Milestones of career road
Dr. Madhumati Singh22 Dec, 2015
Most of the times, our career just‘happens to us’, either by trial and error method or simply by default. We cometo terms with clichés like “have to earn my bread and butter, doesn’t matterwhat I do, don’t have to like your job as long as it get you money”, etc.
Two-third of our wakeful hours isspent at our workplace. How can we be in it with our inner eyes shut? Being amismatch for your job, being dissatisfied stressed or exhausted because youdon’t like what you are doing brings about various psycho-physical diseaseslike cardiac disorders, diabetes, hypertension, depression, etc.
Mindfulness i.e. in full awarenessand an insight to our career is the road to healthy and fulfilled life.Following are the milestones of the career road which we all should try to follow:
1. Start early: Career development starts when we aretoddlers as we begin to become aware of our surroundings. A pre-school child isnoticing various people and different things they do: a farmer, driver, policeofficer, doctor, sports-person etc. Parents should share detailed informationabout how different people do different jobs. Taking the child to the doctorfor her vaccination, do talk to her about medicine as a profession. Within thisfield comes paramedical, research etc.
2. Social contact for career information: We often take children to socialgatherings and very often skip informing the child about what kind of jobs thepeople gathered here are doing. Our introduction is restricted to their nameand perhaps the relationship they have (aunt, uncle, cousins etc.). A valuablehands-on information and interaction about what kind of jobs people do ismissed. It is an invaluable experience for the child at such social gatheringsto interact with people, including school and college going youngsters, as towhy they chose a particular set of subjects to take up those kinds of jobs.
3. Natural flair and interest of the child: The new-age parents expose childrento a plethora of activities from primary years itself. The child is sent forart, dance, music, sports, mathematical skills like Kumon classes. Sadly thishappens more out of a hard-driven parent, competing with other parents, tryingreal hard to out-do parenting in their social circle. So the good news is thatchildren these days are exposed to various skills, activities early in life,but the bad news is parents land up cluttering too many activities in thechild’s day, exhausting the child due to which the child starts to avoid orhate the activities. This bad news can be replaced with parents being sensitive and aware of what the childenjoys doing the most and wants to avoid or makes little progress in the set ofactivities. Take the lead from the child and help her develop and grow inactivity that s/he enjoys. Only then it is a win-win situation because both thechild and parent will identify those areas or few areas early in child’slife which the child is “interested” inand has the “aptitude” and “achieves”rapid success in that activity.
4. What do you want to become? This is the often –asked question tochildren in primary school by one and all at school and home. Most often theboy who wanted to wear the uniform to be this dashing police officer zipping onthe motorcycle, suddenly changes to a doctor treating a patient, and laterchanges to becoming a DJ. This primary child is exploring the world of workwhich is very good. But there are few children who are not able to feelstrongly enough to talk about a particular job or even identify with it. Sowhen this child is asked: “What do you want to become when you grow up?” he/sheanswers: “What do you want me to become when I grow up?”. We parents mostly advocate a safe predictable and time-tested careeroption. Also, perhaps because we are not well informed with new avenues of workand changing career choices. So we blurt out to this child: “We want you tobecome a doctor because we are a family of doctors” or “ become an engineer because your elderbrother is an engineer” or “take up teaching because it’s the safest and leastdemanding of jobs for girls” and our ready-made answers that are biased andrestrictive is sent out to these impressionable minds.
The most empowering and apt response to this question is: I want you to take up a job that youenjoy doing. That activity should make you compete with yourself so as to reachnew heights of excellence. Any activity that you enjoy doing, you will put inmore time, effort and practice that helps you further excel in it. You willlike the ‘hard work’ because you enjoy doing that. This will enhance yourdedication and instill creativity in this field of work. Once passion is putinto your job it is bound to bring excellent results. So, ‘doctor’, ‘engineer’, ‘MBA’ are only names. None is better orworse. See what holds your interest and curiosity and the rest will fall inplace.
Like the four pillars of a building,guide you child through the above career milestones.