As a career counselor, I come across people from all walks of life and cross section of society. My job involves interaction with students as well as their parents. At times, the nature of this interaction also includes uncles and aunts living in faraway lands. When a child is completes schooling and is done with class 12th exams, everyone proffers opinion about what to do and what not to. Suggestions are usually based on our past experiences.
These days, there is a twist in the tale, so to speak. It lies in the ubiquity and use of social media which plays significant role in our decision making. This bombardment of information from multiple sources, of social media network platforms including Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, has lead to confusion. When we have to make a choice and the options are millions, it is bound to consume more time to explore all. Decision making therefore has become a tedious task.
Coming back to career counseling, and the topic I have chosen to discuss “The sense of Earning”, I will pose an essential question: when will we have a sense of earning? It is, however, important to discuss decision making before this issue can be put into perspective.
What is the primary purpose of our education? Is it to get a degree? How many of our students are prepared to do a job after completion of a degree? Do they really have a “ sense of earning” in mind?
Till now, I have seen that not many students from this part of the world think along these lines. The reason is that nobody told them. They go on studying from class to class, exams after exams and degree after degree. When they realize that they have to earn also, it is very late. By that time, their parents are retired, and they themselves are of marriageable age.
The larger question is: Who is responsible for this sort of delay in decision making?
The answer to this is: we, collectively, as a society. We have been blessed, to have better income. This blessing has disabled us in inculcating a sense of earning among our own children. Things cannot move as they are. There cannot be good times perpetually. Change is the only rule of world; everything, every time keeps changing and there are no set parameters. Nothing is predictable in life. Who are we leaving our kids to fend? Will our relatives come to rescue them from the calamity that may befall? No, they won’t because they have their own families and their own involvements.
It is for us to create a sense of responsibility, and ask our children to set goals, cherish them when they get their degree, get their first job, or start their own business. My suggestion is: Do away with studies as soon as possible, and develop sense of earning as early as possible. Unemployment is curse but it is not our government upon who the blame squarely falls. It is me, as an individual, we as a society.
Let us develop a sense of earning from our school age, encourage students to work part time during studies in college; let them toil a bit, let them feel little angry. It is for them. Send less money if your children are studying outside the state or abroad. Don’t fulfill all the wishes of your children by purchasing the latest gadget, the latest cellphones in the market. Let them work for it; earn it. They will take outmost care of it once they purchase their own gadgets, bikes, cars from their own earnings. It will also prevent them from becoming egoistic and arrogant, understand value for money and have compassion.
It will be a very important and urgent exercise and the outcome will be that your wards and children will already be independent and ready to be interdependent.
The author is a career counsellor and an advocate at J&K High Court, Srinagar. He can be reached at: [email protected]