It’s OKAY to be CONFUSED about your CAREER

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.” – Wendell Berry

Career Selection can be daunting & a time-consuming task. Few individuals get it in the first go while most of us struggle for years deciding in which direction to move. For some, it’s a never-ending task of trial and error.

Career Confusion can happen at any age. It may start during childhood when everyone tells us we can be what we want and later they shatter our dreams by saying, being a Magician or a Rockstar isn’t a concrete career. One can even be confused at a later stage in life and may also want to change the direction but is petrified.

My personal career panic started in high school when all my friends started to apply to colleges and I sat clueless wondering what I wanted to be. I had few options in mind but had no clue of the desired courses. It is then that I started to reach out to people who were in the same profession which I desired. Talking to professionals helped me in gaining insight into the careers of my choice. It was a grim & protracted mission to reach out to professionals and ask for their guidance.

It’s taken time, but I now realize that feeling confused about your career path is normal at any age. When I work with students or talk to my younger sister, their career questions normally come with a dose of panic and the question: “What are the best careers for me?”

My response is always the same: It is okay to be confused. No one has it all figured out. Believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

I’ve had the privilege of working with plentiful young minds wobble under the weight of career expectations both from self and others. Pressure from parents, peers, teachers, educational system, and society can make the most strong & healthy mind run for cover.

Ever wondered what could be the reasons for CAREER CONFUSION –

  1. Parental Pressure:  Parents often start imposing their dream onto their child & some even expect their child to follow the family’s career legacy. This leaves the child baffled.
  1. Peer Pressure: Teenagers often make a career choice depending on what their friends are opting for. In order to blend in with the crown, they may end up choosing a career which they aren’t interested in.
  1. Lack of Confidence: A lack of belief and confidence in themselves to choose their own path can be very debilitating.
  1. Lack of knowledge/Guidance: Insufficient knowledge about careers and its future prospects can be upsetting.
  1. Too many choices: Students have so many options to choose from; they should be careful and should think about their interest in that particular area.

Being confused is not a bad thing, it shows that you are trying to figure out what you want. Confusion is referred to as an epistemic emotion, that is, an emotion specifically associated with the development of our knowledge and understanding. So the confusion is likely to benefit learning under specific conditions: when it’s related to the material you’re trying to understand, and when you have the necessary support to work through the confusion — whether that support comes from your own skills and prior knowledge or from other people or resources.

Divya Sachdeva
Associate Manager: Career and Guidance Cell


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