Career Planning

Need for and Value of Career Planning to save on Capitation Fees and Produce Professionals with dignity, deserving respect.

“Children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way,” sang Whitney Houston. Khalil Gibran said “Children are not our children, they are children of tomorrow, seek not to make them like us, as the generation moves forward and not backwards.”
Rabindranath Tagore said, “Arrival of children into this world is a sign that Almighty is not fed up with humanity yet.” Don Bosco once said “Give me a child; I will give you a saint.” Napoleon on the other hand said “Give me a child; I will give you a soldier.” Hitler said with equal confidence “Give me a child; I will give you a hangman.” How True! Yes, Friends, Success or Failure of our children to some extent is in the hands of us parents. First of all we know for sure why our children look like us in physical features, color of skin, etc. While psychologists differ in the exact ratio of contribution of heredity and environment, they generally agree with the fact that heredity is often of greater value in indicating the hardware settings of the body and brain of our children.
We parents never ask our children “why are you not tall or fair like the class mates?” However, we often do not hesitate to ask the question “why can’t you be like your classmates?” when they bring their progress reports. The very first concept in deciding on a career of a person is his APTITUDES, which are primarily determined by heredity. Our children will not only look like us in appearance but also will be like us in mental abilities most of the time. There are exceptions, but few and far between. Therefore we have to accept our children, as they are. Most parents think of their children as super kids until they come face to face with reality of competition at various stages of life. This competitive comparison could be in academics, curricular or extra curricular areas, in competitive entrance exams, or even in the professional fields. INVEST LOVE, TIME AND EFFORT IN CHILDREN, EARLY IN LIFE AND OBSERVE CAREFULLY.
The best way to find out the strengths and weaknesses of a child is to get a good IQ (Intelligence Quotient Test) or EQ (Emotional Quotient Test) or CPI (Creative Potential Index Test) in the early child hood and keep a close watch of various aspects of early childhood growth and patterns of development and areas of interest in cooperation with a good school teacher or counselor.
Thereafter when they reach teenage, i.e. when they are in the 8th to 10th standards get a proper dependable professional Aptitude Test done to evaluate various areas of abilities that matter in selecting a career. Everyone who is involved in bread winning spends a major part of waking hours doing some kind of work. It is through this work at a vacation that the major contribution of a person is produced for himself, his family, his society, his country and the world. LIVE, LOVE, LEARN AND LABOR AND LEAVE A LEGACY Stephen Covey spoke of Live, Love, Learn, (I wish to add Labor) and Leave a Legacy. Yes, we must Live, but should not live to work, but should work to Live.
Any one who takes on a career that disrupts essential personal happy living is making a mistake. We have only one life on hand (even those who believe in rebirth), which we must live happily and peacefully first. Learn to live in the present, as NOW is the only moment we have in life. Inculcate Self- Confidence in Children Yes, we must learn to love ourselves and people around us and teach our children the value of self-respect and self-confidence as the foundation of success and happiness. Will anyone like us, if we do not like ourselves? The first thing for success in life is to accept ourselves as we are and appreciate all the blessings we have and make the best of it all in every role we play. The next, most important element of this century is the explosion of knowledge. We may consider we have an explosion or a barrage of information today. But great thinkers say that today we have only 1% knowledge and information as compared to what it will be in fifty years. Our next generation will laugh at us and the ULTRA modern inventions of ours as primitive.
One good example will be what we call Cars (Automobiles) of luxury today. Our next generation will call them metal pieces moving around killing people on the roads. For that matter while we are alive our children will be driving cars that will automatically apply brakes when they are within six feet of any solid object ahead of then. Does it sound silly? Our children will drive cars with water as the source of fuel one day and the exhaust system will let out oxygen molecules freely and make our atmosphere better in spite of deforestation. Do I sound unrealistic? I hope not… Life – Long Learning – KEY TO SUCCESS In today’s context LIFE – LONG LEARNING is the only way to maintain anyone’s employability to earn a living. Constant upgrading of our skills will be mandatory to survive in today’s world of technology. As I was saying it is through work a man expresses his status, makes his contributions to himself and society.
It is through labor that a man fulfils in life goals both temporary and with balancing it with prayer he achieves his ultimate ones and leaves a worthy legacy for people to remember even after he is gone. Life is a journey and there can be no journey without a dimension. Any one who has no goals lives aimlessly drifting as many people do. Many adult people in today’s work force are there by mere drifting and not as a result of planned career. As in everything we take up to accomplish, failing plan is planning to fail. Life and its work opportunities must be planned in a professional and systematic way. Basis of Planning a Career Since our career is the vehicle for achieving most things in life it cannot be approached carelessly. Achieving anything in life depends on the type of job a man gets or a career he chooses.
