Friday, February 24, 2006

The Students “Aspire”, should the rest perspire ?

India today magazine has come out with a new special magazine called Aspire with the purpose of guiding students in their choice of careers. It is a much needed handsome initiative. I had already subscribed to the main magazine for 10 years a few years ago and have not been disappointed. What was disappointing however was their attitude when I met a young lady at India today’s editorial office who informed me quite curtly that India today does not accept articles from outsiders. I found that attitude a little out of synch with today’s world if not a little snobbish.

Today , we are in the era of interactive media. Television is pulling out all stops to make TV more interactive than ever before. In more and more programs, priority is given to audience preferences because nobody can be absolutely sure what the audience will accept or reject.. Even well established film producers concede the fact. That apart, I feel that a magazine can be enriched by the real life experiences of people which can also enable other people to learn.

Coming to the main point now. Its all right to guide the students but what about the people who are trapped in the wrong jobs?. I read an American article recently which stated that a survey indicated that as many as 87% people hated their daily jobs. The incidence of heart attacks too wason Monday mornings. I have heard this 80% bit several times i.e 80% of the people are stuck in the wrong jobs and stuff like that. Considering the fact that work occupies most of our waking hours, if 80 percent of the people are miserable 80 percent of the time, isn’t that life a kind of mental Aids or mental Cancer? What kind of life is this? Should they rot for the rest of their lives because they made the wrong decision once?

In the book “Karma, Destiny and Career” , author Jenette Hucknall states that some people in the United States have to go back to school after they choose a wrong career. Except for high-tech issues like surgery or piloting, I feel that that is an impractical solution. The author explains in detail how much family and friends suffer because of this shifting of careers and how much adjustment it entails on behalf of the individual and his family. Would not quick, short term courses be a more practical solution. If somebody has the talent for something, he or she requires only fine tuning and not blind thrusting of knowledge.

The problem is that what you are really suited for is determined only after actually attempting different kinds of work in the practical world. To some lucky people, it can be at first attempt. Otherwise even a lifetime is not enough. No wonder Thomas Carlyle said “ The person who has found his vocation in life is a blessed human being. Let him ask for no other blessedness” .

If the real life stories of such people were told in detail, the students would understand the implications of choosing a wrong career. I have stated earlier that despite reading in Dale Carnegie’s books in which sufficient warning was given, I still went the wrong way because of strong pre conceived notions about money and qualifications and suffered profusely. What is needed is depth understanding (the deeper the water, the calmer the surface, still waters run deep etc) and that can be provided only by real life stories.

That apart, in the last three years, I have come across so many websites and books written by Americans(displayed on the links on the right) that I wonder how grave the situation in India must be with its huge population. Some American experts have conceded that it can sometimes take years to determine what exactly you are suited for by going through various parameters such as hobbies, social work preferences, work ambience etc etc and not qualifications or knowledge alone.

The only really good Indian book I have come across on the subject is by former billiards World champion Geet Sethi’s “Success v/s Joy” . It is a wonderful book, a fact conceded by no less than Superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

A day after I wrote this I came across this interesting link in the times of India

Follow your dreams


At 3:35 PM, Blogger Mayank said...

I don't know about taking up something u enjoy professionally. From my personal experiences, i think a hobby and your profession should be kept seperate.

the pressure of deadlines is such that one finds difficult to enjoy his work, even if it is a hobby. A hobby is something done to unwind, but the kind of pressures the industry throws up at you, it becomes really difficult to enjoy one's work, thus ruining both pro life, as well as the hobby.

BTW thanks for commenting on my blog.

At 8:40 PM, Blogger Psyche said...

Read this really nice article today morning

You simply must read it!!!

At 10:41 PM, Blogger AlterinG Abhishek said...

Ur so damn rite man!
i Have actually changed my third Job in the third year and this tiome hopefully for good
I have now completely changed my industry, just coz i thot i did not fit
but frankly it takes a lot of courage to take steps like these
but life short
live it!!

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Hiren said...

psyche, that article is written in a different context. This blog is all about people stuck in the wrong profession.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Girish said...

I think its a nice topic this blog is on. I guess everybody should be doing what they are good at and what they'd really like to do. But I don't think it would become a reality.
Many reasons:
a) Most people don't know what they're good at, or how to realize their potential.
b) Family and society pressures
c) Unavailability of suitable jobs.

At 4:52 AM, Blogger Drongomala said...

Good article.. ....and on a musical note..

A great many of the Indian musicians I was hanging out with in Kerala bemoaned the obsession of parents pushing their child into the of iconic jobs of doctor, MBA bloodhound, SiliconValley tech and the other 'heights' to aim for in the modern India...

..and I felt for them. They obviously see the great river of Indian musicians going a litte dry further upstream.

Where the hell will I find my new Nadaswaram players that will eclipse Miles Davis in ten years? If fires aren't tended they go out.

We all get sold a job by our parents and our's not a final destiation - it's just a helpful PUSH in a safe direction.

At 3:35 AM, Blogger exasparater said...

good post dude...

time for new post...

At 2:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The biggest problem lies in the fact that people don't know what they are good at.

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the people don't know their hidden talents. How do they find about it. How? Hiren, how?

At 4:42 AM, Blogger piyali, said...

nicely put your thoughts into words.. people definitely take time to realise their potential n once they do that, life becomes seriously a lot easier..

At 1:53 PM, Blogger MellowDrama said...

Hey I couldn't agree with you more...esp since I was in a similar quandry once and yup it did take me a couple of years to figure out what I used to do for a hobby could be a source of income ;)

At 5:21 AM, Blogger ankurg said...

1. realising ur potetial, realising what u luv to do, realising what you wud fit into, all of them are different things.

2. Often the reason why people opt for careers they might not be luving to do or rather they are pushed into such careedrs is because of the security of the future.
Often people opt for ordinary or the safer profiles like doctor endineer, MBA because at least they wud land up somewhere, but opting for what might be ur true passion, might sometimes not even fetch you enough to take care of a family(and yes that does happends withs sportsmen, musiscians, painters, who followed their true passions). the problem is that in such cases the penalty to be paid for failure is too high and it becomes a huge risk game, and that makes people opt for daily bickering jobs.

At 11:50 PM, Anonymous John Ogden said...

I agree that we need to be happy in what we do. Corporate life brainwashes people into believing they need the organisation to survive. In truth, you can change direction and be a lot happier without many of the trappings that come with a salary.


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