Professional Switches

By: S Rehman
Kashmiri society has always been myopic when it comes to choosing careers. Never have the wishes and aspirations of a person been the decisive factor in pursuing career options. It is always the parents who in an attempt to realise their own unaccomplished dreams miserably push their wards to streams that are not actually preferred by the person who has to pursue it all through his life.

Things take a more dangerous turn when this ill guided person attains maturity, dons the mantle of deciding things for himself and suddenly realizes that he is a circular keg pushed into a square block. The person is either upset with his parents or curses luck or painfully drags days along an unwarranted career or blames others for being a misfit in the work environment. It ultimately often results in repeats of the parents’ mistake.  This vicious circle continues its twists and turns to the innocent lives of people along generations placing every cog at the wrong place in the bigger machine.

Some years back medicine and engineering were the most sought after careers in the valley. People would take pride in cramming down the answer to any question asked to their kids about their ‘aim in life’ without gathering the inputs about the actual skills and potential in which the kids would otherwise excel. And these kids would never in reality know what it meant being a doctor or an engineer while the cherished dreams of their parents were being implanted in their minds.

The right job to the right person has been a vague concept as a result of this. The irony of the matter is that a doctor or an engineer who puts in, on an average, seven to eight percent of his life in learning the art and skills of medicine, surgery or engineering jumps into other absolutely contrasting fields especially ‘Administration’ enticed by the social dogma of attracting more admiration, more power and more money even if earned through corrupt practices. Otherwise there can’t be a better holy and noble service than to treat the suffering people or to build roads, powerhouses, buildings and bridges.

Imagine the quantum of taxpayers’ money that is wasted by this fickle minded attitude. The subsidized studies for six years, the cost of infrastructure, teachers and equipments, the structural losses incurred during training, blocking the place for other deserving candidates and then the sweat and blood put into the training simply flows into the drain when one is ready to serve but instead shows the back to it and embarks upon the chair ordinarily meant to be handled by any other unskilled person.

The balanced society essentially needs administrators as equally as doctors, engineers, agriculturists, veterinarians, teachers, bankers, masons, carpenters, cobblers and others. The importance of any profession ought not be downplayed or exaggerated just because a red light privilege is given to the vehicle of one while others are not. There are umpteen career options available in the contemporary times, one brighter and scintillating than the other.

This myopic vision which has shifted its focus from the fields of engineering and medicine to ‘Administration’ needs to be corrected before this field too becomes mundane.

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