Can you actually decide what profession you would like to pursue after senior secondary school? Engineering and medicine seem to be the trend for ‘good’ performers. Again, people may say many things but this is what seems to be more practical. Even if you want to be a singer or a dancer, a BE or MBBS at least ensures some minimum level of the quality of life that you can lead. Some philosophers criticize that earning more money has become the criteria for choosing professions. To some extent, they are right because money is ONE of the important things necessary in this capitalistic world. To read more about why we should earn more money, read my article “Should we earn more and more money?“but money is not the ONLY thing necessary for a happy life.
Depending on your past (economic and cultural conditions of your family), you tend to have certain preferences for a ‘way of life’. You choose professions that you feel will provide you with this ‘way of life’. Maslow has propounded a very good theory known as ‘Hierarchy of needs‘ to explain the source of motivation for individuals. Simply put, people who do not even have money for their food will not think about job ‘satisfaction’.
With a ‘good’ common entrance exam rank, I was faced with a dilemma of choosing either engineering or medicine but decided to go for engineering as I thought medicine is a profession where earning money should not be objective. You also have to restrict your personal aspirations of traveling, etc as more and more patients depend upon you for their treatment. Well, I do not intend to belittle my medico friends who do not have such utopian preconditions. I am just speaking my mind.
Though I was not aware of Maslow’s theory, I always aspired for a job that gave me ‘enough’ money, satisfaction and freedom. Again, I did not want to end up in a place where people hire and fire at their will. ‘Tu nahin to koi aur sahi’ attitude of either the employee or the employer does not make a ‘good’ workplace. This is where I would like to advise my younger friends to make themselves worthy enough so that they can ‘market’ themselves well.
I am yet to unravel this mystery of how to choose professions but some of my observations are as follows. Human economic activities are broadly categorized as primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary and quinary. For example, agriculture is a primary occupation, industrial workers belong to secondary sector, software engineers belong to tertiary sector, teachers belong to quaternary sector and MD, CEO, secretary, etc belong to the quinary sector. Money, satisfaction, power and leadership opportunities seem to be more and more balanced as you move from primary to quinary as per my observation.
I am right now in the quaternary sector. Trying hard to migrate to the quinary sector 🙂