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choosing the right profession A tough decision to make

Choosing the right profession: A tough decision to make

One of the most challenging tasks in one’s life is choosing the right path for his/her professional career.  No wonder the task of picking an occupation is overwhelming, with a wide variety of professions to choose from, with diverging forces to accommodate with. After getting through the initial benchmark qualification which is secondary school certification or O level in Pakistan, the process of contemplation on selection of a right professional career is officially set out. The mission of seeking guidance and input from family, friends, peers, cohorts and educated section of the society is launched. Each individual comes up with his own suggestions based on his learning, experiences and pandemonium of his own life.

Anyhow, admission is secured in the college, without having the required level of aptitude and hence, two precious years of life is spent rather wasted without having a basic understanding where he or she is heading towards. As a matter of fact, generally speaking, two broad professional fields are preferred and opted by the individuals in Pakistan (i.e Medical & Engineering). No doubt, both these fields play a pivotal role in progress and prosperity of the society, however, other professions are equally important to be seriously considered while making any choice of a career.

Obsession with medical/engineering professions

At a glance, the past years statistics revealed that around thirty to forty thousand candidates appeared in the entry test for admission against few hundred seats in medical and dental colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and very rightly only few shall stand out in this cut-throat competition. Surprisingly, the repeaters (candidates who failed previously in the test) were re-appeared in a big number, reflecting the mindset of a major segment of society for whom the race to enter the medical and engineering professions are the ultimate end of their lives.

The sole driving force

In consonance with own perusal predilection, aptitude and skill set, the sole driving force for choosing a profession should be a voice that is coming from the inner self of a person rather than the social pressure or family desires or parents wishful thinking (not a big buff of 03 Idiots). Knowing one’s own strengths and weakness is essentially important as in certain organizations like armed forces or intelligence agencies, a comprehensive physiological test is conducted as an entry requirement. The aim is to assess whether a candidate is fit for the desired job or otherwise. If a candidate fails to qualify the said test, he/she is not selected, irrespective of his/her initial performance on other tests besides basic qualifications. The rejection is owing to the mismatch between the job and candidate physiological orientation, personal makeup and upbringing.

Much needed human development

There are numerous professional fields, in a developing country like ours, in which we can excel. In his victory speech, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has rightly identified a number of unexplored areas in which the country has left far behind.  Human development is no doubt one of the most neglected areas. Pakistan, being a developing country, has no viable mechanism or a robust policy to pull out the underprivileged segment of the society out of the vicious circle of poverty. More than 60% of the people are living below the poverty line. Proper attention is not being paid to offer them opportunities for raising their standard of living. On the organizational level, the picture is equally bleak as proper attention is not being paid to train and engage the employees in a positive, useful and constructive manner in developing and nurturing their skills set and exploiting their potential.  HR practitioners, professional and experts in their respective filed can help channelize the potential of the youth by providing them with opportunities to get a quality education and conduct quality research in the areas of their prime interest.

Rescuing ailing economy

In addition, economists, financial wizards and relevant professionals are drily required to pull the country’s ailing economy out of the quagmire. Foreign reserves are sinking down, which needs to be replenished on war footings. No doubt the current government is trying its level best and has assigned the task to a sincere and committed Finance Minister but it is widely established that nothing can be accomplished without splendid teamwork consisting of honest, dedicated and sound professionals.

Taping rich natural resources

Needless to say that Pakistan is blessed with vast reservoirs of natural resources having fertile land, natural gas, petroleum, extensive coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone and gold besides many of them until now are left untapped and undiscovered.  As per geological surveys, the area consisting of erstwhile FATA (including all agencies) are having bountiful of natural gas reservoirs and other precious mines and minerals which need to be tapped.

Propensity for competitive exams

In Pakistan, competitive exams for entry into the civil service are held on Provincial/Federal level each year. It is observed that very few of the candidates finally appear in these exams as most of the potential candidates do not have the requisite information about these exams, its syllabus and the science of subject selection. This area should be focused and every student must be given an opportunity to appear in such exams and avail all the available attempts/chances.

In a nutshell, there are vast areas and a number of fields open for pursuance as a professional career keeping in view the interests and aptitude of the individuals. The country is in dire need of skilled people and not rote-learners. Only those people can bring a change that really possesses the required skill set in their respective areas rather than having a cursory theoretical understanding of the things devoid of ground realities.

About Dr Syed Hafeez Ahmad

Having a doctoral degree in human resource management, Dr. Syed Hafeez Ahmad is currently working as Additional Controller of Examinations, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar. He previously served the same university as Additional Registrar. These are mid-career level positions in the university's administration. Besides, he is working in the capacity of a team leader and founder of the Career Development & Research Centre, a startup launched in the Business Incubation Center of Khyber Medical University. He is having more than 18 years of professional experience in academic management with special interest in public sector higher education reforms, sustainability, academic leadership and universities' governance. He is a research blogger, Amazon associate and a YouTuber.

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