Monday, 4 May 2009

Life lesson

Yesterday being a Sunday, i was doing timepass in my building lobby/entrance/whatever with children and teenagers who stay in my building. Out of the blue, a 10th standard teenager confided how confused she was and had no idea what to do for her career .Now, I was really scared ! I was fervently hoping that she wouldn't ask for any career advice. From last 5 years , i'm hopelessly clueless about careers.Personally, i am a career vagrant- I have managed to earn a living however have no career path whatsoever and i'm still clueless about what i really want to do or be.Since thinking about my lack of career and ambitions gives me headaches, i do whatever i get to do.
Hope against hope, she asked me :"Didi, should i do science? Then go for engineering /medicine... i can always change after 12th na, if i don't get a good score ?
If this question was asked to me 6-7 years, I would have promptly given her a short lecture on 'if you do this, than these are the options....blah,blah and blah'.Nowadays, teenagers are much sauve,smarter and aware about what options they have. They are very clear about values which will help them decide careers.It is science/engnrr/MBA/CA = potentially higher paying professional degrees. Everything else becomes an option, if you don't succeed in above mentioned choices.So, when this kid asked me for 'advice' , I gauged she was really looking for affirmation.

Instead of directly answering her question/completely evading her question I decided to tell her about a person's career path- someone I knew personally and have highest regard for.
I told her about X...who was very hardworking and extremely dedicated toward his studies. Maybe didn't score high enough to enter M.B.B.S in 12th however completed B.Pharm as topper in his college, i think. He worked hard at his job as an executive in pharma co. and with sheer determination,smart work and by knowing how to manage his superiors and bosses he scaled promotions. X also went on to work in clinical research and soon gave his CAT.[ I personally think, returning to books after working professionally full time for 3-4 years requires immense aptitude and motivation] . He cleared CAT while working fulltime and staying alone in a city away from his parents and immediate family.
Not only that, he took up an Executive MBA program for 2 years from IIM-K, [i think distance learning] and completed it successfully while working fulltime.
The last i heard from him he was a Project Manager- clinical research [inspite, of placements in management] - most importantly doing something he liked.
He spent his energy,time, and of course money for himself and the great thing is -he has something to show for them.
Kudos to Mr X !
I have repeated this achievement to many people around my age who are frustrated by lack of options, their jobs or general rut of life but this is the first time i told a 15 year old. I hope she doesn't snort and bicker because i didn't tell her what she really wanted to hear and actually remember this example.

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