What do you want to be?All of us are born as the same human beings, and one day a question is hit, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. And in most of our cases, this can happen at a very early age, as early as maybe four years. Then, for the first time, you get a clue that the world is not just a fun and frolic ride; you must become someone. You have to be someone. And that someone at an early age could be your favourite cartoon character, superhero, or maybe your dad or elder brother. In the quest to become someone, there begins a long journey of school life, college degrees, courses, and the list goes on. Then, our studies, degrees, and skillsets make us eligible to do some work for which we can be paid. And then what job we do, how we get promotions in our workplace, how our salary per annum and perks increase constitute our “CAREER.”
The Process & ModelWe think our career selection starts with the stream selection in 10th or undergrad degree selection in 12th. But “What do you want to be?” seed had already been sown in our minds in the long past. While growing up, this seed is influenced by many factors. These include people around us and the content we see and read. The influence is so strong that we often forget our individuality, talent, passion, and potential. And thus, it affects our career selection process too. Depending on the type and intensity of influence on us, we make a career choice for life. When we hear the word "Career," we associate it with something we do to earn money, and money is essential for running life. But is that it? Only money, what about our personality, potential, and likings? Most of us think that career choice is based on a one or two-dimensional model. These dimensions can be money, talent, skillset, hobby, lifestyle, passion, or what our neighbour's son does. But there are many disadvantages of this model.
Wait A Minute...Think of the scenario where we have money but no time to spend and are pursuing our passion but cannot run our households. We are sitting in a premier institute but cannot use our inherent talent. Why does this happen? It's because we don't even think about what we want and just start running in a race to become that someone. We don't think about what we want to do in life and what we want from life. When asked about our passion and goals, we just stand blank-faced with no answer. Sometimes we follow what others are doing, and sometimes, we blindly follow what we are told to do. But after running for a while, this varies from person to person, like from months to a few years and maybe half a lifetime, we suddenly start feeling unhappy, empty even when we have achieved everything on our own and in society's eyes. What exactly starts eating us and gnawing on us? We feel something is either wrong with us or with our situation. We start questioning the things around us. We start asking whether what we have achieved is worth it or not. When we begin thinking, we realise that we have been running mindlessly. The point is easy to understand. When we run a sprint race, we have a high adrenaline rush. We don't have time to look at anything, ourselves, anybody else, or the surroundings. It's the same thing with life. We make a mindless sprint towards our goal and forget everything else. And after the sprint, when we see around ourselves, we realise that we have reached the wrong destination. And our years of hard work in running that sprint, our blood and sweat seem like a waste. The point is that yeah, we did hard work, but we never questioned before starting the sprint whether we were going to do the hard work in the right direction, do we want to do that kind of hard work, or is that much of hard work required. Some innate things we like and want maybe like creativity, appreciation, being environmentally friendly, and work-life balance. When we don't get them after the sprint, then we say oh, "Something is amiss." It's essential to think before running a sprint. We run in the same race as others and then think we are fools. The saying goes that if you ask a fish to climb a tree, it will feel that it's a fool for the whole of its life. It is because the nature didn't make it to climb the tree. Its talent will be unraveled in the sea, where it can grow and flourish. The same is with us. We create castles in the air, thinking of ourselves as superheroes who can do everything. The human mind is indeed the most incredible machine on Earth. It can be tuned and trained in everything. But the point is that we must decide what it is to be trained. All people are unique as they have their talents and potential. All have their likes and dislikes. So before starting to train the mind, we should give a little time to understand what training we should undergo. If we ask what essential thing went wrong in the above scenario, the answer is relatively straightforward: We selected a career using the wrong model.
It’s Multi-DimensionalCorrect career choice is based on a multi-dimensional model. All the dimensions are vital, and choosing even one wrong can impact our lives badly. Career choices should help us grow not just as a professional but as a person. It should not be a tiresome endeavour but an exciting part of our lives. If implemented correctly, this multi-dimensional model will help us determine a career that will be a holistic choice to lead a better and whole life. It will be a choice that leads us to have great physical, mental and financial health. It will help us to create that coveted work-life balance. This model allows us to create an actionable plan that defines us completely. We should always remember that we do jobs for running lives, not ruining.
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