Making Effective Occupational Choices as a Student
By Dr. Kisholoy Roy
Students pursuing various courses (professional or otherwise) are often required to opt for an occupation post their studies in cases where they do not have a family business to pursue or are not interested to be a part of the family business. Students pick occupations based on three primary factors viz. money, prestige and mystique. However, one basic thing that students should always keep in mind while making occupational choices is that any occupation that seems exciting is not always the right choice for them. In order to be content and fulfilled in the workplace, it is indispensable to match your occupation and work environment to your personality type. Understanding your aptitude helps you decide if the job appeals to you thereby increasing your chances of getting in.
What essentially is to be said over here is that every student should do a thorough SWOT (Strengths,Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of oneself as a contender for a type of job before jumping into the fray. A student needs to correctly analyse the characteristics that will be perfectly in sync with a job requirement and the weaknesses that one possess which will be detrimental to a person’s prospects in an occupation. Also, one needs to see the prospects or the opportunities that a particular job has to offer. A student’s approach should be long term in this scenario and being myopic in this context can spell doom for a student. For instance, medical transcription was at one point of time a hot proposition in this country. But then within last couple of years, it started losing its appeal. After all, it was a job that was heavily dependent upon the policies the governments of the USA and UK made and there were lots of insecurities involved thus. The same is the case with the KPOs (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) in this country.
Familiarity with a profession is nice but then that is not all. A student should possess the ability to see the big picture while making occupational choices. They need to do lot of research both online as well as in the real world. They need to interact with industry experts, career consulting firms to have a better understanding of the direction they should be taking in their professional career.
One needs to look at one’s priorities in life. For some money is everything, some want job security, some want creativity in their job, some want variety in their job and so on. There are careers for each such case but then problems keep cropping up for individuals and companies since often we find wrong people at wrong places doing wrong jobs.
Taking occupational decisions is tough but then if one takes such decisions with a relaxed, informed and analytical state of mind, it does work wonderfully well.