One of the greatest misfortunes in life is to be good at something you don’t like. You may be proficient in mathematics, but you may hate it. You may be competent public relations communicator, busy interacting with people every minute of the day, but may love a life of solitude and contemplation. In order to be able to select the right career, one has to reflect, analyse, know one’s inner self, and be able to clearly distinguish between what one is good at (proficiency, competence) and what you like and want to do in life (interests, values).
When I was in school, there was no concept of career counseling or vocational guidance. All the boys were herded into the Science stream (unless one was very poor at mathematics) and all the girls were considered suitable for Humanities (unless she put her foot down and insisted on science). Then, if you were in science and did well, the options were Engineering or Medicine, and most of us continued being good at something we didn’t like! And later in life we discovered what we truly liked and pursued what we really wanted to do (our true métier) as hobbies!
Now it’s different. Young persons have plenty of choice and opportunity to choose what they want to do. If you are on the verge of choosing your career, the first thing to do is to develop a concept of the person you would like to be. Let your inner conscience be your guide and resist temptation and pressures from elders and peers. Choosing a job you like which is not in conflict with your values and lets you realize your full individuality and creative potential will enable you to achieve a sense of fulfillment.
Do interact with career counselors, talk to your parents, elders, peers and take their advice, but remember to distinguish between the “hard” and the “soft” facets of career attributes. At this juncture, why don’t you read my article on “Choosing the Right Career” at:
Read some good books on career guidance. My favorite is a book called What Color Is Your Parachute by Richard N. Bolles. It’s updated and published every year. It’s a fascinating read and will help you discover your true métier.
And why not take a few career tests? You can either visit a career counselor or psychologist who will administer relevant tests to you. Or try the online tests. My favorite one is The Princeton Review Career Quiz available online at:
It is a simple, fast, interesting forced choice test which presents you with interesting career options. I just gave the test a few moments ago, and the results say that my interest color is Blue, which means I’m a creative, humanistic, thoughtful, quiet type, and my usual style is Yellow, which means I tend to be orderly, cautious, loyal, systematic, methodical, solitary, and organized and will thrive in a research-oriented, predictable, established, orderly environment. My career choices include Writer, Librarian, Philosopher, Teacher, Professor, Researcher, College / School Administrator, Human Resources Manager, Guidance Counselor, and , yes, Career Counselor! Am I one of these? Well, I’m not going to tell you!
All the best! Have fun, learn about yourself. Take your time, think, discuss, read, experiment, reflect, discover your true métier in harmony with your interests and values and inner self.
Choose your career wisely – remember it’s better to be good at what you like than be good at what you don’t like! And if you have something to ask, why don’t you write to me?