Initiating Careers – What Is a Career?
Every student wants to have a great career. But what does it mean to have a career? It means different to different people – admission to a dream course; entering a prestigious institute, getting a high salaried placement in a company or getting the designation that s/he has always dreamed about. Is this really what a career means – a degree? A job? A designation? Yes and No. Yes, because all these are components of a career and No, because a career is a far wider concept.
A career is a life journey of an individual which includes his or her educational qualification [formal or vocational], skills, work [self employment included], and training and upgradation. A person may have many opportunities to learn, grow or change his /her field. So, there is a possibility that one may have a degree in some subject but ends up working in a completely different sector or has taken the maximum level of education in a specific field and is self-employed. And the times that we are in now, we find more and more individuals exploring various careers in their lifetime.
But today we find many myths around the concept of careers. These are many myths that make career a little confusing and challenging for many youngsters. Apart from the regular myths, here are some of the newer myths:
- Degrees are not essential to become successful in career
But as mentioned, these are just myths. One needs to know that the facts may be different. Yes, for some courses mere educational degrees won’t matter, as much your skills and talent. One needs to understand that the basic education is important for all and many branches and specialisations open up at higher level. But most careers require some kind of formal educational qualification [doctors, accountants, researchers] to prove your grasp of the subject. Even careers which are related to talent [dancing, singing, sports] will require some kind of training – either formal or informal to understand the nuances and techniques of the field.
- One needs to follow their heart only and choose a career
Wherever one goes ‘follow your heart’ is what is highlighted, but along with that ensure you have the right skills, attitude and talent to pursue the same. Understand what you are good at and then try to merge your liking and aptitude to become really successful. Also, be prepared to face the consequences that come along with this decision. Also, passion cannot be restricted some specific or non-academic careers. There are so many passionate bankers, accountants, researchers and even artists who are having successful careers just because they have the right skills and persistence.
- Higher income means greater happiness and successful life
Money can never guarantee happiness; yes it can certainly ease and increase the bun capacity, but cannot promise the happiness. People with higher income work more; which means you will be compensated according to your talent and contribution to the organisation. Success doesn’t come overnight or with just one successful project. You will need to ensure you work consistently over the years to reap the results. Remember, higher the income, more will be the responsibilities, and higher will be the stakes.
- Being an entrepreneur will give freedom to do whatever s/he wants
Most youngsters do not want to follow orders or work under anyone, hence feel that being an entrepreneur will give them the freedom to do as they please. Leading a team is not easy as it sounds. Given, as an entrepreneur you may have an upper hand in decision making or implementing your own idea, but being an entrepreneur is much more than that. You will be responsible for the organisation, your product / service, your clients / vendors and most importantly your employees. You will have to bear not only the profits, but also the losses and bear the risks while taking appropriate decisions.
- Doing something ‘different’ will be enough
‘I want to do something different’ ‘I will not do routine / monotonous / boring 9 to 5 jobs’ – often youngsters have this idea, without knowing what it really means to be different. Merely selecting a ‘non-office job’ or taking up something non-academic doesn’t mean different. To be really different, one needs to select a career which probably can offer ‘something different’. Simply not following the herd does not mean doing something different, but there are so many who have a carved a niche for themselves in the most so called common and routine careers based on their passion, skills and knowledge.