Making the right career decisions

2014-04-05

Republica National Daily

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It’s sometimes a pity to see students, after graduating from schools, confusing themselves with anxiety and frustration as to which stream should they select at the upper levels. Often, pressures from friends and family members affect their own perceptions. 

Further, in a country like Nepal, we have the tendency that if the candidate is academically sound or has high scores in examinations, s/he will be pressed by her or his parents to either take up science or engineering, without even understanding what is the interest of the child in question.

The important question is selecting the stream which interests you the most. If a candidate is good in art and creativity, what’s the point in asking him to get into engineering? If communication is your strength, you should take up mass communication or choose marketing as your specialization. If you don’t take up a career in which you think you can’t devote 100%, you’ll only land up being mediocre in your life. The world is globalizing and it has become demanding. If you can’t perform, you’ll have difficulties.

It’s very important for every aspiring candidate to have an “inner thought” and undergo “self analysis” and not just follow the mass. When I stress on inner thought and self analysis, I mean that candidates should know their strength and weaknesses and match them with the stream of their interests. Often, it may be difficult for a candidate alone to analyze her strengths and weaknesses, and that’s when parents or teachers should help.

I sometimes find that candidates take up certain streams of study either for the sake of following what their friends choose or follow the path which their parents or other social circle have suggested. Parents should realize the importance of devoting more time to thinking and discussing what exactly do their children want, and they should be the guiding factors, not the pressure cooker.

If a father is a doctor, that doesn’t mean his child also has to be a doctor. His/her interest should be the deciding factor for their respective careers.

Yet we find streams like hotel management being taken as very lower-level course, as if it’s made for those candidates who aren’t academically sound. Therefore, we hardly see academically brilliant students taking up the course. This could be the reason to have changed the perception of people, whereas colleges and universities are moving to Hospitality Management instead of Hotel Management.

In fact, learning institutions should start counseling their students as to what interests them the most, and which fields of study will help them in making better career choices. Like we go to a doctor when we’re unwell and to have treatment and prescriptions, parents should encourage and be open to have neutral opinions about their children’s careers from outsiders who are teachers, psychologists, career counselors or even undergo scientific tests.

There are many scientific tests which analyze the inner capabilities or the personality of individual candidates. Many schools and colleges abroad conduct these tests to help students understand themselves better and thereby help them in making right career decisions. These scientific tests may not be 100% foolproof, but at least it helps to a large extent. So why not use them? Schools and colleges should take special interests in introducing such scientific tests or counseling sessions for their students.

In gist, it depends largely on the surrounding and environment as to whether a student can make the right career move, or not. And the main source of this environment are parents, teachers, schools, relatives, friends, and counselors.

No matter what you do but until and unless you make a mark in your subject specialty and become perfect in your field, you can’t stand out. Above all, choosing a right career is the deciding factor for your entire life, which has a bearing affecting all other facets of an individual’s life.

(Roshan Rathi is the Senior Manager Operations at London Chamber of Commerce & Industries (LCCI), Nepal and a freelance trainer based in Kathmandu. He can be contacted at smo@lccinepal.com)

(Article Courtesy: Republica Daily)