7 worst things not to do while choosing a career

On the verge of getting into a college ? Facing the dilemma of selecting from a plethora of options ? Getting different opinions (some unwanted and unsolicited as well) ? Well, that is what most of the students face. After all, this one decision is going to impact your lifelong career and can hence change the entire direction of your life.

While you make your choice, make sure that you keep in mind some basic tenets that are fundamental to ensuring that you do not regret later. As is said, precaution is better than cure!

Given this, I enumerate below 7 worst things that one needs to avoid while making a decision in favour of a specific course / college / career. These may sound like common-sense. And I agree, Yes, these are common-sensical things. Hence, by the very definition, ignoring these may make one’s decision non-sensical !

1. Adopting the herd mentality

One must not get influenced by what others are doing in terms of career. This is of utmost importance. Sometimes we are influenced by what others opt for themselves. Let us say someone selects a commerce related career choice. And since you admire him and think he is a very intelligent person, you get influenced and you also do the same. Avoid this approach. After all one size does not fit all.

2. Selecting a career not as per one’s aptitude.

This is one of the most commonly ignored aspects. Usually candidates opt for a career as per one’s likes and dislikes for an occupation without considering one’s aptitude. This leads to frustration and discontentment later on, besides impacting one’s on-the-job performance.

3. Getting influenced by “Earning potential” - a very misleading parameter

What you study is definitely very important. No doubts. But finally how much you will earn depends more on your attitude and a host of many other factors. There are umpteen examples of people who did not get a very good education but achieved pinnacle of success – both in terms of financial as well as social rewards. As long as you remain serious about and committed to whatever you decide, you will achieve success. On a lighter note, I may add that many completely uneducated “Babajis” have also made riches.

4. Looking for easy options

Are you searching for a great option wherein you get to achieve great heights without any toil ? Well, I don’t know of any. One has to work hard – be it any field. Even if one is born with a silver spoon in his mouth, one has to persevere. There is nothing called free lunch in life. Even the free lunch (if at all I may call it free) in a jail comes at the price of your cherished freedom.

As said by Tim Notke – Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard.

5. Not removing the blinkers

When it comes to opportunities awareness, unfortunately the majority doesn’t know that it doesn’t know ! And the first thing one needs to do is to accept this and thereby make a serious attempt at gaining reliable information.

Well, given the large and complex education ecosystem that we have, it is extremely difficult to know the super-set of options. And that leads to sub-optimal choices. For example, many students are unaware that there are great options after class 12 for non-science students in IITs and in many other such great institutes. And given the tough competition, those who are aware may not share it with others - it’s a competitive world after all !

The way out is to start early, check reliable websites, verify the information and then build your plan A, B and C options.

If you don’t know an option, you are naturally guaranteed to miss it !

6. Inadequate financial planning

Higher education is getting more and more expensive. While there are scholarships and loan facilities available, one needs to keep one’s pocket in mind. I don’t say that one should limit one’s choices simply because one does not have deep pockets. Just that a holistic view must be taken in terms of how does one plan to meet the expenses. Being well informed and prepared never hurt anybody.

7. University vs Course dilemma

Many youngsters opt for a hyped-up course without caring about the institute they are getting into. One needs to appreciate that it takes a lot of time and toil to build institutions of repute and standing. Hence due care needs to be taken – a popular course of one’s choice may not lead to a great career if done from a rather low-end institute. The best bet of course is making it to a course of one’s choice in a great established institute. Else probably opting for a plan B course in a great institute may be a much wiser decision.