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Students at Career Cross Roads



By: Aanchal Cheema

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth”

These lines by Robert Frost well describe the state of mind almost every single individual has while choosing a career for himself/herself. Or so to say, it’s a ‘Career Cross Road’!

Career, a question we all might have asked ourselves at some point in our lives; a question, whose answer was very clear to us as a child; a question, whose answer keeps getting vaguer as we start coming closer to taking the decision that would shape our entire life.

But, why does this happen?

Does the dream that we once saw for ourself, not seem to be relevant anymore? Does the fear of failure force us to take a step back? Do the voices around us tell us that we’re doing something wrong? Do the initial failures indicate that maybe, this is not meant for us? Or, are we simply helpless in front of our situations?

Whatever the reason might be, we sometimes find ourself standing at a career cross road. We also think that these career options match our interests, aptitude, attitude, and in some cases, what we feel fit the societal norms of what one should do or become in life.

Whenever we take an important decision , we usually consider others’ opinion like what our parents want us to become or what our teachers and well-wishers think we can excel at. We also try to choose a career option that can be pursued with the existing financial support. A career that provides us with good salary structure and gives a reason to wake up every morning.

To put it in one word, our Ikigai, a Japanese concept, that means “reason for being”. And the day we find our Ikigai, is when every string from the past connects, we get a reason to live, strength to fulfill our dreams, and an ambition to succeed. Maybe, there’s a star, undiscovered by the rest of us, simply because it is meant for you to discover, and use its light to illuminate the lives of those in darkness. And if you’re someone standing at a career cross road, worried and petrified, and looking for an answer – then you will have to identify and search for that answer. Block the external noises for a bit, and let your wings open up to fly high in the sky.

In the end, I’d like to quote a few lines from Iqbal’s couplet,
“ Tu shaheen hai parwaz hai kaam tera,
Tere saamne aasman aur bhi hai.

(You are a falcon. Soaring high is your nature. There are skies yet for you to conquer)

The Musical Interview with Anamika Jha