Who or what influences my career choices?

3 Jun

I just finished watching another episode of the American TV Show – Grey’s Anatomy – which left me wondering if this show is the reason I want to study medicine. Is this TV show an actual representation of what a person in the medical field does, or does it just infatuate me and make me dreamy about becoming a doctor – believing that health care is what I want to do for the rest of my life?Today i am in a transitional stage.  I am planning to migrate to another important phase of my life. At the age of 15, I need to decide what I want to be doing when I’m 30 years old.  I am going to be entering into a new arena of life, which will surely throw at me its share of challenges – which I will have to overcome. But I am left questioning: have I entered the correct arena – that is commensurate with my capabilities and potential?  Is it too late in my endeavor to realize that the reward I am expecting is just a mirage?This shift entails contemplating a whole range of issues on the threshold of this move into an area which will lay foundations for my occupation/career for the rest of my life. What should condition my mind, influence my thoughts, or shape my opinion in choosing the profession I am fit for? I know I am too naive, unaware and unexposed about the nuances of various activities related to a diversity of careers that most of us will plunge into eventually and for some, unfortunately, blindly.What is the most rational way of assessing or evaluating the kind of field that would relate to my interests and unleash my true potential? Do I rely on the judgement of my parents and relatives – which may be boxed? Or the school teachers, whose opinion may not be visionary enough? Or that one guidance counselor who ended up in her profession not by choice, but by whatever circumstances, and claims to know what we want even though we are in a state of uncertainty ourselves.Do I want to be in the media, after watching Rajdeep Sardesai blaring from television screens – and then I could become a well know personality, like him? Or should I become a lawyer, after witnessing Kapil Sibal defend the government during one of the most infamous scams in recent times? Or perhaps an astronaut, to fulfill my ultimate desire to go into outer space? Or shall I join the army, wanting to be a war hero like in the Hollywood movies ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ – simply for the combination of the adrenaline kick, and wanting to do my country proud? Am I repelled against being a politician, since today politics seems to be synonymous with corruption?We in India have been aping almost every facet of the western world – from fashion to technology. But what about certain facets of educating today’s students? In the education sector we clearly lag behind in exposing students to the future career options they have to choose from and what the profession they want to follow is all about. It is vital that high school students are able to interact with people from various fields who come and give an insight of their jobs so they are able to make informed decisions.Anyone can make choices, but if a person is fortunate enough to be school-educated, they  should be able to make informed choices and be aware of the consequences as well as the rewards – for this is what we will be pursuing for the rest of our lives. We should not become disillusioned and suddenly realize at the age of 30 that we are on the wrong train. Not only would we have wasted precious time, impossible to be wound back, but it would be too late in the day to lament about our past choices in career –  leading us to dwell in regret.Obviously, this means, in my view, that the choice of a career for myself, or anybody else, is the most critical strategic decision at any given point of time in our lives –  not only for the means of the development of livelihood, but also for the larger well being of our families.Nanki Singh is a Class 10 student at Modern School Vasant Vihar in New Delhi. She loves reading, writing, photography – and holds a Senior Diploma in Indian Classical Vocal Music. She’s also a swimmer and a track & field athlete in her spare time!

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