I wrote about this about a month back (https://renegadex.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/the-importance-of-career-counseling/) and well over the past couple of days I have had various conversations with friends and felt like writing about this again. Career Counseling and the need for exploring / developing more alternative to ‘traditionally acceptable careers in Pakistan’. Both of these are extremely important areas which need to be focused on especially for a developing country like Pakistan. And especially when the job market isn’t exactly thriving.
We have been brought up by a society accustomed to acknowledging careers like Medicine, Law, Management (business, finance, marketing etc), engineering and Chartered Accountancy. And then there are some secondary careers which are Agency (Creative, Media and PR), Journalism (Editor, Reporter, News Anchor). But really apart from the above mentioned can you think of any other career or line of work which would be socially acceptable or completely comfortably acceptable to your family? I would doubt that. And even within the above mentioned there is always skepticism when it comes to the nature of the industry that one is working in or the function. For example when I left banking to join an activation agency a couple of my relatives were really very concerned. Most probably because for them the idea of ‘activation’ was very alien. My point is that resistance is there in terms of being socially acceptable.
I sincerely think that if more careers are presented as an opportunity for people then it will help with unemployment. That of course is also quite largely connected with the kind of investment being made in the country and the creation of jobs but still.
It is good and positive to see that there are some people out there who are making it on their own with entrepreneurial work. The restaurant business has been around for some time along with catering. But more and more people are now getting into photography, make up, fashion, home baking etc. But it isn’t enough. There are so many other things that can be done and so many areas which can be improved and given more weightage and credence as a career. Chefs, journalism, creative people (agency, film makers etc), musicians, artists, sports, Psychologists, counseling, software, social work, development work, teaching, NGO work etc etc.
Another problem in this entire scenario is that people will often choose a career path that might not be perfect for them or match their personality/traits. And trust me it feels absolutely frustrating being stuck in a job with zero motivation or satisfaction. This is where it is important to have career counseling at school level. Before the student actually starts applying to Universities for his/her professional studies. Career Counseling will help kids realize their strengths, interests and inclination. It will guide on how to go about in exploring their options and how to decide. What kind of research they need to do. And what kind of information is important for them to have when coming to a very important decision in their life.
I was having a discussion with my cousin the other day and he was saying it is disheartening to see people working in jobs which aren’t their ‘dream jobs’ and are simply in it for the rat race just like everyone else to ensure Social Status, Financial Security and Livelihood. I think the above things are of grave importance when looking at this aspect of work life.