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Choosing a Friend for Life

The first few years of life spent at school towards a good education while we learn to socialize, make friends and aspire for good grades, all leads towards a question that most of dread! What next?

While we learn, understand and acquire knowledge, the whole schooling process slowly and steadily prepares us for our future career.

Some know early on exactly what it is that they want to be while many others struggle with this question and the path to take among the hundreds of careers options available.

So how does one make a career choice when you really don’t know what you want to do? Let’s first take a deep breath and relax, because the answer lies within you.

Listed below are simple steps we suggest before you take the leap!


 

  1. I, Me, Myself!

Before making any choice in life including your career, you have to get to know and understand yourself. What are the prominent strengths that you can build and leverage along with a list of your weaknesses? We suggest you spend some time making this list while you answer these questions for yourself.

  • What interests me the most?
  • When do I feel the most happy and excited?
  • Which subjects in school excite me and make me think creatively?
  • What are my values, interests and skills along with other personality traits (like patience, hardworking, diligence) that make me stand out in school?

 

  1. There’s no rush

There is immense pressure on young people to choose a career instantly, or have clarity on what they want to do after high school. DON’T decide until you feel you’re ready to take the plunge. A career choice is more than choosing a job; or following the new trend in the market.

It is about the rest of your life and the work that you will contribute to society.

If you are unsure, we suggest you take some time off for a month or two or even a year if you have to. Discover yourself, find out what you’re good at and then make the right choice.

  1. Pandora’s Box

The phase of knowing yourself should be followed by the research phase. It is important to match your competencies, strengths and interest with a career.

During the research phase list out all the career options that would be suitable for you. You can reach out to a teacher, mentor, parent and/or sibling to help guide you in the right direction. Try and reach a list of 10 possible careers and then research and read more about these careers.

  1. Reach Out

There is no better way to knowing about a career, than through professionals who have spent a large part of their lives in those careers. Reach out to the people who work in your desired career fields. They can be a great source of information as they a have firsthand knowledge of what this occupation is all about. Ask questions such as: what are the downsides to this job? Do you still enjoy working here after so many years? Do you like the work you’re doing? Make a list of all your questions before you set up this meet.

  1. Experience it!

A great way to dive further into a career is internships and volunteering.

Considering a career in advertising? Then how about taking up an internships in an ad agency! Experience like these will help you get an understand of the working conditions of the organizations through observation of professionals, their style of work, pressures at work and the creativity involved with being an ad professional. Ask your parent/friends for internship opportunities. Portals like www.internships.com, are also great places to look for such opportunities.

 

 

 

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Experiencing Career Leap

A Kit for your Career!

Did you ever think a compact kit was all you needed to help you choose a career? With the Career Leap Kit you really can get a head start towards your future career. This extraordinary kit consists of just seven activities to engage students in a fun and creative way all the while leading them to their ultimate goal—an informed career choice.

Read the interview with Shrinkhal Sharad who experienced the Leap kit first hand.

 

  • What was your first reaction on opening the Career Leap Kit?

My first reaction to the kit was ‘wow’ this seems really exciting. This was because of the all various activities and tools linked to each other you see once you open the kit. All the things inside peaked my interest and made me curious as to what was coming next.

  • What do you think makes Leap different and How does it standout from other career choosing platforms?

I feel what makes this kit unique is that it is the first of its kind in India. I have never seen or heard about anything like this before—a career kit, which helps you to decide your career. Apart from this the kind of activities the kit has helps individuals to brainstorm around different areas. For example some activities check your logical aptitude while others check your spatial reasoning. So it encompasses different thinking skills under one kit and helps students figure out what they are good at.

  • What insights about yourself did you get when doing the activities?

The insight that this kit gave me was that my logical reasoning is my strongest suit. I realized this because the activities involving logical reasoning and aptitude attracted my attention. Once I got involved with the Investigator kit, I could not let it go until I got all the answers and completed the challenges, making it really engaging for me.

  • Which was the best activity among the seven kits and why?

According to me the best out of the seven was the catapult activity within the Maker kit. This was because completing this activity demanded a whole bunch of attributes like your patience level, your accuracy, logical reasoning. It also checked if one is persistent and accurate enough or not. During the activity I was forced to think out of the box and make improvisations when something was not working in a particular step —here again critical thinking was required from my end.

  • Why do you think this is an innovative way to to make informed career choice?

Well firstly because it is not following the conventional form of learning or assessment where teachers give us something to go through and then access the students based on what they just mugged up and reproduced on the paper. There the kids are rarely interested, as they are not given an opportunity to logically reason and think. Also each of these activities are very engaging along with being creative in their own ways so it will feel more like a fun game than a boring assessment test.

  • How can Career Leap help students in making an informed career choice?

