Circumstances shape choice of Career. By S.K.Sachdev

Career Planning

Every parent foresees his child becoming big man one day. Even before the child is born, parents decide that he will be a Doctor like me, a lawyer, an engineer, etc etc & the child is brought with this preconceived idea & in majority of the cases it proves right.

Times changed, thought processes changed, change became the norm. The evolution of doctors and engineers replaced themselves with new career options. People started thinking, figuring out the purpose of life and their dream career. Home Influencers role started diminishing; professionals took the front seat, Career consultants, Industry trends, peer options became the norm.

But the run of mill process took a U turn when B schools started advertising the salary package for the students, a rat race started & every one enrolled to business schools not to acquire, apply or assimilate knowledge but to avail better placements. Better placements became the norm & irrespective of passion, caliber, likes, zeal, enthusiasm; everyone opted for this career goal. Majority clicked in their fields but many got stressed,& again took a new  turn to become entrepreneur, or changed the field.

Career planning is a lifelong process & it does not begin with High School exam & end with a professional degree. It starts with a situation; a failed attempt in entrance can lead to a big musician in process or a big innovator like Steve Jobs. Sachin Tendulkar never thought he would take Cricket as a profession but the zeal took him to be the worlds greatest cricketer.

It was Dhirubhai Ambani who said, “ Think Big “ and many did think big & reached their nadir. But just by thinking big without footprints also ?????? ????????? is irrelevant. A big dream requires big efforts and begets big results. Majority do not take risk & opt for run of the mill career like teacher, nurse, plumber, mechanic & end the career with grudges/sorrows/unhappiness.

In my view, to make matters better, the first step in developing a career goal is to assess individual characteristics, skills, interests, likes, dislikes, strengths, and weakness. One should take help from a trusted person and analyze –

-Where you are ?

-What you want to do ?

-What resources you have ?

-What resources you would require ?

-What resources you would not use ?

For example, If you want to be an architect, check your drawing skills, join a good school of architecture, avoid being a body builder, organize your fee through loan, family finances, ensure summer training in some architecture firm. Career planning should be on the skill set one possess & then it further needs guidance such as college/work station to hone the caliber .

Nevertheless, choice of career planning is ultimately in theory, majority people just fall into the career by mere chance, circumstance, situation & not by above planning process. I, as an example a graduate Chemical engineer got my first opportunity in production of Pesticides, went on to bulk drugs & spent a whole career in production, shifted to projects & established various active pharmaceutical projects, followed by formulation plants, oral tablets, capsules, injectables, ointments. And one fine morning landed in beverages & established operations in a take over plant by a multinational. Soon learned the tricks of trade & became street smart by overseeing operations from sourcing raw material till placing the product on retail shelf. My experience, qualification, passion for projects, production, market penetration took a turn and was compelled to return back to family & thus landed in a supply chain activity for a developer group, handling procurement of above thousand million rupees with no knowledge in construction industry but having zeal to do the best  & have a career shaping to the need & not to the so called planned career movement .

Career planning is more by chance and your approach should be to take the challenge and perform to the best in class. Address the issue rather and take every stride as a challenge & out perform. People selling Whisper become role models selling whisky (category change ); people  heading accounts land up establishing BPO business; people retired from infantry take transportation/security as career (conceptual change ). Thus, all said, Career planning is more situational and less organized planned approach.


About S.K.Sachdev: He is a Pharmaceutical & Beverages expert, for having spent major part of his career with Dabur and Coca-Cola. His keen interests are monitoring political and business news and can be reached on this forum for any discussion related to the country, pharmacy, beverages.

  1. In my school days. IAS, IPS, DOCTOR, ENGINEER are the common answers for WHAT IS YOUR AIM question, but now kids have got exposure and they learn a lot through books and online.
    Times changed and i believe, still there is a parent’s factor, they force their children to do what they want and also MARK factor, marks decide our future else money decides our future !
    Because of mark and money we lose so many Nobel Laureates !

    well explained ! good post !

    1. Right Deepak.Aspirations change from school to college to even your first job.And then there is a life flow. What I aimed at in school to what I am today-there is a stark difference- all propelled by circumstances coupled with some choices.

  2. Hi Tanya,
    Me new to your blog but found the topic quite expresso! 🙂 and finaly decide to pen down my thoughts on the well said phrase “Career planning is more situational and less organized planned approach” by industry expert Mr. S.K Sachdev. I have also digressed a number of times on my carreer path, exploring myself at times and planning an organized approach on the other and finally had to accept that it is pretty situational. Starting from a hotel industry and landing up in an IT Sector says it all. But yes I must say Carreer planing is pretty situational with an added flavour of passion and interest ! … as i cant deny the fact that yes..i have started gaining interest in IT industry before finally landing up in a magical gadget called “Computer with a more of horns of Internet”

    @ Deepak yes absolutely true and i do respect your views and would further likes to adds that “We” also have a duty apart from the “parental factor” for re-shaping our carreer as We have been educated under an old system which is rapidly becoming defunct, a system designed at the dawn of the industrial age where only 20% of those educated were expected to progress into the professional and managerial echelons of society, and the remaining 80% were expected to become the worker bees, being engaged in industrial and retail labour jobs.

    Born and brought up under this system, it is very hard to shift our mindset from it as we usualy guide and seek to inspire and motivate the children we educate.

    It is vital for them that what we do and how we do ?. Is what we are teaching them truly helping them to find their place in Todays new “Competent” economy?

    1. Hi Jatin
      Totally agree..I started with the intent of becoming a copywriter and eventually made a career out of sales.Today,I want to be a successful blogger and continue a living out of it. Career planning like any other planning is situational..the future depends on the present which depended on the past…it’s an experimental bumpy ride and hope we all make good of it.Good luck for ur future endeavours.

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