Hope you all are having a great day! Okay, so before I start I would like to say that this post does not in anyway suggest choosing one career path over the other. It is not baised in any way. This post is meant to make you think critically before you choose any sort of stream. I wish I had someone to tell me this!
Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine that you are in about to graduate high school (12th Standard in India). You and your friends are discussing about what next. Ofcourse you have these amazing dreams of what you would like to do! So you start telling everyone your ideas but soon realise that most of your friends are planning to do a similar degree. What do you do? If you are like me, you start doubting your career aspirations. You think, what if I cant earn well with what I am planning to do? Maybe I should do what everyone else is doing...And then you conform.
Now according to my observation in India, I have realised that most people go on to do either Engineering or Medicine. Nothing wrong in that but I really wonder how many of them actually have a passion for those fields. Now I will not blame them, I too had similar aspirations. At the point of choosing a career I wanted to be a Dentist. I thought to myself that I have the intelligence and the excitement, why can't I do it? What I failed to consider is, do I have the skills?
After being rejected as an international student for Dentistry (possibly due to my not so passionate statement of purpose), I had no option but to rethink my choices. I could still do BSc Biomedical Sciences and apply to study dentistry again or I had the option to critically think about what I did best and how I could use it. These steps helped me and I hope they will help you too.
1) Research, Research and Research - I cannot stress enough the importance of researching about your field.
- Research about what the particular career entails
- Research about what skills the career requires but make sure you have more than one skill. (I was told that a dentist needs to be able to communicate with people - Well I can communicate with people! - Ah! you get the point :P)
2) Gain insight into the work life-
- Do work shadowing: Meaning follow around someone in the same field that you wish to study for a day and observe their day-to-day activities. If you like what they are doing, chances are better of you entering that field.
-Take up Summer Internships: Observe how a particular project is carried out, how the employees add value, even how they socialise!
3) Take some time to think about yourself - What is it that you do naturally well in? How can you collaborate your skills and choose a career that might require more that one of your strengths? Do any of your skills match those of the professional you were shadowing? Do I feel passionate about my future in this field?
For me it was languages, but I did not necessarily want to do a language degree. I was also good in people skills and so I did BSc Business Administration and Human Resources. It required a perfect combination of my strengths.
4) And finally consult your elders - because they might suggest something better on similar lines. Discuss your options with your family, tell them about your motivation to do a particular degree. It is okay if their opinion differs, its about negotiation skills on both sides.
Afterall, if you seem genuinely passionate about something, then no one can stop you!
I wish you all the best!