It is not uncommon to face awkwardness while encountering people who are not happy and satisfied with their choice of career or profession. What do you say to a teacher who wanted to be an engineer? How do you respond to the insensitivity of a doctor who rates his business strategies over people’s lives? Where did they go wrong? Obviously in the choice of their calling. This is no rocket science. But the question is what makes them sad and complaining about one of the existential necessities which is not only an inevitable but also a biggish part of themselves. Clearly there is a mismatch somewhere. I am not going to give a solution to the predicament because it is entirely an individual’s outlook. What I can sense here and want to highlight is the mode and procedure that led to the disastrous outcome.

As children we have a number of aspirations which keep on changing with time, age, friends, teachers, role models, marks obtained, place of stay, stories heard, people met and seen working, parents’ advice, first hand experiences, feelings, there’s an endless list. Finally everything boils down to the exam you are able to qualify, which may or may not be any close to what you dreamed about all this time. And you settle with it, in professional followed by personal life. Although some courageous ones are often heard of following their heart and venturing into new turfs. But not everyone can do so.

What could have drawn a child’s mind to be so attracted that he decides to make it his own profession one day and spend his whole life with one label? Certainly he is making a decision based on incomplete facts. But definitely he has some understanding  of what he has perceived about the profession based on what he has seen. So it starts with visual perception. It starts with an IMAGE. Let us look at the stereotypical characteristics associated with a professional which get magnified over time to define a certain profession. The entire package called “profession” includes knowledge, skills, attitudes, clothing, grooming, and etiquettes. Out of these attributes some are visually perceived hence predominantly occupy our minds and therefore play a major role in the definition of the profession. Clearly clothing, grooming and etiquettes are affecting the choice of career even in little ones. Perhaps when a decision is made, it is solely based on how we would like to “look” or be “seen”. Other attributes viz. knowledge, skills and attitudes form the core that pertains to what we would want to “do”. But as time progresses the LOOK part takes a backseat and ironically sometimes the DO part is not clearly understood because it does not match with the inherent personality traits that we are born with.

So we need to see our image in an appropriate mirror, that is of our liking in its shape, size, color and design in order to understand correctly the connection between “do” and “look” components of a profession before venturing into it.

From this point onwards if the aspirations are nurtured in a way that an individual has clear understanding of these two components that need to match perfectly, I think a lot of conundrum waiting to happen in future can be completely avoided.  To make them coincide  is the first step towards making perfect CAREER CHOICE.

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