
Then I heard a meek voice say,” How lucky you both are!” Your parents are ready to put you’ll in medical colleges. My story is different. As a child, I have seen my mother suffer from asthma every day. So I have always wanted to become a doctor and help poor people like my mom. But my parents can’t afford to pay my fees. So I have to do some part time studies and help my mother too. This was Meeta, the bus driver’s daughter.
Seema happily chirped,” My bestie is joining commerce, so I will be doing the same.”
These are some of the factors that influence a child’s decision to choose a stream or career in our society. But it is time we ask ourselves , should parental background, peer pressure, or financial status be the deciding factor for a child to choose his or her career?? The answer is a big no!!
It is time we teach our kids the right way to choose the right field for higher studies or career. One should begin by the time they are into their teens. By then the child for sure knows his areas of interests and weaknesses. Encourage your child to discuss his areas of interests with you. Then under  your guidance ask him to tabulate the following.
# Encourage your child to research the opportunities available.
#  List out the career options.
#  Evaluate each option by listing out the pros and cons against each keeping your child in mind.
# Narrow down the list based on the above.
# From the shortlisted options, find out what ticks or excites your child more.
# Encourage your child to talk to people in that field or research more about that field. 
# List out the investment required and the short-term returns and long-term returns.
#  List out the job opportunities in the chosen area and scope for growth before making the final decision.
# Involve your child in the above drill. Help him make the table and come to a logical conclusion.
# Review the list every six months after the term exams and amend it if required.
# If you follow this from class eighth to class twelfth, with at least eight reviews, I am sure both, the parent and the child will be more confident and passionate about the stream you choose to study.
 Very few children are blessed with an inborn passion and drive to work in an area. Such children are free to follow and work towards their goal. But the present generation kids, who are not very focused, are our main concern. For such kids, it is best to involve them in the decision-making process to avoid the blame game later in life.
As parents, teachers and mentors it is our responsibility to guide our children and help them choose the right field or career so that they develop a passion for it as they grow. Investing our time in this career choice process will avoid a lot of failures and stress later in the  lives of our children.
With proper guidance and counselling, I am sure our kids will never have to repent about the road not taken in life….. 
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