Career and Job

Nothing has changed. Last week I was privy to some conversations among students passing out in 2016 about placements. As I listened to how they made or are making their decisions on their first jobs out of campus, I told myself “Nothing has changed”. A decade ago my friends and I went through this debate – should we choose a job or a career?

A wise professor of mine had told me that in hindsight he felt that one should always choose a career over a job. But he also told us that he wouldn’t be too surprised if we felt it was philosophical and do the opposite. He told us that he did the same too. While he knew that many of us would not pay heed to his words, he still kept at it. Some of us took his advice to heart – Did what is not normally expected. Went along paths that many thought was foolish (in fact many still think so). But remain happier people and remain younger people than most our age.

But the sad part is that there is no one consistently telling these kids of today, that choosing careers over jobs requires them to make those “trade-offs” (something most never learn in an economics 101 class). Compromising in the short-term seems increasingly difficult as students have large loans to pay-off. They cannot do what even some of us could, a generation ago. Nevertheless let me make another attempt to cajole these young minds to try their hands at doing something unconventional – choose a career over a job.

Now, that looks like one has to give up a job for a career. Absurd, isn’t it? How can one give up a job and make a career – it does not seem possible!! So the point I wish to make is that – it is the order in the choice that is important. Which do you choose first – career or job? Does your career decision drive your choice of a job or a series of jobs eventually makes a career?

The former may require some tough choices to be made in the immediate term. If you take the life of many individuals that you hold in high esteem, you find that they spent the early careers in tough and unattractive jobs. But this was driven by their long term career goals. Hence it did not make them feel bad even when some of their peers seemed to be doing much better then. As they say what matters is where you finish! If there is a role model of yours, look up and read what they did during their initial years at work. See how they made their choices. You will learn to decide how to choose a career and a job. It is not one against the other, but one based on the other.

Think well. Make a wise choice (Career and Job). Live a happy life. Since much of your life will be spent at work, you might as well choose what you love to do. It can have a significant impact on your personal life too.

Happy choosing!

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