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Helping Our daughter choose a career

My daughter, aged 17 is different from other kids of her age. Wait a minute. This is something almost every parent thinks about her child.

We had to decide a career that suits our daughter’s personality and yet a career that assures her a prosperous career. We were all the while comparing current market trends and factors . The competition is increasing. Simple and standard qualifications do not work anymore. The skilling is all the more important unlike the mangerial positions that we managed to get into. Foreseeing the future, we felt powerless and confused. And all of this on behalf of our daughter who is still oblivious.

She passed out of secondary school earlier this year. She is still 16 months away from clearing her higher secondary board exams. Then, she may have to seek admission in a college and course of her choice. But we have started now. This may not be too early given the fact that parents in India make their kids undergo preparation 3-4 years in advance.

Her subjects are economics, sociology, psychology, computer programming, and drawing. Till last week, my wife searched for international courses in design. But since we want to avoid raising a loan, we are now searching for the best colleges in India. It is going to be tough given limited seats at good colleges. We are not aiming to let our daughter put additional efforts than what she does now. We do not want to break her rhythm of learning which is slow and steady without the rush. Our idea of learning for our daughter may be utopian, so be it.

I was assigned the task by my wife to help decide on a field of specialization. She did not want to waste time searching aimlessly and overthinking. “One learns with experience and with consistent efforts spread over a decade. I was not a finance wizard when I chose finance as a specialisation in MBA and neither were you as a psychology student.” My words sounded well rehearsed as if I had complete clarity about what was to be done from day one. But no, this was impromptu and instant. This cleared my doubts as well. Why were we overthinking all the while and complicating the decision process.

My wife seems convinced. As a student I was not very studious and neither was I sure of what was to be done to build a career for myeelf. For me, it was getting into the best management college. Graduates from premier colleges may have a headstart but a couple of decades ahead the advantage is almost offset. In mid-career success takes a more complete meaning including the feeling of happiness, healthiness, family life, friend circle, respect, and acknowledgement.

These are still early days and our decision may evolve giving away some of the utopian thoughts when the time to make the final decision nears. Till then, the clarity existing today gives us a peace of mind.

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