‘Career’ is one such word that has lost its real value in the transition. For most of us a career means a profession or line of study or work. Nothing is wrong in this meaning but it is incomplete in many ways.
Career is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a person’s course or progress through life. It can also pertain to an occupation or a profession that usually involves special training or formal education and is considered to be a person’s lifework
Even the origin of the word ‘career’ is traced back to Latin ‘carrus’ meaning ‘wheeled vehicle’ that basically symbolizes journey and progress.
Thus career is all about the progress in life. When we take into consideration only the study and profession aspect of career, we develop a warped view towards it. Our focus stills on the options presented to us by the society and our decisions based on the acquiring of degrees and bagging a source of earning.
In reality, choosing a university course only is one step towards the journey of life, which is vast. Most people choose a university degree that seems to be giving them a much accepted professional status and guaranteed income. While zeroing on the course we tend to neglect the most important aspect of choosing the career, the very question: Why do I want to take up a career? While the apparent answer may seem to be about earning a livelihood, if we take a few minutes and ask ourselves another Why? The answer could be easily traced to: I want to be happy! Where does happiness come from? It comes from inner satisfaction, a sense of contentment. We very well know that money alone cannot guarantee that contentment. So isn’t it worth the while to consider this inner satisfaction while choosing our career?
Now our satisfaction is based on many parameters like where we work, where we live, who do we associate with, what is the nature of our work, what are our work hours, what challenges the work has for us, do we enjoy our work, does it align with our life goal, does it give us the opportunities to travel, to grow, to be creative, to invent, to serve, to solve, to change and so many other needs that we have apart from making money?
Choosing a career thus is not just about knowing the employability of that study course. It is about knowing who you are, what you want and what can it give you what you live for. It is a process of exploration. You need to explore yourself and explore the range of career options and then match the career to your needs.