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Why career counselling may not be helpful to you

It is evident that there’s a whole industry based on making money by selling people the idea that there is a perfect career out there which will not only satisfy them financially but they will also love doing that work for the rest of their lives. Now may be their hearts are in the right place, but it is too good to be true and the whole truth is not being revealed to you. Here’s why….

Can anybody truly be passionate about a job?

Many times we get advertisements saying that they can help people find careers that they are passionate about, can excel at and that they love doing. But is doing a job/business really the ultimate goal of life? Is it really the thing that matters the most?
The truth is that no matter how passionate you are about a particular career or industry, it cannot be the sole purpose of your life. To live a fulfilled life you need to take care of all areas of life like family, friends, recreation, spirituality etc. If you choose a job that does not pay you well, you may have financial problems. And if you choose something that is hectic your personal life will suffer. So choosing a career that allows you to live a balanced life, where you can spare time and money for other things that you care about is essential.

Money is an important factor to consider

I’m not saying it’s THE most important thing but let’s be honest here, everyone needs money to survive.
We all have a responsibility to provide for ourselves and our family and sometimes we can’t be selfish enough to follow our passion especially if it is not a well paying avenue. It may please us professionally but not being able to take care of other priorities is going to be a big downer.
Thus get to know what works for you depending on your circumstances and make a decision accordingly.
Doing a job just for the money if the working conditions are good and you are earning ethically and at peace with what you do is not at all a bad thing. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, in fact it is respectable and honorable thing to do. Let no one tell you otherwise.

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You’ve probably heard their advice before…

The career counsellors give you advice based on the data that they collect through the aptitude test and other details that you reveal to them. The advice can be very predictable if the counsellor is not seasoned.
Those who are thinking about which college degree to choose or which job to apply for and already have narrowed it down to a few options can go for it but it may not be too helpful for those who have no idea of what lies ahead of them.
There is no room for what if’s here as the counsellor has met you 30 minutes ago and has barely scratched the surface of who you are. Expecting them to accurately guide you is cruel.

Passion is a feeling, not a lifelong plan

The first time I heard this in the Ted Talk by Terri Trespicio I was dumbfounded. Social media is filled with people telling us passion is everything. And if you do not find said passion then you will be miserable! 
The truth is passion is not something that can be constant forever. It may come and go and it can change anytime like any other feeling. Yes, you may be very excited about a particular industry or job, but there is also a possibility that you may change your mind sometime along the way. And this may be hard to hear (or read) but no one can help you “find” your passion. It’s a feeling and you’ll know when it’s there and when it’s not. So solely depending on feelings while making any choice is never the best thing to do. Trust your gut over anything anyone tells you.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on

How can you make your career choice then?

Well, the best way is to keep an open mind. It is to know that you are a multi-faceted human being and it is not right to confine you to one career or path. It’s quite okay to move around a bit and keep looking till you find something you like. Look around and seek inspiration from the mentors in your field. I’m sure they can help change things.
And remember that nothing in life comes without risk, there is no guarantee that what we do will bring good results. All we can do is be practical and give our best and leave the rest to God.
Even if you do all the research in the world and self exploration and you may still end up hating your chosen job. And that’s okay, everyone has those days where they don’t feel driven enough or excited about their day. Sometimes you might have to push through to feel good again and other times you might have to make a tough choice to move on.

Don’t get me wrong, career guidance does work for some people. Probably those who have already done some self exploration and are confused between some options or those who want to see what’s out there for them with their existing skill set. And if you do choose to go for it, be as honest as possible and ponder on their advice. But the ultimate decision has to be yours and yours only.

But if you are someone who did not try their hand at a lot of things before and have no idea what you want to do, I suggest taking a paper and writing down things that you wanted to explore but never tried for some reason. They don’t have to be career oriented – they could be very random from making a portrait to going on a solo trip! The important thing is to take action. You would be amazed at where it would take you.

Happy exploring!


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