Choosing careers today – Twisted it gets!!

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(added few years ago!)

Dreams, passions, aspirations – These things are getting increasingly vague day by day. A kid, from the very start,  decides what his dreams are, what he wishes to become, what his ideal profession is; after a few years, the same kid decides to pursue a completely different career. And surprisingly, no one cares to take a peek inside his young mind, that, so out of nowhere, changed miraculously. Society’s preferences , regard for parents’ wishes, increasingly huge number of professions (with engineers and doctors undoubtedly being the ones that still dominate), competition with the peers, are few of the various influential factors that I would like to highlight here! So let’s take a glimpse at what the circumstances might be, when one is  considering the options for choosing ones’ career, not forgetting it’s Pakistan we are talking about.

Being a girl, I myself had to go through pretty tough choices, to finally get through with my passion of doing dentistry. At around 14 years of age, I chose dentistry as my passion. As I grew up, in a span of two years,I developed an equal interest in Math and Biology and with a wide range of awaiting A level subjects, it all made me really confused. My mind sort of inclined towards  accounting instead. A leading cause was a few of my family members whom I started idolizing, and a few who made me see CA as a way better career than BDS. Well,however, I did manage to make my decision in the end of course. But the point here is that family had an influence, that played with my mind for about three to four months. It was quite torment in itself!

A girl has to face different hurdles in making such choices. I know of one whose father had issues paying for the expensive course of study in a career she wished to pursue, although 3 years later he paid the same amount of money for her younger brother. Yes, you can smell the discrimination here. Another had parents with quite an eastern mind-set, who went all the way to the future, telling her that she’s going to have an 8 a.m to 5  p.m office job, with men all around if she chooses that career and all that is surely going to create problems in her to-be married life in the next 6 or 7 years’ time. Another example is somebody who is now married. She topped in college but couldn’t pursue medicine because her ’fatherly’ brother thought hostel life isn’t safe for a girl. And hence, a girl’s dreams just got crushed to pieces. And she had to choose teaching as a career instead.

A boy if it is, I have a few very perfect examples. A colleague of mine who got admission in dentistry last year had a dangerously severe passion for Pakistan air force. Last year he didn’t get selected but after a year in BDS and repeating the entrance test for air force again this year, he did get selected. But here friends, this young guy passed weeks in despair because his mother’s love was playing with his mind again. Even though it was his passion and even though it was the best he could ever get, he still had to go for ‘istikharas’ and an enormous load of discussions with whomever he could get hold of. So, you can see a simple choice made so complicated here, because of an influence of the parents ,who of course wanted the boy to stay in a field where he could stay closer to home. Can’t blame anyone here. It’s just how it is meant to be in Pakistan.

Another example is a guy who got into GIKI which is a prestigious university. But just because he got into CS instead of an engineering field, and also because he had a cousin of same age who got into UET in engineering, his father kept going on and on fussing about which is better in front of him and a good number of his colleagues and family members. Well, I don’t know about others but that guy really didn’t like being discussed all over again every other day even 2 months after his classes had started. So you see here fellows, engineering had been, is now, and maybe always will stay one of the two basic professions parents love to see their children in JUST because they have decided not to move on and see the world of new professions and fields.

So you see the problem here is that such varsity of fields have now come into light, that young kids are having a difficult time choosing what they want. Choosing BDS over MBBS, choosing City and Town Planning over Architecture, choosing CS over Computer engineering, choosing pharmacy, fashion designing, aeronautical engineering are a few very popular examples. They just can’t decide how to take care of their parents’ regards and their society’s preferences. Pakistan really needs to move on from the doctor, engineer, army triad and step forward into fields that might be more promising to this country. Also, the pressures from families, the pressures of being a boy or a girl having different responsibilities and levels of significance here in Pakistan are also making things difficult for the young generation who finds themselves bound by these customs.

All of these complexities can somehow be managed, by going to various career counselors, by attending awareness seminars, by making their minds clear even before time. Moreover, Parents should try and minimize pressurizing their children and take time to understand what their children want and what they are best at, rather than imposing what they consider to be right. I am not saying parents don’t have a right over decision making but they should at least let their children breathe as well. Lets just hope we produce a better nation let alone an army of “Pressure Driven deprived set of individuals!!

Blog post Written by Rabeea Rathore and You can visit the original article at

Tags : dreams, professions, careers, engineers, doctors, competition, Pakistan

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(added few years ago!) / 2076 views

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