A Career Made With Passion

The conversations always touch down on studies, when two mothers get to gossip.  And the preposterous assumption was that my daughter will take up the Science group, since I am an Engineer.

“Is your daughter doing well in Science??”   “How’s her score in Science??”   “If she’s doing well and getting good scores, then she should take up the Science group in her 11th class” – I was baffled.

First, does doing well in Science justify taking up the Science group? This is a career choice and I want my daughter to choose what she wants to do. I didn’t want some body to be telling me what my daughter ought to do.

This mentality among people, who hold on to Engineering or a Medicine career needs a sea change, for they aren’t  the only career options available around for children to choose.

For a change, how about thinking on the terms of “Passion”?

What does your child feel passionately about? Drawing? Trekking? Clicking pictures? Story-telling? Cartooning? You can make a career out of it, if the passion is strong enough.

I’ve seen in many households, how parents push their children to attend extra tuition classes for Science and Maths, so that they could take up Engineering in college and live the dream of the parents.

My simple question to them is “What about the dream of that child?

By the time the boy / girl realizes that this is not what they want to do in life, many precious years would have gone by. And then they feel miserable in the career choice they made, pressurized by parents.

After all, what life is this, if you can’t live it happily?

In today’s world, opportunities are aplenty for anyone who wants to make it successful in life and they need not be Engineers or Doctors. There are Food stylists, Chefs, Photographers, Media specialists, Fashion / Jewellery / Shoe Designers – it’s a huge wide world out there for the creative mind. So, why restrict them to pre-planned robotic lifestyle?

These professions are certainly not bad pay-masters. They are in greater demand now – what with people preferring to wear watches / dresses / bags / shoes / jewellery designed specifically for them. There are a whole lot of people out there who want things to be designed and made uniquely for them.

All the child needs is a passion to perform – whatever course it is. If the passion to do things comes from within, then there is no need to goad the children. They’ll automatically work for their passion and make it a huge success for them.

It’s the parent’s responsibility to identify this passion and help them to shape it. This is possible, only if there is open conversation between the child and the parents. When the parents don’t listen to the child’s suggestions, conversations take a negative turn. As parents, we should never let that happen.

Listening to the child, taking their suggestions in small things around the house, sometimes sheepishly admitting a fault will make a huge difference in their behaviour with us. Make them feel that parents are human too and not some God sent messenger. Help them to understand your point of view but never force your decision on them. Let them come to it on their own, after realizing it.

I think I deviated too much…

What I wanted to say is – My daughter chooses to study subjects of her choice and not mine.  I love Computer Science, but she detests it. It’s OK with me. And her career choice is what she is passionate about and not what I like her to be.  My daughter’s happiness is more important than anything else.

With the moral values which she has imbibed from us, we trust that she’ll make the best choice. And she also trusts that we’ll guide her well with the choice she’s making.

Do things with a passion
For passion strengthens your faith
It makes you work hard
Then SUCCESS comes knocking!!!

If it’s not the passion for blogging, how do you think so many of us get together on a single platform to write what we feel?

So, let it be… the world has enough Engineers or Doctors! Let’s welcome the new age Young adults who are brimming with variety of ideas to make it their life!

Uma Srinivasan is a mother of two teenagers.  While she loves to blog, her daughters help her don hats like Chef / Baker / Parenting Consultant and many more. She manages three blogs, Blog on parenting & every-day conversations, My attempt to fall in love with this city called Chennai and Attempt at sharing my recipes with the world.

  • Good point. We have the same problem. And what about the pressure of all those coaching classes once they step into high school? My head reels at the thought. Unfortunately, it is a scenario where, unless a child aspires to be an engineer, doctor or opt for Computer Science or IIT, their choice is not considered good enough. The peer pressure is crazy. My son is in Grade 10 now – and it is so tiring to talk to other parents since most of them spend a fortune on tuition and coaching classes like BASE, etc., as though that’s all there is to life. Scary.

    I am with you on allowing children to make their choices based on what they really want, what they’re passionate about. Imagine a world full of only engineers/doctors/computer smarties/IITians and all those other “professionals”. 🙂

    Great post, Uma!

    • Yes Vidya, the peer pressure is damn difficult to manage sometimes. But I think we parents should give the child the confidence to stick to our choice of career and not budge with this growing obsession with Engg or Medicine.

      And those coaching classes and their crazy way of making children mug up stuff – there is no understanding of the concept. We might have a lots of Engineers or Doctors, but are they really good enough ??

