Every career option requires a particular aptitude combination that should match with the individual's potential ability to grow with that career.
Aptitude is basically defined as an innate, on inborn ability of an individual to perform certain tasks. This can be explained well by understanding that there are many children who are very good at one or more of the performing arts from an early age and without any formal or informal training. Often we refer to these children as ‘gifted’ and their talents as ‘God’s Gift’. Each one of us is born with some or the other such ‘gift’ and as it is clear, if we base our career on something that we already have, we can progress much faster. This ‘inborn quality’ or ‘gift’ is scientifically referred to as ‘Aptitude’.
It is very important for parents and students to understand that School curriculum and marks do not test us for our aptitude for all areas. For example, we believe that students who score good at math and science in school exams can definitely be good engineers. However, study reports by many Engineering colleges show that students who scored high in school because they were sincere and good at rote learning and hence at scoring, face great difficulty even in understanding the basics of engineering. Because to be a good Engineer one needs to have good technical Aptitude and not just the knowledge of math and science. Many Engineering degree holders are not even interested in changing a fused bulb or repairing a leaking faucet at home. This is because they do not have the technical bend of mind and they basically are ‘Engineering degree holders’ and not ‘Engineers’.
This is the reason why taking career decisions based on school marks alone is usually a short cut to one of the most important decisions of life. And shortcuts certainly do not guarantee the desired outcome. It is strongly recommended that each student should be taking a scientific aptitude test around the age when careers are chosen. Ideally these tests along with detailed counseling should be provided to each student of class 9 or ten by the school. However, since most schools are still not very open to doing this scientifically, parents should seek out experienced counselors to work on the career planning with aptitude testing for their wards.
Interest v/s Aptitude
Many times people make a mistake while choosing their career according to their interest. It is very important to understand that interests are based on many factors- exposure, glamour factor, attraction, meeting or knowing some influential or impressive personality who happens to be in the said career in consideration. Children and youth are impressionable. They are strongly influenced by anything that attracts them even momentarily. Also, they are not really aware of many career opportunities available to them. In addition, the media and society is constantly bombarding them with ‘dream careers’ concepts and fearful parents are frequently asserting that if they do not get into a particular career, the children may not have a good life eventually.
The result? Well they tend to choose what has made impression on them – a career, someone’s lifestyle, insecurities about their own future. Many a parents hang on to some career mentioned by their child while growing up or a doctor set their little princess had asked for or their child’s interest in watching a particular soap that is about business and money and take it as their child’s ‘Clear interest’. The next that the children know is that they are constantly reminded by the parents that this is what describes the interest of the child and that is ‘the’ career their child should choose. Confused, the children start talking about any of the above experiences as their ‘interest’. For many, soon the ‘interest’ wears off.
In my practice as a counselor, I have met many grown-ups who regret their career decisions that were taken without actually understanding what they really meant. There is money but no happiness or enthusiasm for their work or life. Hence, it is very important for the parents to be aware that they have to ‘watch’ their children. As a child with strong aptitude for Dancing would ‘dance’ at every opportunity and non- opportunity. Similarly, a future engineering would be seen tinkering with stuff around the house and always willing to open and repair. But, all the career related aptitudes traits cannot be seen so visibly and hence, every child needs to undergo a thorough (Not a short version of ‘quick ‘ testing on the career websites) scientific Aptitude test with an experienced Counselor who can interpret the test results and integrate the interest, personality, family background and dreams of the child with his scientifically tested aptitude.
Career is one of the most important aspects of life and hence, we need to understand that it cannot only be a source of money. Our career should inspire, motivate and activate us while bringing us joy and enthusiasm for life while making money. Look for a counselor with good references around you. If your city does not give you many options then you can look online. Do check the credentials and feedback on that counselor on various social media before you entrust them your future. With online Counseling options today you can get the services from the best counselors across the world.
So if you are thinking career- think Aptitude testing.