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Old Saturday, July 28, 2007
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Default Making good career decisions.

Making good career decisions

EVERY person possesses the ability to excel in life but not everybody can excel in every field. Our innate talents give outstanding results when guided properly. Hard work does matter but it becomes all the more fruitful when it is steered in the right direction.

Hectic Academic Schedule
The dilemma Pakistani students face is that the hectic academic schedule has made it difficult for them to explore inwards as well as outwards. He/she is not given the opportunity to find out what is good for him/her and what is not. The role models set by society force him/her to become a “type” and not an “individual”. To prove his/her intellectual abilities the student has to become either a doctor or an engineer. If he/she opts for mathematics or zoology it will naturally be believed that he/she was not able to win a seat in an engineering university or a medical college. Similarly a student of linguistics or literature is believed to be of no potential at all.

Before selecting a career a student or his/her parents should keep three things in mind:
an individual’s calibre,
their temperament, and
their interests.

Calibre or potential is a person’s natural ability or inability to perform a certain task. Some people are naturally good at calculations; they know how to play with facts and figures. Such people must pursue their career in mathematics, statistics, or accounting as fine arts or literature can never be their cup of tea. Similarly there are some born painters, artists, or writers — highly imaginative, observant and creative. Asking them to become bankers or business icons is like asking for the impossible.

There is the issue of “temperament”. This includes one’s natural tendencies and inborn skills. It’s on this basis that people are divided into two major groups: introverts and extroverts. People who like to remain in their cocoons have no place in the fields related to public affairs and if they try to join such professions they may prove to be the failures. On the other hand, the extroverts who are bestowed with refined communication skills must go for fields like mass communication, public administration, and marketing.

Student Interest
And last but not the least is the student’s interest. Keeping the above points in mind he/she should choose a profession from the list of the suitable ones. In order to get good results one should maintain a balance in all three of them. This is not to suggest that all three components should be perfectly in accordance with the chosen profession but at least they should make a well mixed compound. One strong and favourable factor can compensate for the other comparatively weak and unfavourable factor but none of these should be neglected completely.

For instance, if one fulfils the requirements for a profession as far as interest and temperament is concerned but doesn’t possess the required calibre one can compensate for that through sheer hard work. If on the other hand, a student is of a certain calibre but is neither interested in a particular profession nor possesses the required temperament then, selection of such a profession will be extremely wrong. One of my own friends is doing a Masters in English literature. She is a very active young lady with polished communication skills. She always wanted to go for Mass Communication but her parents insisted she pursue English literature. She is neither interested in the subject nor does she possess the temperament to sit at a desk and read a novel — most boring activity for her. The result is that she is passing through the most miserable phase of her life and her talent is being ruined.

We keep on saying that “Pakistanis are very talented” but as a nation we are not progressing at a greater pace. One of the many other reasons is the wrong attitude when it comes to choosing a career path. The selection of right profession always increases the efficiency of a person. We should make it a point that the problem of career selection of our students is given proper thought and consideration.

By Hina Bari

A Man Would Do Nothing,
If He Waited Until He
Could Do It So Well
That No One Would Find Fault
With What He Has Done.
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