Your guide to a fulfilling career

29 DEC 2017

It is a general presumption that the prime career junction of a student’s life is 10+2, where while choosing their stream will have a major impact on their career. But with varied career options available, making the right decision at the right time will help them find success in their chosen profession.

Many students are at crossroads after graduation, the stage where they face ‘true’ career decisions. After passing Class 12, factors such as allure of a ‘Dream College’, lack of subject knowledge, limited exposure and inexperience make students pick subjects that may not take them close to their desired job. As graduation comes to a close, the bubble bursts and they realize that they still have no clue about what they wish to do in future. In real life, it is difficult to switch from one career to another and even if it is done, it is risky.

Career counseling has become imperative in identifying the right skill sets, aptitude and training requirements so that they can land in a career of their choice. Two of the major challenges with career counseling are the wide student base and limited awareness about new opportunities. Recent studies show about 80% of students are inclined towards seven to eight traditional careers and are not even aware of other career options.

For long, intelligence has been confused for aptitude and has been considered an apt parameter to make career decisions. However, aptitude and intelligence differ. Though both are equally important for success, it's aptitude that takes precedence due to its inherent nature. Fortunately, people have started realizing the need to find the perfect blend of aptitude and career that increases their chances for professional success.

So what should students do when they can’t decide on a career path?

Below are a few tips which can help them make the right career decision:

Chase your passion: Experiences you gain in your school/ college life must have given you a fair idea about what sparks your interest. Make a list - one of the things that get you going and second, of all the things you are good at. Try matching the two.

Do your research: You cannot afford to be lazy in career matters. Take initiative to learn more about potential career options, what they entail and the route you need to follow. Understand the required qualification, knowledge along with right skill set that enables you to gain entry into your chosen career.

Get some experience: The best way to explore any career is to “live” it. Internships not just allow you to discover nuances about your chosen field but they also help you gain relevant skills that can pave way for a future job.

Talk to professionals: Get in touch with people who are currently working in your field of choice. Ask them about their activities and challenges to get an insider’s perspective.

Take a scientific career assessment test: Technology has ushered in a revolution in career-planning and psychometrics. There are online tools that leverage the power of technology to profile your personality, interests, aptitude, orientation style and emotional intelligence to suggest the best career matches.

Such tools facilitate accurate and bias-free decisions. Assessing a perfect aptitude-career fit is now possible through smart assessment. It not only judges a student's aptitude in real-time scenario, but also maps them according to industry standards to give you a report. The insights you gain through such an assessment is significant while making a career decision.

The key thing here is to keep things in perspective. Career indecision is something that plagues millions and you are not alone in this. So don’t get perplexed. Keep searching and seek professional guidance till you find your true calling.

Prof. Shankar Bellur

For further consultations you may please contact me @ +91 9739686788

Email: bm_shankar@rediffmail.com