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Career Planning – Dr. H.S. Nagaraj

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Career Planning – Dr. H.S. Nagaraj

When we are young, we are told that as we grow up we need to work. And to work, we should learn things, and when we learn, we acquire the ability to work and earn Money to meet the needs of life. This kind of a communication to children is true of nearly all societies across the world.

In the hunting-gathering stage of human evolution, the needs and desires were limited. It was basically restricted to food and security. As the evolution progressed, the needs and desires also started growing.

In modern societies, work is not seen any more as just the thing needed for survival. Still, a large population needs to work for basic needs. Those who have crossed the barrier of working for survival, look for comforts and happiness. Also, happiness does not come by serving one’s own requirements, but of the community and society at large. It is this that differentiates working for livelihood from working for a meaningful life. In other words, working just for earning money does not make any sense. When one starts the work life, money is important. As one progresses and gets money more than what is required to meet the life’s needs and security, that excess money has little value. Hence, working is not all about money, but caring for others and creating opportunities for community and helping those who cant get even the basic needs. Then life looks meaningful.

There are 2 words associated with work – namely job and Career. Job is the work we do for money. A job has minimum impact on future work, one can keep doing different jobs throughout the life. Most of the times, it is just taking instructions and implementing them. There may be no excitement and creativity. As a consequence, one may not get happiness all through and finally see no meaning to life’s journey.

While career is working on a single thing or a series of connected things pursued for a long-time or life-time. Obviously, there is continuous learning. Learning outcome of each task is a succession to the next task. And also if one pursues a career, one has to be a dreamer and the goal has to be big. It involves continuous review, developing strategy and seeking growth. To pursue any career successfully, one has to develop lot of interest in the work, acquire values and skills. One should be constantly open to ideas, keep experimenting and exploring new things. Someone who passionately pursues a career, contributes to the horizon of knowledge in that field.

Since work is part of life, it is always better to enjoy work through the path of career than doing jobs. It is for this reason that dreamers choose careers to work for, while people working for jobs work for someone else’s dreams.

If someone wants to pursue a career, before setting the goal, one should evaluate one’s interests and aptitude. One should also evaluate one’s personal traits, values, skills and so on. Then, one should take into consideration the challenges in the chosen field of work. If one is sure of meeting those challenges head on and acquiring those skills, then one can define a goal for self. For example, as a student, assume you want to become a doctor. If you cannot sacrifice your sleep or understand someone’s pain or see the urgency of things, you may not be the right candidate for a career in medicine. Hence evaluation of oneself is important before choosing a career.

There is no career superior or inferior to another. Every career can offer the same growth if one chooses to be the best in the field. Also, growth opportunities and levels of growth change with time. Two decades back, civil engineering was the least preferred branch by the engineering students while computer science was in highest demand. In today’s scenario, there are good number of unemployed computer science graduates while there are hardly any unemployed civil engineering graduates.

Here are a few examples of highly successful people who pursued their dream career than work for salaried jobs.

Jakkanachari was a legendary sculptor who built many temples involving architectural marvels. He left home to pursue his career of designing and sculpting temples and sculpted the most famous Belur and Halebidu temples.

Akio Morita’s father had a brewing business in Japan. He use to brew sake, a Japanese drink. Akio Morita, being the eldest son was expected to take over the business from his father. Rejecting a comfortable future, Akio Morita pursued his career dream in the field of electronics. He went on to create one of world’s biggest electronics company along with another person. Sony was hence born!

Passionate work makes the difference between having a job or having a career.

One of the take-away from this article is not to pick a job with a good vacation time, but to pick a career for your life’s dream.

Write about your learning and feedback to [email protected]

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