Gone are the days when children dreamed of becoming (and parents wished that their children would become) doctors, engineers or pilots. I have the deepest respect for doctors (my wife is one) and engineers (many of my friends are) and those professions that are considered traditional. More power to all those who want to become doctors, engineers or pilots – we definitely need them.
But today’s youth are now looking at other avenues. There are a whole lot of alternate careers out there that are not only exciting and interesting but also offer a comfortable packet at the end of the month. Institutes have mushroomed across the country, offering diploma and certificate courses in anything and everything from Radio Jockeying to Wildlife Photography. If you are health conscious and into body building you could plan on becoming a personal trainer or a dietician. The artistically inclined are going in for diverse courses like landscape designing or jewellery designing. Cookery shows and dance reality shows on television have many making a beeline for courses in hotel management and choreography. Then there are TV anchors, wedding planners, celebrity managers, personal groomers, and a load of other alternative careers to choose from.
I was lucky that I had the opportunity to make my hobby into my profession. I remember, I would get the funny look whenever I would write ‘Quiz Master’ against ‘Profession’ while filling in an official form. I know people who enjoy their jobbies (hobby that has been turned into a job) so much that they don’t need to take a holiday. They even work 16-18 hours a day, not because they are workaholics or because they have to, but just because they enjoy what they are doing so much. If you are passionate about what you are doing you will never retire from doing it.
But a word of caution. Don’t take up an offbeat or alternative career just for the sake of it or just to be different. Go for it if and only if you are truly passionate about it. Else you could find yourself in big trouble!
[This is the English translation of the Bengali article in Anandabazar Patrika's Knowledge Darpan | Monday, September 03, 2012]