Making a career choice is a complex, with many factors influencing our decisions. Let’s explore the realities behind such decisions.
The Economic Drive in Decision Making
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of our life choices are influenced by economic outcomes. From picking our next meal to marking a vote in an election, our considerations often revolve around economic benefits. Similarly, when we choose our career path, the potential for direct economic gain, whether immediate or long-term, weighs heavily.
Unfortunately, most people are hesitant to discuss the economic aspect. It’s the reason why most people want to go overseas and work. Most students think of a career as a job by default and entrepreneurship is not even an option for them. However, I would advise students to take the entrepreneur route seriously, you may not want to get into it right away after completing your graduation, but it should be a possibility on your mind.
Entrepreneurship may not seem very economically lucrative in the short term, in fact it’s quite the opposite. However, it can be much more rewarding in the medium (5-6 years) or long term. Students educate themselves about tax structures for jobs and business, i.e. income tax vs. business profit tax.
Passion vs. Profession: A Complex Relationship
‘Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ A popular saying, but is it truly realistic? As young individuals, we might be drawn to careers in motorsports, aeronautics, or fashion, often mistaking popular choices for passion. It’s exciting to dream of these roles, but the daily grind might alter our perception.
Passion typically brings emotional satisfaction, without the pressures of judgement. However, in a professional setting, emotions take a backseat to performance, as seen with prominent figures like Yuvraj Singh and Andre Agassi.
“I wanted to be an architect ever since I was in 8th grade,” says my wife and CareerNuts Founder-Editor, Shilpa Ahuja. “I loved studying it, and did well on my job too. But it wasn’t long before I realized that actually being an architect was so different than my dream of designing buildings and being creative. There was so much more to it I hadn’t anticipated – client negotiations, dirty sites, countless all-nighters for low pay.” Years after she switched her career to become an entrepreneur, she still advises students to study what they love studying, but become what they actually love doing.
The Illusion of Easy Jobs and Economic Returns
Many gravitate towards career paths perceived as ‘easier’ or more glamorous, thinking they’ll yield greater rewards. However, these fields often house fierce competition. On the flip side, challenging fields like advanced coding or physics might seem daunting but can offer more opportunities due to fewer takers.
Skills Alone Don’t Guarantee Success
A thriving career isn’t just about talent. It’s about showcasing that talent, marketing oneself, and demonstrating reliability. The world is full of skilled artists and professionals, but success often hinges on how well one can communicate their value.
The Role of Mentors and Rivals in Career Success
Behind many successful figures is a guiding mentor or a fierce competitor spurring them on. Whether it’s the rivalry between siblings in sports like Serena Williams or the guidance of a mentor in the entertainment industry, these relationships often shape successful paths.
Being Realistic about Career Choices
Dreaming big is commendable, but it’s equally important to be grounded. While many aspire to become astronauts or racing drivers, it’s important to evaluate available opportunities and resources. A singular focus can sometimes lead to missed chances. Pursue your interests, but also be open to adapting based on realities.
Seeking Reliable Advice
In our advice-rich society, it’s important to also consider who you’re getting your advice from. Someone who has spent their life in a 9-to-5 job might not provide the most insightful tips on entrepreneurship. When seeking guidance, it would be wise to consult those with firsthand experience in your field of interest.
The Evolving Nature of Career Fields
Yesterday’s booming career might be today’s saturated market. It’s crucial to stay informed and not base decisions purely on past trends. Seeking insights from current professionals in a field can provide invaluable perspectives.
Choosing a career path is a blend of passion, pragmatism, and adaptability. While it’s essential to pursue what we love, being informed and adaptable ensures a fulfilling journey. Embrace change, continuously learn, and remain open to the multitude of possibilities that lie ahead.
All the best!
Abhishek Sareen is a marketing professional with over 16 years of experience. He has extensive experience in international business and currently an independent consultant for steel tube, consumer goods and retail industry.
He is a passionate cyclist and participated in several endurance competitive events like MTB Himalaya. His interests are in behavioral psychology, economics and chess. He is a graduate in Computer Science and an MBA in Marketing. He completed his executive education from IIM-A in 2016 focusing on business strategy.