We live only once. Abundance of every kind in your ‘Career’; hence becomes very important for a 100% living. My work as a Motivational Speaker and Career Counselor gets me to meet lakhs of youth & further to learn from them; as I advise them on an array of their needs. Most people hope for an advice- which does not require much courage. This is not possible. However if you do have the courage, here’s the best career advice for students that I have gathered over the years.

‘An IDEA does change Lives’. Below are six ideas which summarize most- that I would like to counsel you with. It is a long post but trust me – a slow, careful reading of these SIX ideas can definitely FIX your career well.

IDEA 1:- You MUST study i.e. Graduate / Post-Graduate

Only for two reasons:-

1)  To become emotionally & hence socially —‘More Competent’.

As James Leasor put it so well- “I come from — The School of Experience, University of Life”. Colleges these days play the most definitive role in enhancing the ‘emotional & social competence’ of a person. Reason — here the person meets people, who are better, equal or lower than him; and this puts to test his/her coping abilities (e.g. girls meet girls who are more beautiful than them 🙂 ).

Personally – I used to get impressed with people / concepts so every easily— before I moved to a college.

2)  To gain time to ascertain — ‘What I must do in Life’ or ‘What I must NOT do in Life’

I am not so sure- if even 1% of the students are likely to remember after a few years — ‘what they studied in their UG/PG College’. It is somewhere unfortunate. This is primarily because at the time of admissions either the students are not so very sure ’what they want to be studying’ or they could not make it to the course of their choice because of aspects as merit / cut offs/ parental pressures etc.

The very few people who do their graduations religiously do end up connecting their dots to achieve bigger realizations out of the subjects they studied. But what do the other 99% do. Well — they keep on progressively becoming clear about — ‘I AM NOT DOING THIS’ kind of genre of thought. ‘Yeh Chhod,Who chhod,Who bhi Chhod..Dheere dheere Jiss Cheez ko Pakadna hai who qareeb aati jaati hai’

The most prominent career advice for students that I have is – ‘Confusion is the beginning of Clarity’. Trust me — no one has the answers. Answers will emerge only out of making mistakes, taking lessons and moving forward with force.

IDEA 2 :- THINK :- ‘Will being an employee to someone -be a good option for you ?’

Although it is a very subjectively personal  question ; but just out of the experience of having met and consulted lakhs of youth — I believe- ‘Yes’ it will be a good option; only if you are a Top Grade Class 1 officer with the Govt of India or if you find immense satisfaction in joining the armed forces. A fraction of youth also passes out from top ranked institutes in India and gets astronomical salaries. This is also great.

What is not OK then? I am NOT OK with people doing mediocre jobs which end up making them less fearless, more busy / processionary, more stressed about issues which are not worth & all this leading to extreme middle class-fulness and time passing. If you see around yourself — you’ll see many people who look so much compromised with life. They are nothing but dead bodies moving. Either don’t do such jobs or don’t CRIB about them!

Personally — the word ‘Naukri’ doesn’t excite me at all. ‘Apart from naukri.com ,there isn’t any creativity that seems to be associated with this word’. We are living in times where if you have a brilliant idea and the force to implement that idea — the world will stand aside for you. No one can stop an idea whose time has come. Ideas could range from the grand idea of a Facebook to a tiny idea of maybe having the best ‘Home made food supply businesses’ in areas where business potential is extreme; but unharnessed. For every aspect of emotion of a human being there are at least 20 businesses and in every business field there are 100 competitors.

It is certainly not about ‘whose idea was it’. It is so much about ‘who implemented it well – first’. The intention / reason to go and do a college UG / PG should simply be to expose your mind to a social and environmental sharpener which blends your brain to ‘such ideas of business doing’. Colleges also help people make good networking…  And that is very important because we live in a world where “Har ek Friend Zaruri hota hai”

The point is simple- ‘Can you be the number 1 in your idea’s micro market’?  If yes- the world will buy you at a premium. I will take my case. My goal is to be the number 1 Motivator & Trainer; but in the micro field of ‘doing it in a refreshingly funny way’. I see myself very close to becoming that. Now two things emerge from in here:-

– I reduced my micro market to a niche. I am not competing with serious trainers or management researchers.

