By Zara Maqbool
In my 40th year I can proudly say I have a professional career that seems like the best choice for me. A career that I feel deeply connected to and simply put, “I have found my calling!” Starting with science subjects because our school didn’t offer any other choice, going into medical was what was expected of me, until I had multiple ‘taare zameen per’ moments and getting bad grades I was allowed to have subjects of my choice in college.
Happily studying psychology for four years I wanted to become a psychologist but having limited knowledge of the field, it was concluded that I would only work with people with severe mental disorders and that would not be a safe choice for a girl. Thus I ended up doing a masters in mass communication which did resonate with my greatly and encouraged by my tutors I realized I had potential to write. But to be honest, freelancing all these years though made me happy, still left a vacuum, which I had no idea how to fill. I wasn’t taken seriously and doing a few odd part time jobs it was okay to quit them and follow my husband’s career path as we moved from one place to another.
Until I came across Therapy Works which gave me an opportunity to become a counselor and today as I finished my 100 training hours I feel like I have finally come home!
There are very few schools that offer career counseling in school. Most of us just float through the system following our parents’ dreams many a times and very few of us are allowed the space to do what we truly enjoy. We hardly get the opportunity to find out where our true interest lies or what career would suit our personality best. Unfortunately education in private schools is pretty average too when compared to international schools where the system works at facilitating the academic strengths but not many students find out if there is an artist or singer hidden in them.
My husband for example after many years had the guts to leave the corporate world and start his own business that was met by lot of apprehension and anxiety by the family including me. Now I feel differently and proud of him to have the guts to do what he really likes.
I realized after my own experience that basically we don’t know what our real passion is and that’s why we lead mundane lives making money and creating a life that might give us all the apparent comforts but might not make us truly happy. But then many of us don’t even question what we are doing as we are taught not to be self-aware or question the ordinary.
So what’s stopping us from switching gears now? Lets give ourselves time to sit and reflect on what has always fascinated us maybe since we were kids. Maybe its time we start ignoring the symptoms and risk involved in exploring those options. We all keep saying oh we only get one life but in the name of family social pressures we feel the impossible can never be possible. In reality like the famous Shah Rukh khan dialogue, “ Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho … toh poori kaynaat usse tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai…”
We should have faith in our children and that will lead to them having faith in themselves. If we don’t want them to have a poor sense of self we need to let them find their own direction in life. I am not saying as parents or teachers we don’t give them a positive self-structure but we should focus on getting them wings to fly but not decide the direction for them!