Are we in a wrong career?

Are we in a wrong Career?

A study done in London in 2017 showed that as many as 20% of college students believed they had chosen the wrong courses, mostly out of parental pressure or lack of research. Another study found that 9 out of 10 people between 21 and 65 felt their career choices had been rushed.

This scenario is especially true of India, where misconceptions about the job market and ill-informed parents continue hampering career progress. The career paths most people in India think are the best were more suitable a few decades ago, but are not suited to the job market’s need anymore. In those days, there was a need for India to focus on its technological side because rapid industrialization was necessary to fuel our developing economy. However, the situation is more stable now, and there is a growing need for forward-looking thinkers who know what is right for them so that they may have maximum output in their chosen careers. 

Still, there persists a lack of respect and understanding for careers beyond a very narrow definition.

Why do people continue choosing the wrong careers?
  • Lack of choice: A lot of people did not actually have the choice of choosing their careers. Familial or social influences pressured people into choosing the wrong careers. This is especially true of India, where parents are obsessed with the notion of making their children doctors, lawyers or engineers. India produces more engineers annually than China and the US combined.
  • No access to career-choosing methods: Another reason people may choose the wrong careers is that they did not have access to tools or resources that would have helped them choose the right careers in their childhood. With a lack of experience coupled with no knowledge about one’s own strengths and weaknesses, people end up going down the wrong path. 
  • Evolution of the job market: The job market is also constantly changing and evolving. There are tons of new jobs that may suit your fancy more that did not exist years ago. Some of these include social media marketing, digital management, app development and a plethora of new technical and creative fields which have blossomed within the past ten years. 

What is the impact of choosing the wrong career?

  • Health and wellness: Research has proven that people who choose the wrong careers have worse life expectancies and more health issues. This causes high incidences of work-related depression or anxiety. Frustration of doing stuff that is not aligned with one’s true interests manifests itself in form of Psychosomatic ailments such as headaches, stomach pains, nausea and trembling due to increased heart rate or blood pressure.
  • Stress and irritability: As choosing the wrong career causes high levels of stress, it results in more conflicts in interpersonal relationships and intimacy. More irritability and mood swings lead to less amicability with co-workers and a general unlikeable disposition.
  • Poor performance: Dissatisfaction with one’s career choice leads to disinterest in the field, ultimately causing poor performance at work. Factors contributing to this may include procrastination or unwillingness to do assigned tasks, which leads to less efficiency and hence less success.
  • Social disregard: Stress and anxiety may lead to a disregard for those around you, due to a lack of motivation or enthusiasm stemming from dissatisfaction with one’s job. People may experience disillusionment from their own careers, and hence become avoidant of social scenarios or seek a desire to be alone as they feel low.
Is it time for you to make a switch?

Signs that show it may be time to consider a career switch.

  • Low self-esteem and avoidant behaviour: If your body starts aching and getting exhausted easily despite your utmost focus on your work, even after sleeping well, your body is signaling that is it disillusioned with the task at hand and is hence actively attempting to avoid it. Coupled with thoughts that make you question your own abilities these are two sure-fire signs that a switch is needed.
  • Eternal boredom: A job should not be something one considers an eternal boring chore. Although compromises and adjustments are bound to make one bored in normal work-life as well, there may come a point when the boredom is prolonged, despite everything around you seemingly being stable. This is also a sign that you need a switch.
  • Noticeable personality change: If your persona has changed and people around you, that know you, notice a dim on your personality, such as constant jealousy or being apathetic, it is also a sign that you need a switch. There may have been a time you were passionate and full of energy but now you seem burdened, sleepy and stressed all the time.
  • Money is your motivation: If the primary motivation holding you back from quitting your job is money, and not an actual passion for the work, that is also a sign of your disenchantment. Chasing success without happiness will not guarantee a good life. While money is important, it cannot be the only thing that drives you. Hence, that may also signal that it may be time to consider a career change

Job satisfaction is coupled with life satisfaction and ultimately leads to a happier, more well-rounded adult. Being in the right career would cause less constraints and ultimately better performance in the workplace. Making a switch or choosing an unknown career may seem scary, but it is a sure promise towards a happier and healthier future for you and your loved ones.

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Written By 
Riti Aggarwal

Edited by
Vinaya Bansal


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