Career choices are often guided not by personal potentials but by what everyone believes is a ‘good career’!

Career Beliefs are strongly held convictions about the process of career choice or about the world of work. Even a cursory glance at the career decision-making process will demonstrate that attitudes and career myths could strongly influence career decision-making.

Prestige, for example is a powerful influence on career choice. Certain occupations are believed to be ‘prestigious’, while others are not. For example, many young people and their families in India are quite sure that Medicine is the most prestigious of careers with Engineering coming next. Competition for these ‘prestigious’ careers is so intense, that selection criteria become unrealistic and often corrupt. This race toward a handful of careers, leaves in its wake a large number of young people who don’t ‘make it’. It also causes disinterest in the various other careers that are available and perhaps even more lucrative.

Jiva takes the approach that healthy career development is based on the individual’s personal potentials. Career counselling therefore is closely related to helping the career chooser and the family become aware of career beliefs that could hinder the flowering of personal potentials.

‘I Believe…’

  1. I want to be a farmer. It is my family occupation.My father and his father have all been farmers. I will be a scientific farmer. But people laugh when I say this. Boy, Class 10. Dhule, Maharashtra
  2. I want to be a police officer and realise the dream of my father of seeing me in uniform. We are four sisters. I want to give ‘something’ to my parents as a ‘son’ might have given. People should not sympathise with them for not having a son. Girl, Class 12, Rampur, Himachal Pradesh
  3. Life depends on luck. Luck is more important than education. But low castes need more luck. Boy, Class 12, Cuncolim, Goa
  4. As we are poor, to prepare for a career is difficult. But why to study? Even when we have good degree we do not get a job. Boy, 15 years Class 10, middle SES, New Delhi.
  5. I believe that the path to success is through science and engineering. Vocational courses are low in value. They are meant for those from poor families who cannot afford high education. Boy, Class 10, 16 years, upper middle SES, Bangalore.

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