Since this kit has a variety of activities checking different attributes and competencies, students will be able to figure out where their interests lie, in which area they are stronger and get a sense of what they are good at. The kit checks for skills and attributes required to complete tasks before giving them a report on their overall attributes. For example whether their logical reasoning was good or their musical ability and the engaging nature makes the process fun too. Along with the report, the experience is very insightful.

 

Interviewed and Written by Ria Dutta

 

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Choices

Career decision-making is a life altering moment in the life of an individual. The choices we make at this crossroad determine our chances of success and eventually impact our happiness. Through the choices we make, we hope to impact people and contribute to society.

While choosing a career it is imperative to realize that you will be spending the next few years pursing an education that will help you transition into the professional world. Hence it is important to ask yourself the question, whether this career choice will

a.) Bring you professional happiness and b.) Personal fulfillment.

Passion may seem an odd word choice when paired with career, but rest assured that one of the most important elements of personal happiness is being passionate about your career and your job. You do not want to be one of those people who live for the weekends and dread Sunday evenings. Life is too short to not love the work you do.

Will you love your work and your career as much as your passion for other things and people? Why not? It is completely possible to not only find the career that is a perfect match for your skills and interests, but one that also inspires you and fuels your desire to perform better, work harder.

Decision = Strengths + INTEREST+ PASSION

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Parental View

The choice of career for your child is a crucial question in the mind of every parent. As a parent you want your child to find happiness and success in life and a major factor which influences this is career choice. Research also indicates that when students feel supported and loved by their parents, they have more confidence in their own ability to research careers and choose a career that would be interesting and exciting. This is important because studies show that adolescents who feel competent regarding career decision-making, tend to make more satisfying career choices later in life. Parents influence the level of education or training their children achieve; the knowledge about work and different occupations; the beliefs and attitudes to work; and the motivation to succeed impact their choices. Most of this is learned unconsciously – children and teenagers absorb their parent’s attitudes and expectations of them as they grow up.

Some of the key influences are:

  • The expectations parents have for their children’s education and career.
  • The example they set for their children.
  • The values they display to their family, friends and to society.
  • The opportunities they offer their children to learn and develop.
  • The kind of parent-child relationship they develop

Choosing a career is an extremely important decision that impacts an individual’s entire future, and can be stressful. It is important to stay positive otherwise it can become a stressful time for all involved. Parents unwittingly can make the past seem perfect and the future terrifying. As a parent you should guard against shooting down ideas your children may have about their future careers. If you react negatively, it may shut down the whole exploration process. You also need to keep the lines of communication open, and encourage your child to gather as much information as possible on career interest areas. A parent must recognize that their role is simply to act as a facilitator in their child’s career journey allowing independent career choices to mark a young persons first step into adulthood.

Tips to help your child’s career development:

  • Encourage your children to get as much education as possible.
  • Help them to discover their innate talents and skills.
  • Develop their knowledge of the world of work.
  • Teach them decision- making skills.
  • Become aware of career resources/ education and training opportunities.
  • Observe the effects of work experience.

 

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Experiential Learning

Humans are unique from other living organisms in their capability to not just adapt to some physical form or skill but also in the identification with the process of adaption itself or the process of learning. We are a learning species and our survival depends on our ability to adapt and learn.

People learn from their experiences and this technique is finding application today in classroom learning and curriculum of undergraduate and professional programs.
In the long history of learning, learning through experiences has been implemented and developed by pioneer educators with the sole objective of improving learning environments.

From Jean Jacques Rousseau* (1712-1778) who made waves when he published “Emile”, or “On Education” that celebrated the natural abilities of the child and the importance of allowing children to develop freely in nature, to Swiss epistemologist Jean Piaget who developed the theory commonly known today as constructivism, numerous audacious educators have contributed to this ever developing pedagogy.

This engaging form of learning uses dynamic experiences as a learning tool and is based on the premise that an experiences followed by reflection leave a strong kinesthetic imprint on the learner. A creative and engaging method of learning, it can be adapted by different kinds of learners ranging from children to adults.

the truth is that no matter how much you read or hear about a subject, there is no substitute for experiencing anything firsthand, and since every individual comes with their own skills, interests and personalities, the learning each one takes back is just as unique.

So next time you get an opportunity to experience something, grab at at it and make the most of the learning you can derive from it.

And if you want to learn something new, ask yourself how can you participate in an experience that will help you learn more about it. Whether it is a cultural event, scientific concept or painting technique, experiences are waiting for you out there.

The same principle can also be applied to understanding careers. Visit a hospital and observe the healthcare professionals toiling and serving people. Can you imagine yourself spending your days like them? Would you enjoy this kind of work and would you take pride in it?

Repeat this exercise with different professional environments. We recommend this to every student looking to make that important career choice. If you are truly interested you will find many adults waiting to help you explore their work environment.