NOTE: This post is mainly for people starting out with their careers and not those who have already ‘settled’ in life. However, you can still benefit from the general wisdom it imparts.
Leaving college and entering the corporate world is like a breath of fresh air.
It’s a time of amazing changes where we’ll be able to get our first jobs, earn our own money and have a glimpse of true financial independence.
At face value, it is certainly a rosy picture. After all, who doesn’t love money or financial independence, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not a bed of roses for most people.
As awesome as getting a job and making money sounds, it comes with a whole bunch of issues that need to be properly dealt with.
This is the time of your life where you’ll need to answer that one special question…
“What do you want to choose for your career?”
The hard part comes when we are told to choose a career, which we are expected to work in for the rest of our lives.
Do you know how insane that sounds?
We were barely able to manage our daily affairs until then. Now, we are being expected to choose something that we’ll do until the day we die?
It’s insane, isn’t it?
What makes this especially messy, is being required to answer this question at an age when our brains are still maturing. The brain doesn’t start maturing as per research until the age of 10 for women and 20 for men. Regardless of this fact, we are expected to make a life-changing decision about our career choice, at the age of around 16-18!
I have passed through this stage and it’s certainly a time of great chaos and confusion.
I was a clueless person at the age of 15-16+ regarding pretty much everything, so when I was asked about the career of my choice, I naturally didn’t have an idea.
On top of this, I had to deal with the brainwashing of my peers, teachers, relatives and so on to choose between two choices; a doctor or an engineer. While I don’t have any animosity towards these two courses, I wasn’t particularly fond of them.
I should go a bit further and clarify that much of the pressure was to take up software engineering, because that’s what everyone else does in India. It doesn’t matter if the people don’t have any interest it; they should choose it anyway, unless they want to end up in poverty. Yes, that’s how many of the ‘adults’ here make you choose engineering; with fearmongering about poverty!
I have discussed about this in much more detail, in an earlier article.
Now then, how are we to choose a career when we don’t know what we want or have the neurological maturity to do so?
I don’t have a single answer to this. Things worked out for me through circumstances and situations others may not go through.
However, I have observed one thing which gives enough direction to choose your career. The solution is in the problem itself.
When you are asked the question,
“What would you like to do for a career?”
The actual question you are being asked is,
“What would you like to do throughout your working years?”
…with the assumption that most people don’t change their careers midway.
In other words, you are being asked to pick something you’ll be stuck with for the rest of your life. With that as a benchmark, find out what you would want to do forever without getting bored and frustrated.
About the only thing I can’t help with is choosing the actual career path.
This is something that you’ll have to do by yourself as I have no idea what your interests and passions are.
However, this post will likely give you an interesting insight.
So if you happen to encounter this dilemma, just remember to choose something you’ll feel comfortable doing for the rest of your life.
Spend some time and think over it.
You’ll soon figure out what fires you up and gets you out of bed every morning.