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How do I choose a career?

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By POOJA MARWAH

“Mera beta engineer banega.” India’s infatuation with engineers, IT and doctors is actually hilarious on the world stage. It is like no other profession exists. I agree that we have Indians heading the biggest companies of the world, and the that score, beats me, for text book education has no bearing on the complex situations we face in our lives. I am taking the liberty to generalise here but very few of us Indians actually let our children choose their choice of career. Needless to say – “Mera beta engineer banega!” has been the line of debate for many a TED talk or motivational speech. And it continues to be. largest hospitals. But how does that take away the aspirations of people who are creative or simply clueless?

You could be enrolled in an engineering course and, midway, decide that music really defines you and you want to pursue that full time. Or you could be studying medicine and in your last year want to drop out to become a sommelier! And if the above examples reign true with any of my Indian readers, I most definitely can associate with the high level drama that would have happened in your homes. For once you choose a subject, it is like you are tied down to it for life.

Right from junior school, it seems as if grades are the only way to add success to your child’s resume of life! Nothing less than 99.99% and, yes, that is the cut off rate for a lot of colleges in India. How is a child even supposed to compete with that score, beats me, for text book education has no bearing on the complex situations we face in our lives.

I am taking the liberty to generalise here but very few of us Indians actually let our children choose their choice of career. Needless to say – “Mera beta engineer banega!” has been the line of debate for many a TED talk or motivational speech. And it continues to be.

How does one measure a brain’s intellect by the subjects a child chooses in grade 10 or 11? Why are we as adults quick to judge when someone opts for a creative field as opposed to the IT or medicine sector? I swear by a quote of Warren Buffet – “If you had no need for money, what is the job you would seek?”

And this is a question that every parent needs to ask his/her child. What is it that you want to do? What is it that makes you happy?

We are so engrossed in the rut of doing things that we often overlook our own children’s desires. It is important to steer them in the right direction, but it is also of extreme necessity to let them wander on that path until they find what they’re looking for. We can’t really hand hold them for in doing so, all we are really doing is tightening our own power or our own insecurities on them.

In India, we live in families that span over three and sometimes four generations. And whilst it feels good to have everyone around… somewhere the word adjustment comes in. And that is one word I strictly am against. I am not a nut that needs to be screwed into its exact place and bolted. Neither am I responsible for everyone’s moments of highs and lows. I want to hear of a relationship that thrives because of love and freedom. I want to hear stories of people who live together because they have a deep fondness for each other, not because they are morally tied down in matrimony!

And, likewise, I want to talk to children about their dreams and aspirations, not their parents’ unfulfilled desires!

Choosing a career does not imply that you are tied to it for life. In fact, the whole world is abundant with so much possibility that it would be a real shame if you only stuck to one and didn’t even bother to experiment.

I am a mother, a writer, a social media strategist, a speaker, an entrepreneur, a gemmologist and then some. And I am not even halfway there. So, what is to stop you from taking that one step towards the road less travelled upon!