By virtue of his inherent potential and acquired abilities he is capable of handling certain kinds of jobs and not others. It is indeed not possible at all for one to claim to perform any occupation with same skill, efficiency, speed accuracy and precision especially where multitude of occupations are there because of technological advances. Both his potential and wide range of occupational choices in the world put restrictions on him to select such an occupation which will go in consonance with his innate endowments facilitating him to perform it with ease and comfort, instead of applying his energy per force.
We all know how difficult it is to work when we are asked to do something we are either unable or unwilling or not interested in doing. Unfortunately a good number of our teenagers do not think of a proper career at the right stage of our lives. They think if completing their education first keeping the choice of career in abeyance. The very choice will depend on the type of education one pursues. On the contrary a choice of career should guide a student as to the courses he will undertake. Many of them with this kind of approach prevalent drift into careers by chance and not as a result of conscious choice. What should we do?
To avoid vagaries of chance factor, coincidence or accidental happenings, young people should be given an opportunity to take a proper professional Aptitude Test when they are in the 8th, 9th or 10th grade on basis of such a test and on the basis of a proper Interest Evaluation Test and a Personality Assessment, they must be guided to take the right stream in the 11th and 12th standards and get themselves geared for Entrance Exams that will get them to the right institutions.
With a Test Battery like DIFFERENTIAL APTITUDE TESTS, a teenager can clearly see the strength and weakness in comparison to the rest of the population of his/her age group all over the world. The areas of the Test Battery DAT Developed in the USA by the psychological corporation and is adapted and standardized for Indian students, cover VERBAL REASONING (VR) – Ability to use English language well. NUMERICAL ABILITY (NA) – Ability with mathematical skills. ABSTRACT REASONING (AR) – Skill in thinking, reasoning and problem solving. SPACE RELATIONS (SR) – Artistic ability, drawing, sense of direction, depth perception, etc. MECHANICAL REASONING (MR) – Fundamental ability to grasp application of Physics and Sciences CLERICAL SPEED AND ACCURACY – Eye, hands and brain coordination, speed, and accuracy LANGUAGE USAGE – A) SPELLING – Spelling skills and accuracy in English B) GRAMMAR – Exact grammar capability to use corrects English. The test takes about four hours of writing by students. Once the results are ready there is a personal counseling session with the student and his / her parents.
It evaluates the student and gives a RELIABLE PERCENTILE RANKING SCORE GRAPH indicating where he / she would be in the continuum of population in each of the areas that matter in the choice of a broad area of career. If a student is found very strong only in languages and abstract reasoning then his choices are different from a student who is very good in Maths and not so good in language. Student and parents will be able to clearly see the profile on a graph and they themselves with the guidance of a qualified career counselor can decide on the broad areas of direction to take. Thereafter gather information about courses and institutions that offer those courses, time factors and cost factors. Many books and websites are now available to search information on almost every career area and institutions all over the world to take a final decision. Short-list a few to pursue the right course that will take the person to the right career goal set.
1. INTELLIGENCE – Many jobs require high intelligence. A good IQ test is recommended in early childhood.
2. APTITUDES – These are basic abilities of qualities present for performance and are indicative of future performance. They are relatively constant and are not going to change much under normal circumstances. There are nine types of recognized aptitudes: Verbal, Numerical, Reasoning, Spatial, and Form Perception, Clerical eye hand coordination, Motor Speed, Finger Dexterity, and Manual Dexterity. Some jobs require one or more combinations of some of these aptitudes to perform well on them.
3. INTERESTS – It is just a liking or disliking of things, persons or activities. Yet, it plays a very important role in selecting a career that one likes. Areas of Interest could be Engineering Physical Sciences and Technical, Health and Life Sciences, Teaching and Welfare, Administrative and Clerical, Sales, Literary, Artistic, Musical, Out-door or Indoors, etc.
4. PERSONALITY TYPES – Our personality is a sum total of many traits which give a particular shape to our individuality. Such traits can be Responsibility, Sociability, Self Confidence, Industry, Initiative, Emotional Stability, Leadership and Seriousness of purpose. A-type, which is very active, and B-type, which is very passive.
5. PHYSICAL STATURE – Occupations put certain demands on their performers in terms of Height, Weight, Chest measurement, Sound Health, Endurance, and Stamina, etc. One should evaluate these factors before deciding on a career.
