Dear Indian Parents, A Child’s Career Choice Is Not Set In Stone

How does one measure a brain’s intellect by the subjects a child chooses in grade 10 or 11? Why are we as adults quick to judge when someone opts for a creative field as opposed to the IT or medicine sector?

Mera beta engineer banega.” India’s infatuation with engineers, IT and doctors is actually hilarious on the world stage. It is like no other profession exists.

I agree that we have Indians heading the biggest companies of the world, and the largest hospitals. But how does that take away the aspirations of people who are creative or simply clueless.

What if you don’t like a career choice mid-way?

You could be enrolled in an engineering course and mid-way decide that music really defines you and want to pursue that full time. Or you could be studying medicine and in your last year want to drop out to become a sommelier!

And if the above examples reign true with any of my Indian readers, I most definitely can associate to the high level drama that would have happened in your homes.

For once, you choose a subject, it is like you are tied down to it for life.

Right from junior school, it seems as if grades are the only way to add success to your child’s resume of life! Nothing less than 99.99% and yes, that is the cut-off rate for a lot of reputed colleges in India.

How can we force children to compete so hard academically but leave them ill-prepared for life?

How is a child even supposed to compete with that score beats me, for text book education has no bearing to the complex situations we face in our life.

I am taking the liberty to generalize here, but very few of us Indians actually let our children choose their choice of career.

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Needless to say – Mera beta engineer banega! has been the line of debate for many a Ted-talk or motivational speech. And it continues to be.

And how can we judge a child’s intellect based on their scores and subject branch?

How does one measure a brain’s intellect by the subjects a child chooses in grade 10 or 11? Why are we as adults quick to judge when someone opts for a creative field as opposed to the IT or medicine sector?

I swear by a quote I heard Warren Buffett say in a speech – “If you had no need for money, what is the job you would seek?”

And this is a question that every parent needs to ask his/her child. What is it that you want to do? What is it that makes you happy?

Have ever asked a child, if they are happy?

We are so engrossed in the rut of doing things that we often overlook our own children’s desires. It is important to steer them in the right direction, but it is also of extreme necessity to let them wander on that path until they find what they’re looking for.

We can’t really hand hold them for in doing so, all we are really doing is tightening our own power or our own insecurities on them.

Adjustment is not a magical cure to everything, especially career choices

In India, we live in families that span over three and sometimes four generations. And whilst it feels good to have everyone around— somewhere, the word adjustment stems in. And that is one word I strictly am against.

I am not a nut that needs to be screwed into its exact place and be bolted. Neither am I responsible for everyone’s moments of highs and lows. I want to hear of a relationship that thrives because of love and freedom.

I want to hear stories of people who live together because they have a deep fondness for each other, not because they are morally tied down in matrimony!

Ask children what they dream about

And likewise, I want to talk to children about their dreams and aspirations, not their parents’ unfulfilled desires!

Choosing a career does not imply that you are tied to it for life.

In fact, the whole world is abundant with so much possibility that it would be a real shame if you only stuck down to one and didn’t even bother to experiment.

I am a mother, a writer, a social media strategist, a speaker, an entrepreneur, a gemmologist and then some. And I am not even halfway there. So, what is to stop you from taking that one step towards the road less travelled upon!


Image source: Still from the music video of Premam |Aluva Puzha, edited on CanvaPro 

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About the Author

Pooja Poddar Marwah

Pooja Poddar Marwah is an Indian author and blogger. (October 22,1978) Her foray into writing began in a parking lot, whilst she was waiting for her kids’ co-curriculars to get over. Her debut read more...

19 Posts | 25,118 Views

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