One of the primary missions of MindIInsight from its very inception has been to be a discerning guiding light for students at the threshold of their career, struggling with myriad choices, ideas and advice. While in the past few years, we have thankfully moved beyond the ‘doctor or engineer’ mind set of career decision-making, the shift in perception has introduced its own unique set of problems. These are the problems can be best described as the problem of plenty, which is honestly a happy situation to have. However, the multitude of career options and choice to pursue a diverse range of interests is also something that is confounding for students and especially their parents who are accustomed to making binary career choices in their experience.
Is problem of plenty really a problem?
It is when coupled with old decision making patterns and ideas. As mentioned above, most of us are systemically and habitually inclined to make career decisions in binary. Biology or Maths? Science or Commerce? Commerce or Humanities? Engineer or Doctor?
Wrong decisions are possible in binary scenario as well. But multiple options multiply the chances of making a flawed or misdirected career choice even more—something that students end up paying for in the long run. Breaking the binaries was crucial to open new avenues and newer horizons. But now that they are open, we need new processes and ideas about careers and how we choose them.
Now more than ever, we need to make informed career choices so as to make the most of available bounty of opportunities, and to avoid the inevitable pitfalls. In our experience, there are two critical elements when it comes to making the right career choice—Right Time and Right Information.
It is a known fact that we are a marks obsessed country. We are conditioned to base everything from the substance to the timing of our decisions on marks. Inevitably, this means most students wait until after their board examinations are over to even start thinking about the way ahead. This is a capital error that we have seen ruining the prospects of several bright minds, robbing them of or delaying their preferred career trajectory significantly.
What to do?
Vigilance. Vigilance is the key. Always err on the side of caution. Remember, there is nothing like too soon when it comes to career planning. Start researching, start talking to people and more importantly start keeping notes of all the relevant dates and timelines long before you actually need them. It is a habit that will serve you in good stead, irrespective of whether you are a student or a parent. It is important to note here that reputed universities in India and abroad have diverse application timelines, several of them commencing before the board examinations even start. When it comes to application deadlines and processes, it always pays to be prepared well in advance.
We live in an era driven by information. And yet the menace of misinformation continues to plague some of the most important decisions that we take in our lives. When it comes to information about career options, both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of it suffer from vast proliferation of misinformation or incomplete information. While the qualitative aspect of these options like how to choose a career in sync with your potential, and everything it entails warrants a separate post (and will be discussed in the near future), even the quantitative aspects of this information like dates, procedures and basic requirements are not free from issues.
Google is not enough!
This is something that we have repeated over and over again. Over reliance on Google when it comes to critical information about admissions, colleges and the procedures involved can be severely problematic. Google is essential but it needs to be corroborated with on ground research and information from other sources. Talk to people who know about this stuff, read up the websites and gather as much information as you possibly can before deciding on a course of action. Application processes, for both reputed Indian and foreign universities, tend to be complex and confusing. Something as simple as arming yourself with plenty of information and of course of plenty of time to finish everything can give you a decisive edge over your competition.
Remember, securing admission in your dream course and college is more than an aspiration. It is a competition. And like every competition, your preparation will decide the course of your future. So, make sure you are well prepared with two of the most formidable weapons in this battle – Right Time and Right Information!