      Thank you Vidya and I hope that your son makes his own choice of subjects to study.

  • Parents of our generation are much more aware and accommodating when it comes to their children’s choices. I feel similarly. My sons will choose where their passions lie not based on what the society thinks is the right path.

    • Thats brilliant Rachna…its this confidence we need to impart to our children 🙂

  • well said Uma Akka.. in fact my friends parents had to convince my parents to allow me to pursue my passion.. luckily i did .. when they realised that i fared really well in entrance test of my passion, they changed. now they want my sister to pursue her passion and not do routine engineering.

    • I am glad you found ppl to support your decision and passion !!! It’ll be great if parents themselves are the biggest supporters of their children.

  • It is amazing to see that there are so many parents who still believe that medical and engineering are the best career choices for kids, when there are so many newer and interesting avenues wide open to explore and grow!! By realistically assessing your child’s strengths and weaknesses, parents can help turn the child’s dream into a reality!

    • Thats so true Shilpa…I also wish that more of the new age parents open up to the many opportunities provided by other career options.

  • Lakshmi

    I agree and love your viewpoint Uma. I myself would let my kids follow their passion.. My parents directed me into my initial career path, which I am not following it currently, but their directions taught me perseverance, importance of hard work and dedication which otherwise I would not have learnt.

    Also in many households in India, parents are not well to do and the best bet they have is to direct their children to reach a proven well established career, which in olden days was a government job or a bank job. This changed few years back to Engineer / Doctor. Those jobs guarantee jobs with a minimum level of living standards. I have seen many families here in Kerala, where the daughter becomes a nurse, goes outside and earns money and improve their family back home. They choose that career path after seeing someone else do that. If that path was not followed, their living standards might not better. I am in splits on this point of view. Especially in situations where a betterment in living standards is needed.

    • Your girls are quite young now Lakshmi…just give it some time before starting to really break your head on it. And I am sure the girls will choose smartly what they want to do. We just need to guide them and fine tune their decisions. Probably giving them the available options in their interested field of study will help them a lot. Even though money makes things happen, its not the end of the world. But living happily doing what they like the best is such a joy and money cannot stand in comparison then.

  • dhana

    I totally agree that children should choose their choice of study and they should not be forced. if they are forced to do so, they can never do justice to their job, when they go for it. Many unskilled engineers, impatient doctors, impolite nurses etc……are such examples for this. If they dont love and have a passion on their job neither they would be happy and satisfied nor others.
    And yes, there are many careers other than engineering or medicine to pursue. It is better to be a successful agriculturist than an engineer or a doctor for the name sake.
    when my daughter chose her field of study which was entirely different from her parents, I was surprised and worried about her. I was advised by many that this field requires a lot and long period of study and she cant earn much like an engineer in this profession. ofcourse we need money for a better living but not at the cost of my daughter’s happiness.

    • Hugs Dhana for standing by your daughter and helping her to realize her dream. Parents like you make all the difference !!!

  • I totally agree with you Uma. I took up science stream in 11th and gave entrance test just because my parents wanted me to. Unfortunately I cleared the entrance test and so I had to really fight to take up English in for my graduation.
    But I think our generation of parents are more open to other career options. I have decided to let my child follow his passion.

    • Its great to see more parents joining hands with their children to explore newer career options…
      And I am glad you fought to take up English…hugs 🙂

  • I do agree with the message of this article. We have had enough engineers and doctors who could have done much better in creative pursuits.

    But oftentimes, it happens that children are not familiar with all the options, and many of them may not have been even introduced to their passions.

    I feel that it’s important to equip children to face the uncertainties of the world, than trying to coax them into some seemingly-safe career option.

    Destination Infinity

    • DI, I dont think the children are not aware of options available to them…its the upbringing which teaches them that the other career choices are a total waste of time.
      One of my daughter’s friend wants to pursue CA. She asked my daughter what she wants to do. My daughter told probably a Chef or a Photographer. This friend was shocked and exclaimed “You would look like a stupid if you tell people that you are a Chef”. My daughter was hurt and told me all about it.
      See, its that friend’s parents who have instilled such thoughts in her mind. Whats there in telling the world that you are a Chef or a Photographer ???
      The brain-washing by parents needs to stop and they should start thinking more openly.

  • vijaya saradha

    ”””… and just now i was reading the link posted by you on career made with passion. Very nice article Uma. I feel , parents themselves they are confused / not clear about their own passions. Forget abt their children. Many feel afraid to try “out of the box” things and feel safe to follow the ‘tried’ ways.