KNOW, ANALYSE & BECOME
By : Jayeeta Ganguly
Rise and Shine! It is time to rub the sleep from your eyes and answer one simple question: ‘Which career or which profession would you like to pursue when you grow up?’
I can see you rolling your eyes and thinking, ‘Oh! No! Not again.’
Now, before you leave this page and move on to something more interesting, let me assure you that I know how this one question continues to follow and haunt you, even more so, when you are a high-school student. And it will keep on gnawing at you till you have chosen a career path.
As a mass media consultant and educator, I often come across students – age 13/14-plus onwards who are either planning to join a field that their parents’ have chosen for them or enroll for a particular course simply because their friends are going to be there or opt for certain new-age career choices because they think that these are ‘cool’ without having adequate knowledge about the field and what it involves. I also meet students who simply follow the herd without evaluating whether they are ‘cut out’ for that particular professional field or not. These individuals – the kind I have mentioned above – become disgruntled and turn into dissatisfied professionals and unhappy souls in the long run.
On the other hand, I am often greeted by many students who are focussed, who make informed choices, and opt for career paths that are suitable for them. It seems that they are born to be in the field that they have chosen and they know that they belong there. Their profession simply becomes an extension of who they are. Thus, they enjoy their work and attain success – not just as professionals, but also as satisfied human beings.
So, how do these students manage to do that?
Allow me to share some pertinent points that I hope will act as a ready reckoner and will guide you in your endeavors.
Here are the pointers:
- You need to know yourself. You need to know who you are as a person – what drives you, what are your likes and dislikes, your areas of interest, your core values, and what you want from life.
- It is a prudent idea to conduct the SWOT analysis as you are growing up and reaching an age where the choices you are going to make are going to set the pace for your both personal and professional life.
- SWOT stands for: Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. So, when you are doing a SWOT analysis, you are basically evaluating yourself. You are analysing where your strengths lie, what are your weaknesses, what are the opportunities that you are going to get and capitalise upon and what are the threats that can affect you and your career in the long run.
Allow me to share a couple of examples with you that will enlighten you about the benefits of SWOT analysis:
Example I: Let me tell you about myself – I used to be petrified of Maths in school. Physics and Chemistry were not my best buddies either, but I really enjoyed Biology. Thus, I did a SWOT analysis and came to the conclusion that despite liking Biology, I am not cut out to pursue science. On the other hand, I loved subjects like English, History, Geography et al and English literature was my favourite. Thus, by the time I was 16, I had decided that I was going to complete BA in English honours and then pursue a PG diploma course in journalism. Can you imagine what would have happened if I was told that I would have to study science at all cost and that I must work hard to get the required percentage? I would have been miserable and sunk like the Titanic.
Example II: I have friends who are musicians. You know how it is not easy to establish yourself in this field. When they decided to pursue a career in music, they first analysed their positions, evaluated their opportunity quotients and the threats/ obstacles that they would have to face. They braced themselves to strive, work hard and knew that it would take years to carve a niche for themselves. But these knew what they wanted from life and what would make them happy. They were ready to make sacrifices and wait for the opportune moment when success came their way and above all, they never gave up.
SWOT analysis prepares you for life and enables you to recognize yourself. Thus, instead of rambling about, you get the time to focus, to prepare and concentrate on becoming what you truly want to become.
- Maintain a journal and write down about your strengths and weaknesses et al and keep assessing yourself from time-to-time. Your area of interest and passion will evolve. You need to keep a tab of those changes.
- Take the help of career counsellors and consultants if you so wish. They can counsel and guide you and also help you with SWOT analysis.
- Talk to your teachers and family members for guidance and also inform them about your thought process.
- Always choose those subjects and that field of work that will you know you will enjoy pursuing.
- Be practical and do not make an emotional choice. Always make an informed choice.
- Talk to your school/ college seniors and professionals in the field and ask important questions. Understand how hard they have worked. Ask them to give you a realistic picture of the field and how it has evolved and changed over the years.
- Stay informed about the field that you would like to join. Remember, the field is growing and by the time you join, you will have to add something new to it and in order to that, you need to stay informed, conduct immaculate research, understand the market, analyse the future prospects and so on.
- Remember, whichever field you decided to join you will have to ideate, innovate and create.
- Stay focused and be prepared to work hard
- Never stop learning at any stage of our career.
- Brace and prepare yourself for the challenges and hurdles that will come your way.
- Stay motivated, confident and positive-minded
- At no stage of your life – be it as a student or a professional – should you allow the dark forces of negativity to win and demoralise you
Never ever give up. You have to become stronger and never think of quitting and opting out and trust me if you enjoy what you are doing, the thought of quitting will never enter your mind.
That’s all for today. I hope these pointers were helpful and will guide you to truly rise and shine.