Career Counseling – A Social Toy

A marriage backdrop, lots of gathered relatives, soulful music conveying how marriage is a union of two souls being played continuously in the speakers. Mr. and Mrs. Sharma were a bit conscious, trying hard to play safe in their conversations, but then Mr. Gupta asked the dreaded question, "Sharmaji, what is Rinku up to these days?"



Silence for 2 seconds,

Mr.Sharma: "Taiyyari kar raha hai Ji"

Mr. Gupta: "Acha abhi bhi, Hume to laga tha ek he baari mai nikal lega"

Mr. and Mrs. Sharma faked a smile, trying hard to cover their emotions. They are now used to these scenarios. It has been 4 years while Rinku was trying to clear competitive government exams but was not able to make it through. Rinku was a brilliant child, everybody had high hopes for him, but then after graduation, he started his preparation and had faced innumerable failures till now.

Rinku in the meanwhile is used to the taunts of people, hence have his focus towards the food stalls and also because he feels that’s the only place he can choose by himself. Career and fate are to be defined by society as usual.

This is not the story of a single Rinku, thousands of Rinkus, particularly from the small towns, find themselves stuck in this cobweb from where they see no hope for their future.

What are the reasons for this situation? Why is the majority of students facing similar dilemmas? Let's find out.

Passion, Ambition, and Reality:

Rinku, is very creative and has a keen interest in media. He loves to draw, and his brain is blessed with unique imaginations. If cultivated well, he can be a very creative personality maybe he can become an advertising head. But unfortunately, Rinku’s creativity is only limited to making bread spread with smiley faces because that’s the only time he gets away from books.

Apart from a lucky few, who realize their passion, more than 60% of the youth falls in the so-called 'average' category, wherein they are the jack of all trades but master of none i.e. Children do not even know what they are good at, leave behind the question of following their passion. But is it really their fault?

From childhood, everyone is expected to follow the same path, we are made to learn complex integrations, scientific terms with little/no knowledge of the practical world. The result is, youth is puzzled after their graduation who do not know which path to follow, which field to focus on, and thus ending up in preparing for examinations in the hope of a better future.

Absence of career-related Guidance:

Mr. Gupta came for dinner and was having a general conversation with Mr. Sharma.

“Kids should do what they find interest in”.

Unfortunately, Mr. Gupta and many others never helped kids like Rinku in finding the interest but have always ended discussions saying.

“Getting a job is the best options for you, so work hard for competitive examinations”

At a very tender age of 16-17, we are expected to choose our stream (that is crucial for landing us with employment) with no knowledge of how it is going to be.

Career counseling is a vague term, nobody realizes its importance. The result is, many Picassos are brushing on the 310’th page of Physics book and finding it difficult to cope up with engineering, thinking they are not worth it.

The tryst continues, they complete their graduation in a field which might/might not be apt for them, and then follow the rat race for employment.

As a result of vague career counseling, you can easily find students who hate finance as a subject but preparing for Bank PO examinations, because that is what everyone else is doing. The tough competition, the continuous rejections, the peer pressure all these things are taking a toll on the mental health of students as well.

The Small-Town Dream:

Rinku moved out to a bigger city and started preparing for the examinations in a coaching center. It was like a Painter, trying to play baseball with his brush. Rinku was exactly at the wrong place and hence this made him shift towards other habits like alcohol, drugs to cope up with his failure resulting in a dramatic ending to a society driven career counseling.

There is no denying the fact that children from small towns have much less exposure to opportunities and career prospects as compared to their counterparts from big cities.

Government job for most of them is a dream. After graduation, many of them choose the difficult path of preparing for examinations, unaware of their real strengths. Undoubtedly, there are people who make their dream come true, but for those who are not able to do so, life is difficult.

This cobweb of examinations is so fierce that many times students spend 5-6 years focusing on dreams which were nothing but a result of incorrect goal setting. This is a much deeper problem as it appears on the surface.

The Dream Bearers:

Rinku became a PO in a Bank after 5 years of struggle and finally, his parents were very happy and proud of him. He left painting and lead a normal safe life. He was never the same human being, he was not “Rinku” anymore.

There are a few lucky ones who know what they want to do, but they have the responsibility of completing their parent's unfulfilled dreams, and they find themselves juggling between their parent's dream and their reality.

These are some of the dilemmas an average youth of our society faces. Imagine the mindset of a young 22 years old who want to attain big things in life. He/she is burning the midnight oil, trying every little thing possible in this world, but failing to attain his aim, how miserable he/she will be feeling and on top of that people are ready to judge them and compare them with every person who got successful. Is this the kind of society we are aiming to build? Let’s be more welcoming of talents, let’s encourage each other to follow our passion rather than following the crowd, let’s do our small bit in whatever small potential that we can and most importantly let’s identify the “Rinku” in us and make sure we don’t kill his dreams.

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