While taking career decisions do not try to feel or behave in a perfect way. Take the decision and enforce it into action. If it comes out to be wrong you will realise it soon enough. Remember: Confusion is the beginning of Clarity
Career choices usually end up getting based on one or some of the reasonings as: marks in boards, parent’s choices, friend’s choices, special friend’s recommendation, general flavour of the season (e.g.MBA during the last 15 years), and more money in a particular career. I am not saying that these are wrong. These would turn out to be perfect; if they take into account a few more logical premises.
Never was making a smart career easier; than it is in today’s time. The world is changing fast especially in the last two decades and not only are the options available in galore; but also the ease of knowing about these options have got simplified with search engines. With availability of ‘easy finance schemes’ and ample professional guidance; if you still are making a mistake of making a wrong career – then the onus has to be entirely on students and of course, parents.
During corporate trainings; I meet a lot of smart youngsters (MBAs from top B-Schools in India and Abroad) ; who come and confess secretly, “I worked so hard to be here; but now I realise this is just not what I wanted.” I feel sad about this and the age old principle of career choosing gets re-affirmed in my mind, “there is nothing so useless as doing efficiently; which should not be done at all.” Most of the youth think that getting through a good Engineering college or B-School etc. is the passport to a great career. It is when you make the right choices 1) Before joining; 2) During studying and 3) After you pass out from these places. I see lakhs of people progressing; but I see most of them trapped. Engineers from good colleges not enjoying doing coding, Doctors wishing to get into management after years of studying medicine are common stories these days.
SIX IDEAS to FIX CAREER
‘An IDEA does change Lives’. Below are six ideas which summarise most that I would like to counsel you with. It is a long one but trust me – a slow, careful reading of these SIX ideas can definitely FIX your career well.
Is there a smarter way? Movies as ‘Three Idiots' did delineate the right philosophy of choosing a career based on interest alone but there are other very important aspects which one should consider while taking important career decisions.
Closely seeing the careers of many I have found that a career should be chosen on the basis of two aspects:-
1) Your hidden music
2) The right instrument for that music.
Your ‘Music’ is something which you are very good at. It is your deepest craving to do that particular thing ahead of many others. Your ‘Music’ is something which connects all the dots of your growing up years. It is something which is deep. Your ‘Music’ is what you wish to express to the world and your ‘instrument’ is ‘how you express’.
Most people base their career decisions on just the other part -‘Instrument’. Saying that I want to be a doctor, a lawyer, an MBA, an IAS is calling the names of the ‘instruments’. This is wrong, as the instrument is merely the outer shell. Wrong music playing on the right instrument or your own music playing on a wrong choice of an instrument will lead to only noise. This is the root cause of all our career anxieties.
Let me explain the 'Music' and 'Instrument' concept with two examples. It is critical for you to understand this point. My three classmates of class 10th – Rohit, Saaket and Vibha (names changed) went onto become doctors. They became three different kind of doctors and this explains the concept of ‘Music’ and ‘Instrument’ clearly well. Rohit was sent to the medical school on capitation by his family which consist of doctors; because they desperately wanted him to be a doctor only and take care of their huge investments that they had made in their hospital. He specialised in the same field i.e. Orthopaedics; in which his father had specialised in. Nothing wrong. He is earning a lot of money for himself and his family is doing well too.
Saaket did his MBBS from the premier most institute—AIIMS, New Delhi. He was getting ‘Surgery’ as a choice of subject of study in his PG; but he choose to pursue his MD in Pathology, an area of deep interest and curiosity for him. Surgery is a cash rich field and all of us were surprised at his decision. He had put his interest in research ahead of everything else.
Vibha since her school days had a deep faith in God. I still remember her chanting ‘AUM’ in the school bus. After her MBBS, because of her merit in the PG test, she was getting an opportunity to do her PG in Gynae-Obstetrics – a field- which is a choicest and very logical for a lady to specialise in. She went on to do her PG from USA in her deep most subjects of interest i.e. ‘Regression therapy, Souls, Does God exist etc.’
Three doctors – all have the same instrument – ‘DOCTOR’. But all three have different ‘MUSIC’ playing on their instruments. The point is – you could use the same ‘INSTRUMENT’ to play your own, very different music. Your instruments may keep on changing with time; but your music will be something which will not change much. To have a really satisfying career; you must play on a befitting INSTRUMENT for your MUSIC.
To find an appropriate INSTRUMENT for your MUSIC is an ever happening process of the evolution of understanding life and self. As you will expose yourself more to the world you will begin to hear your hidden MUSIC and then gradually also be able to identify the best INSTRUMENT for the same. As you keep on finding what is the most pertinent for you – you will keep on making congruent choices. I recommend a very smart approach for identifying your INSTRUMENT. I call this approach as POE. It is Process of Elimination of Options. It says, “I do not know what my right INSTRUMENT is; all I know is that – X or Y or Z is not my INSTRUMENT.” Soon you will be left with the most cogent one. Then you party, because life becomes a party when your workplace drives your adrenalin. The irony is that most people around us are too compromised about their securities as salaries, rental incomes, business profits etc.
While taking career decisions; do not try to behave in a perfect way. Take the decision and enforce it into action. If it comes out to be wrong you will realise it soon enough. Remember: Confusion is the beginning of Clarity.
(The writer is a top Motivational Speaker & Career Counsellor)