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Career Confusion and Influences

8 April 2008 8 Comments

Trinadh (Name Changed) is a B Tech degree holder from one the prestigious institutes of India.
He wanted to pursue his higher education at different points of time. A number of factors influenced his career decisions. He wanted to share it with CWS readers. Trinadh wants the students to diffentiate between temporary interests and real passion.

* When Trinadh was studying in college, he had a great teacher Mrs. Latha. She handled a course which he really enjoyed. He wanted to pursue masters in that subject. But today, he feels that he probably wouldnt have enjoyed that subject. Great teachers play a significant role. They can change even a boring subject which you dont like to something that you want to pursue your masters or phd.

* Trinadh also had very bad lecturer Mr Maran. He hated Maran and his subject fully. He decided that he would never touch that subject again in his life. But, today he feels that he would have loved that subject. Bad teachers come in your way as well. Students might actually love a subject or an area, but a bad foundation will prevent them from pursuing their passion.

* Trinadhs close friends were very keen on studying networks. But he was more interested in theory. When they applied for internship, he to apply for networks because he didnt want to feel left out. When you are in a group of friends, you tend to stick to the group. This might not be your real interest.

* Trinadh got a fellowship for doing research. He got a great guide. He was in awe about the great person. He wanted to be like his guide. He subconsiously was emulating his guide – right from his accents to mannerisms. Trinadh wanted to research in networks (like his guide). A project guide can have a compelling influence you. You would feel like emulating your guide, especially the first one. Although this might not be your real interest.

* Trinadh was hell bent on studying further. He consulted a lot of seniors to find out the various exams. All the seniors advised him to take up GRE. They also gave him a barrons book to start preparing. Mugging up of those 3500 words didnt seem very attractive for trinadh. He kept postponing his preparation. He even postponed his exam dates a couple of times. He finally cancelled it. The intimidating process of GRE and mugging up of words stopped him from pursuing his interests. Today he feels that he has a done a big mistake by not taking up the exam. If you have to pursue your goals, you have to go through stages where you are not comfortable. Dont give up!

* The only other option for pursuing technical education was GATE. He wrote GATE and cracked it big time. Trinadh got 2nd rank all India. He was more or less sure of joining. But in the placement season, he got placed in a very high paying job. Since, GATE had 2 years validity, he thought he would take up the job. Money talks.. Even before it reaches your hands. It distracted him from pursuing his interest.

* After 1 year at work, Trinadh decided to stick to work. His argument was, “I am already in a good place. After 2 years, I will still get into the same place and earn the same money. So why waste 2 years. Instead, I can focus on getting a promotion at work place.” Money becomes a very big stumbling block when it comes to career decisions.

* During his work, Trinadh was really excited by the work of his manager. His manager was his inspiration. Trinadh wanted to be like him. Just like how the professor influenced him, Trinadh’s manager was also influencing him the same way. His manager had an MBA and Trinadh already started thinking about it! The MBA bug bit him and he joined CAT classes.

* All along, there was another factor which Trinadh had ignored completely. Trinadh had a girl friend in college. It was time for her marriage and there was a lot of pressure from her end to stop worrying about all these careers and focus on the relationship. Trinadh decided marry her. He thought he can focus on international MBA after 3 or 4 years.

* Well, once he was married, Trinadh had so many commitments that he could never focus on his MBA.

A lot of these incidents are very common in the lives of the people. Say, your professor inspired you to pursue a Phd, great! If a great teacher was a trigger to find your passion, its great! Go ahead! But there are a number of distractions, which create temporary *interests* in you. Be careful, when you tread them. This is the message which Trinadh wants to convey to you! All the best to you in whatever you do!

Originally found at http://coffeewithsundar.com




  • Chethan said:

    There was never a time when ‘Trinadh’ asked himself what he wanted in life (except the marriage i guess !!). All along he looked only at Ms. Latha, Mr. Maran, Friends, seniors and Manager for telling him what he really wants !! Verry Ironical but very true for most of us. Inspite of getting good things in life, we really dont know what we want !!

    However my only suggestion to ‘Trinadh’ is to do the best wherever he is (including his personal life) and my only solace for him is that he is not alone in this boat of career confusions..

  • admin (author) said:

    Well said chethan..

    Thats the purpose of the post.. So that ppl can realize that this will happen.. if they dont take conscious decisions..

  • Aditya Kulkarni said:

    It seems to me that your friend has a commitment problem more than anything else. Even if you are passionate about something, there will always be a time when you get screwed. Unless you are committed and power through the problem, you’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    There will always be an excuse for why you can’t do something. The real question is can you overcome the excuse?

  • rohit m r said:

    This a brilliant work sundar.Its such a thought provoker and at the same time an eye opener to many. Though many are caught in this kind of situations in life, they refrain from soul searching,discussions and counseling only to end up repenting. This is a succinct and organized piece of work for it analyzes complicated thought processes and convert them into simple solvable daily problems.

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    @ aditya,

    You can remain committed if you have found an interest.. If interest keeps changing.. it is difficult.. And the goal is to show how interests keep changing and what are the factors that affect it..

    @ rohit mr,
    Thanks a lot.. Spread the word to others

  • Prashant said:

    Good post which explains the common situations which ppl
    confront. As Chetan said pursuing our passion will definitely be much different than pursuing a temp interest.
    Life is short, life it as you want it, not how others want it. 🙂 My 2 cents

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    Thanks Prashant for your 2 cents!

  • Shashank said:

    I might be late at this.. but I found this really interesting and it seems to me that this happens with almost everyone… I feel that Trinadh should ask himself a question: Whether he enjoyed when he was sailing in different boats? If the answer is yes then i would say trinadh should forget about everything else and look for whatever he is enjoying no matter how many twists come in his life.. I don’t know much about love and would say that committment and responsibility is a totally different phase of life and Trinadh might not enjoy it as he believes in changes..
    If trinadh says ‘no’ to the question above, then I would say that from trinadh’s activities it looks that Trinadh always looked for a better future and I think he has achieved that and marrying would be a right option for him if Trinadh feels that he has a convincing present.