Indian parents make no bones about their expectations from their children. Your parents probably expect you to have a plan and a justification for every decision you make regarding your education and your plans afterwards.
Choosing the right job is nerve-wracking. You’ve likely heard all the well-meaning advice you can stand already and taken the multitude of aptitude quizzes and tests available online. These may have offered some clarity, but you’re probably still confused.
Before you choose a career path, you should keep a few considerations in mind.
Play To Your Strengths
You won’t enjoy a job you aren’t good at.
Sure, everyone has a learning curve, and you won’t be great at a job right away, no matter how similar your previous experiences are. But if the job doesn’t utilise your strengths, then you’re going to get frustrated with it really quickly.
There’s no point in sticking it out in a field where you don’t seem to be improving, and all your actual talents are being wasted. Take some time to self-reflect, identify what you’re good at, and what skills you can improve in, and focus on fields that utilise those skills. You’ll be happier for it.
Does It Keep Your Interest
A lot of career advice recommends that to find dream jobs, you should do the things you love. However love can very quickly turn to exhaustion and boredom if you’re going to be doing the same thing day after day.
What you should ensure when you’re looking at career options is that the work is interesting. Every job has its tedious aspects, and you’re bound to get bored at some point. Consistent enjoyment is not feasible. However, if the work is interesting overall, it’ll be easier to push through the day-today nitty-gritties.
What Are Other People Doing?
Image Credits: Cognizant Technology Solutions
Keep in touch with schoolmates and college friends, and all your favourite professors. You never know when they might mention something, or someone they know, that sparks an idea about your ideal job. Talk to your aunts and uncles who’re in fields that seem interesting, to get an idea of the ins and outs of the job. You should also talk to friends who are freelancing, in case you’re looking for part-time jobs in India.
This may seem redundant, but locking yourself up and worrying about how to apply for jobs is not going to get you anywhere.
The more you interact with people, the more experiences you’ll share in. This will spark more ideas, and give you insights about what your likes and dislikes are, and will make it easier to choose a career.
Your work will comprise the majority of your life.
A significant part of your day will be spent at work, and your social circle will include your colleagues. So it’s important that the work culture in that industry matches up with your personal values.
More importantly, your work should result in the kind of life that makes it all worth it.
Some jobs require more sacrifices than others, and there is no shame in accepting that you have limits. No matter how much you enjoy your job, if it compromises on the things that are important to you, you will come to resent it and end up miserable.
Finding your dream job is not an overnight process. It will take time and patience and a few false starts, and that’s perfectly alright.
What’s important is to keep looking and stay active, professionally or otherwise. Take a couple of online courses, get a job that at least keeps you occupied, or volunteer at your favourite NGO. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you’re doing something.
Travel if you can, and try to keep up your hobbies, because you never know which of your skills and interests will contribute to your career later.
Take some time to know yourself, your interests, your strengths and weaknesses, and accept that your dream job won’t necessarily be the first one you pick. However, with trial-and-error, you’re bound to hit upon the right one. Good luck!