Career guidance tips: Which career is the best?

In this column, Dr. Ali Khwaja, eminent career counsellor and life skills coach, shares his first hand experiences of interacting on a day-to-day basis over three decades with thousands of students from various backgrounds. Think deeply, and take the right choice for the right reasons.

Choosing your career is perhaps the most important decision you take in your life. The right choice, based on not just “scope” and what everyone else is doing, but on one’s own interest, inclination, aptitude and potential, can give a head start in this competitive world, and take you on the fast-track to success.

If there was a “best” career that everyone would aim for, then very soon its scope would drastically come down, because there will be too many people qualifying in that field. In fact this is what happened in the late nineties to IT and in the past few years to BT (biotechnology). Both are very challenging and promising fields. But whenever too many people rush towards them, the demand obviously comes down.

Keep in mind that when you choose a career and qualify in it, you will be working for almost fifty years in your chosen profession. Have a vision, don’t be carried away by which field the highest paid jobs are currently being offered in. In your working life, many times the “scope” of the career will go up and down. But if you choose wisely, and for the right reasons, you will continue to do well even when there is a recession in that field.

If you have finished your 10th, you are already on the crossroads where you have to start taking the most important decisions of your life. If you are coming close to the 10th standard, it is time to start narrowing down right now. If you are even further ahead academically, this is your last chance to steer towards your final goal. Introspect deeply.

Your career decisions should be based on the following factors:

  • Your interest (what you actually want to do for the rest of your life, what you will enjoy doing).
  • Your love for particular subjects, since they lay the foundation of the work you are going to be doing.
  • The lifestyle that you prefer, your personality characteristics, your extra-curricular interests.
  • Your aptitude – i.e. your potential to develop the skills required in any particular career.

Equally important is to know what the various career options are. The choice is increasing at a rapid pace, and you need not follow in the footsteps of the older generation. You can be part of a new, challenging, and thrilling vocation.

By Ali Khwaja

Career Guidance

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