— Written by Karan Verma
Career planning is always a tricky subject for all students. Your mind, your heart all speak in a thousand different voices. Your parents, siblings and the world around also do a brilliant job clouding your mind with their notions. Add to that, the impact of mainstream television, cinema and social media, and you are in for a ride.
All this mumbo-jumbo skyrocketed post the Covid crisis. Students are in a whirlpool of uncertainty. Despite the crisis, there will be some COVID-victorious. Some will use the crisis as an excuse and succumb to the pressures, spoiling their options and pushing back their careers, whereas the ones who will approach this crisis in a strategic and planned manner will emerge Covid victorious. There are three things we have to keep in consideration before planning any career.
The first is ‘interests’
What intrigues you as a career? Are you fascinated with numbers or are you an outdoorsy individual? Are you a social individual or do you work best when you are in isolation? Self-awareness is a key here and using that, list out the careers that intrigue you.
The second step is ‘abilities’
You might have an interest in finance as a career but if you are struggling with mathematics then it might not really be a good option for you. Of course, you can work on your abilities but then there are limitations. Understanding our limitations is key to successful career planning.
The third step is ‘understanding the scope and potential’
This is where we analyse the scope of a career in the current times. Post-Covid, many careers including hotel management, travel, and tourism, hospitality are bound to be adversely affected. There would be some individuals who have waited all their lives for a career in these sectors. I empathise with them but my suggestion to them is to be smart with their choices.
I have always believed that students can experiment during their graduation careers, find out their true calling, and do a postgraduation or a diploma in the field of their choice. Basically, post-COVID, one has to wait for their chance and trust me, it will come.
The biggest question would be whether you are prepared for that opportunity at that time or you have lost your mojo and hence you capitulate to the crisis. Keep accumulating the different arsenal of skills and then go on the offensive when the time is ripe. Of course, post-corona there will be some careers which will be hugely in demand.
Data science and analytics is taking off as we speak. It is time that students start learning about different statistical tools and software to improve their prospects. Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and automation is a new reality. It is time people start getting savvy with these skills. Coding and digital marketing are two other domains where there will be a lot of options in coming days.
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Remember this in the current scenario and the coming days — ‘Skills are the new grades’. Biology-based careers are also going to see a rise, as an investment in medical research and development is going to get a huge boost. Genetic mapping, analysis, and alternate medicine are going to draw a huge investment in the post-Covid era. It is important that students start experimenting and exploring different options to actually figure out their true calling.
Fulfilling student life is one in which you experiment, explore, evolve, and eventually succeed. It is time students start interning more regularly to find out what they’re meant to do. Look out for online internships and online courses.
Coming to the most important skill that every student, parent, and teacher would require in abundance, is emotional intelligence.
None of your skills are ever going to effective unless you learn to be mentally and emotionally tough. This difficult time is testing students and the one thing they need to learn quickly is the ability to handle pressure and uncertainty. Just as all bad times, this too shall pass. However, what would be interesting to see is whether we all came out of it strong or dispirited. This phase is meant to cause disruption. Those who adapt shall survive and eventually thrive and those who stay rigid will eventually be left behind. So start planning your options with an open and flexible mind. Do not fear failure and remember that a good career is a long marathon and even if you miss a lap or two, you can always bounce back.
— The writter is the author of two novels – a dynamic entrepreneur, an inspiring speaker, and a career mentor.
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