It is generally the case that when students have to make a career choice, they are too young and don’t have much information to make a good decision. The best people to pass on advice are the ones who have gone through the same thing, and survived it. So we thought it would be best for working professionals to look back down their career paths and share their wisdom with students of today. So if you are a student who has completed 10th standard or 12th standard board exams, and pondering on what to do next, our series of interviews
will shed light. This week, we have Amit, a business consultant in Delhi, whose career path has taken many turns.
Q: Tell us about yourself, Amit?
A: I am an MBA Marketing graduate. I have worked with a couple of companies till now as a consultant, and it is a 9 to 6 job.
Q: When you were supposed to choose your subjects in school, what did you choose and why them?
A: It was non-medical; Physics, Chemistry and Maths. I don’t now why I chose that. After that, Engineering happened. Again, I don’t know how. I didn’t want to work as an engineer because I hated the subjects there. I don’t recall anything from engineering as I was not very present in the college. So I chose MBA, which was something of my liking. Marketing was something I wanted to do and was interested in.
Q: Did you seek any counseling or guidance or expert advice before choosing your subjects?
A: Not really. I was not completely aware of what I was getting into at the time of college. I didn’t know this is where I will be landing post graduation. Nowadays kids are more aware and get much more information on the Internet than we did. But I didn’t have any such guidance. My parents had the career path laid out for me; First Engineering, then MBA, and then the corporate life. It is pretty much the scenario nowadays. They all follow the same routine.
Q: You have friends in professional occupations. How happy are they with their career? Do they have a clear idea of what they want?
A: No one is happy. I have friends in startups, The Big Four, even Google, but none of them are happy. It seems like the trend nowadays.
Q: Why do you think there is this mismatch and the situation that people land themselves in?
A: Lack of guidance, people don’t usually go for such sessions. That could be one reason. They don’t go for things they want to do. Majority of the population don’t do that. They usually follow the career path set by their parents or the society norms. They usually follow those.
Engineering happened. Again, I don’t know how. I didn’t want to work as an engineer because I hated the subjects there.
Q: When you were supposed to choose your field of work or education streams, if there was a system which could have analyzed a lot of data about you and unraveled your natural inclination, what would you have loved to be?
A: I would have loved to be a tennis player.
Q: If such a system existed, do you think it would have helped you choose better?
A: During school, I was very good at sports, and ideally I would have pursued such a career. But there was pressure from my family. They said you have to study at the same time, and there is only so much time you can devote to sports. Along the way, I kept losing touch with sports and it was more of studies. Then there was the need to get a job.
Q: If such a system could have identified your passion for sports and suggested the different possible career streams that let you get the best out of both worlds, would you have used it?
A: Most certainly.
Stay tuned for more such interviews. If you have had similar experiences that you would like to share with everyone, let us know in the comments below.
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