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What Do You Want To Do?

Dr Navniit Gandhi Monday, November 20, 2023
What Do You Want To Do?

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” - Steve Jobs

Whoever said that life is all about choosing; making decisions, could not have been more correct than all the rest who have attempting understanding or deciphering what life is! Yes, is it not so? Look all around, and we shall see people going through life in millions of different ways; moving at different paces and in different directions and holding on to different rungs of the ladder… And the quality of a life or personal well-being or professional success---if any of it could be measured, shall surely be based on what choices he or she made in his or her life!

Of all the impactful decisions one has to make all throughout on this journey that life is, one crucial decision is: to decide what one ought to be doing, for a livelihood, for the next 40 to 50 years of one’s life. And that too, in a growing and yet, an unstable and uncertain world!

A blessing which the youth enjoy today, is the plethora of choices available to them, both online and offline, in what to study and in what career path to gallop on. The choices available are amazing! And the choices keep expanding incredibly.

Dear Parents, let your child’s education/career not be trophy for you which you want to hold high in society. Education has to be such that learning is fostered seriously and with total joy and passion.

The very fact that a large number of students opt out of conventional courses such as engineering or management after spending a few months or even years and instead enroll themselves in creative courses or prefer business over a regular course---indicates that they were earlier forced to pursue courses held in high esteem by our society. Precious years are often wasted thus. A bright student who scores exceptionally well, when declares that he wants to study psychology or social work or learn languages, is often considered crazy by the family. Even in current times, our young learners are being pressurized, whereas the fact is that there is no need to do so. A child can bloom, wherever planted, provided he or she is determined and passionate about his or her choice.

Emerging Choices:

One very wonderful fact about our world and our present times, is that the scope of converting our hobbies and passions into life-long professional careers, is so very vast!

As for example, if a child likes to play video games, he or she can convert the passion into a successful career with courses in Game Design! Careers range from building an application for a video game to designing graphics and art. If you are smart and witty, and a tech-geek, then Coding could be your choice or App development. One can enjoy a challenging and interesting career as a Multimedia Artist and Animator or a Software Developer or get into Art Direction or Graphic Design or Web Development. Universities worldwide have begun offering courses in AI and ML, for those whose minds seek horizons beyond the regular and traditional options.

If you happen to love sifting through a lot of information and are passionate about mathematics or computers, then one of the most-sought-after jobs, currently and in the years ahead, is analyzing data as a Data Scientist. In the present world, some major wars in the corporate world are all about ‘DATA’!! Be they educational or media institutions or social or commercial or scientific organizations or even governments---all are clamoring for gathering data and are even eager to handsomely reward professionals who can analyze the same as required. The demand for experts who can comprehend, identify and implement data-driven solutions, will surge considerably.

The misuse of data for nefarious and criminal purposes has led to an increase in cyber-fraud and cyber-crime. This has given rise to additional career options such as: Cybersecurity Analyst, Cybersecurity Consultant, Cyber Security Manager/Administrator, Software Developer/Engineer and Systems Engineer.

Were we, (those in 40s and 50s now) this fortunate that we could have a resounding career in sports, and that too, hundreds of options to choose from, and further on--if unsuccessful, could still be connected with the same sport and earn a fantastic livelihood for a lifetime, even if not as a player??? The obvious answer is ‘NO’. Such choices were non-existent even two decades ago. Well, our youngsters are lucky indeed! They can play sports and earn very promising returns and they have a lot of sports/games to choose from. And, even if certain sports have a short life-span (due to which one cannot actively play after mid or late 30s) then they can get into Commentary or Training/Coaching, or Sports Management, or Sports Medicine or Sports Psychology or be in the field as a dietician or as a physio-therapist and so on…

Not only are there hundreds of options in terms of which sport one wants to play, but there are no less options available to those bestowed with managerial skills. The branch of ‘Management’ has dozens of sub-branches or areas of specialization for our young boys and girls. Even if they do not wish to manage commercial entities—they can go for: Sports Management, Hotel Management, Hospital Management, Pharmaceutical Marketing &Management, Event Management, Finance Management, Data Management, CSR Management, Event Management and scores of other options.

We also live in times, when ‘infrastructure’ constitutes the backbone of every economy, and this shall be a consistent trend. All over the world, the need for building and renovating businesses, homes, highways, and flyovers, roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, hospitals, schools and other such infrastructural projects shall increase with every passing year. Large construction projects will need Construction Managers, Civil Engineers, Project Engineers/Managers and many other professionals to get work permits, hire contractors, schedule walkthroughs, handle emergencies, and inform clients about timelines and progress and handle all other aspects of infrastructural development.

Another area/subject which is ruling the roost, worldwide, is Economics, and all careers linked in some way with it—shall certainly call the shots. Whether the conditions in countries or in the realm of diplomatic ties worldwide or conditions in our own lives, it is ‘economics’ that determines the quality, the standing, and in fact, the very future! Equipped with a Masters’ degree in Economics from an academic institution of repute, the following doors can be wide open for the interested: (careers as) Economists, Analysts, Statistician, Editor in-charge of economic affairs in a media house, Stockbroker, Consultant, Finance Manager, Investment Manager, Budget/Data Analyst, Actuarial Scientist, Finance Planner/Analyst, Quantitative Analyst, Civil Services etc.

For careers in the traditional domain such as: Engineering (including Genetic and Bio-medical), Nursing, HR Management, CA, Medical, Advertising &PR, Academics & Research, Counselling, Performing Arts, Marketing, Law, and the like—the number of colleges/universities has witnessed a tremendous boom. There are options available in fee-structures and even in regions/cities wherein one wishes to study.

For everyone, irrespective of economic strata and level of brilliance, there is some or the other good option available. Of course, one must check the credentials of the institutes we choose to study in and also be very sure of what we really want to do in life. One needs to check whether what one is so sure about---is a passion or a passing fad.

Also, if there is confusion in the mind of a young student or there are dilemmas about what may be suitable, there is no dearth of professional counsellors who, with the help of aptitude tests, can guide very well. One should not hesitate in speaking to counsellors or career guidance experts because they have all the info about the large variety in options available these days. They can guide and give info, and even settle the doubts.

Yes, it is now all about choosing wisely. Choosing---as would suit your passions, worldly prospects and your purse!

“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you.” Richard Branson

Navniit Gandhi is an academic since 25+ years; a feature writer (300+ articles), and has authored 10 books. Her 10th and most recently authored, published and launched book is titled: NOT MUCH IS AS IT SEEMS Her write-ups can be read at
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