6. JOB VALUES – Most people are very conscious about the job values such as Leadership, Esteem, Interesting Experience, Power, Fame, Status, Security, Profit, Self – Expression, and Independence.
7. ECONOMIC FACTORS – Economic trends must be studied before making on a career choice. One should also be prepared to upgrade skills as required by the economic deviations and fluctuations of the job market.
8. FAMILY – Family background and family members have a significant influence on the choice of career of most people. Educated parents give greater value to education. Business families may not place that much importance to higher education. Of late even the business people have become very conscious of the need for having their children become competent people to manage their business with world – class standards.
9. SOCIAL FACTORS – Everyone moves from the initial Dependence stage to second Independent stage and then to the third Interdependent stage. This is where social consideration comes in and everyone is by force to tune in to some degree if he wishes to succeed in life.
10. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES – Each one will be able to perform only according to inborn abilities and acquired skills. No two individuals are alike. So each one finds a different job better suited to his aptitude, interest and personality.
11. EDUCATION – According to the levels of education achieved whether in general, technical or professional area, the types of job done also vary.
12. DECISIONAL – Some decisions we take at various stages of our lives have a lifetime impact on us. A decision made on the choice of stream of learning after the X Standard. The choice made after an entrance exam result. The type of institutions you decided to attend. The type and level of pay at which you decided to start up your career. Some of these decisions are made with clear plans and clear head. Some unfortunately made on situational forces and helplessness. The outcome can be positive or detrimental.
13. PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE – Our outlook towards life can be the greatest influencing factor when it comes to final settling into a career. It may mean going into pure social service, it may mean working with materials, money or people, etc.
14. CONTINGENT FACTORS – The situations in life and in the world of economics, politics that affect our lives must be faces with the best of our abilities to survive in the world today.
In addition to the above factors there are more specific issues to be considered before deciding on a job.
• SALARY AND BENEFITS – No one really employs anyone in this world. We are all in real terms self – employed except in the bureaucratic permanent lifetime jobs of the Governments in some countries. In the real world of employment competition, we are all self-employed. What this means is, if we do not produce much more than what we are paid, we will not be kept in employment by any company. In other words we are paying the company owners or else we are out. Having said this, it is moral responsibility of every employed person to be true to his conscience and put in a full days hard work. We must learn to be loyal to the employer who risks a lot to give us a platform to make a living. If we want to feel the tension and anxiety the company owners and investors have, we must try some of our own self – employment avenues for a while. Then we will really understand the value of what is meant by DUTY before RIGHTS, a concept often ignored by many working people today. A man gets paid according to his contribution most of the time. If we are underpaid we ourselves are responsible for it.
• WORKING CONDITIONS – Those who are qualified can choose the conditions. Others who do not have that option must learn to fall in love with the conditions and make the best of it or look for more suitable opportunities.
• WORK ENVIRONMENT – It may vary from extreme cold to heat or from very safe to very risky. The choice is yours to make.
• WORK HAZARDS – Every job has its own hazards. Be aware of them and accept them if you wish.
• WORK RULES AND REGULATIONS – Every one must fall in line with the goals of the organization to achieve its goals. Must learn the discipline of work hand in hand with Win – Win attitude to succeed in life.
• PRESSURES OF WORK – Stress is a part of most work. It can be a source of tension and anxiety. Learn methods of stress management with scientific ways to cope and enjoy life. Make tensions work for you and benefit from them than get crushes under.
• WORK ETHICS – Each one must find his own ethics at work. There is no future in any job. The future is in the hands of the one who is holding and performing at the job.
“IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UPTO ME.” Those who never take any positive calculated risks never achieve anything worthwhile in life. For some work is a drudgery, for other it is source of livelihood, for yet others it is a source of fulfilling themselves and their dreams in life and leave legacy behind them. “SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE WORK SMART AND NOT HARD.
THEY WORK TO LIVE, THEY DO NOT LIVE TO WORK.” CORE GAINS RESULTS ACQUISITION OF SKILLS VOCATIONAL ADJUSTMENTS BEST USE OF POTENTIAL VOCATIONAL SUCCESS WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER VOCATIONAL SATISFACTION FEW HEALTH PROBLEMS EMPLOYER’S HAPPINESS LESS ABSENTEEISM RISE IN STATUS SYSTEMATIC PRODUCTIVITY RISE IN EMOLUMENTS REFINEMENT RECOGNITION CONCLUSION If you did not get the job you loved, learn to fall in love with the one you get and make the best of it and live well. Generally, if you plan well in advance you will get what you want in life. If you do not plan or are too late to plan and decide, then fate is in charge of your life and not you.