– If anyone in Asia thinks of getting done an event / training / motivating talk which involves fun learning — ‘I am trying to be that guy’s first choice’. And if he believes that I am genuinely his first choice — ‘I go it him at a premium’. The same is the case with anything which is number 1 in its micro market e.g. the best south Indian restaurant in your city to the best skin specialist doctor in your town or even maybe the best teacher of mathematics for the micro market of school tuition.

I have the same career advice for students – get your idea, choose your micro market and try to be the ‘best choice’ to the people in there. Once you begin doing that — ‘You will laugh at the thought of being an employee to anyone.

IDEA 3:- How do you decide which Graduation / Post Graduation is better for you?

A Marwari friend of mine once commented — ‘Akash 5 ka 50 banaana mushkil hai ; 50 ka 500 banaana aasaan’. I found value in this. Money creates money. You catch more flies with Honey than with Vinegar; and you catch more Money with money than with Honey 🙂 . Ditto for our inherent talents. It is easy to become a Rockstar out of things / abilities that are already within you rather than trying to become something ‘what you just wish to be’. Just because it is ‘Good’; it may not be ‘Good’ for you. ‘Har chamakti hui cheez,sona nahi hoti ; jaise har Robert ke paas Mona nahi hoti’

Career advice for students

(Image courtesy: Google Images)

On a lighter side; if boys were to have become what they enjoy doing the most — then the world would have been full of porn stars. Which brings me to the point- that we might be good at / interested in myriad things; but maybe we need to juxtapose our ‘those good abilities’ against the opportunities which the market is likely to reward futuristically.

Think slightly ahead of time and identify a graduation/ post-graduation which is likely to generate / suggest to your mind your ‘IDEA’ for business in a unique micro market. Let you go out of your homes, make mistakes, feel useless, hopeless, hurt and broke. It is all fine — till the time you are picking up the lesson along when you get up after the fall. Baadaam ke saath saath; Dhakey khaana bahut zaroori hota hai’.    

A few inspirational videos to keep you on your toes.

Keep on trying. A friend of mine once said- ‘Baby steps count’. Answers will come. They have to come. Doing a UG/ PG in an area which seems to be an extension of your personality is more likely to help you fend for yourself; in case of rainy days / delayed sunny days. It is important to think ‘future’ and not just take decisions on the basis of ‘present / past’ e.g. had you decided to be in software some 15 years back — it would have been a ‘WOW’ decision. If you do it now — ‘The challenges / competition is more and most importantly ROI is less’. Timing an industry is important.

IDEA 4:- How do you decide between two / more institutes — ‘Where to study from?’

Two advises:-

1)  Of course A+ institutes have their own ways to generate exposures to the seeking minds; but I will any day prefer a B+ Grade institution in an A Grade city over a A Grade institution in a B Grade city. Reason : Exposure.

2)  The best way to validate an institute is to speak with people who are studying there/ have studied there. Travel to the place; spend a few days with those people. It is important to do. It is your OWN life. Do not compromise- ‘You are ALL — that you have GOT’.

Idea Number 5th could be read here —How to Smartly choose a Career

Idea Number 6th :- My favorite Career Suggestions (from a futuristic perspective)

Two of them:-

1) If you are seeking a peaceful, stable, lesser chaotic life which shall give you OK+ money; but lots of time to balance your health, family, hobbies and Spiritual interests — then in the next 5-6 years- I see ‘Education’ as the best industry to be in. “Parho aur parhaao ,na phanso na Phansaao”

research ideas

(Image courtesy: Google Images)

My basic premise here is that ‘if India is to grow — then this sector needs to grow over and above other sectors’. Globalization has opened up education and very many top university brand names from all across the world are likely to set their shop in India.

In fact, the ministry of HRD in the last few years has clearly delineated its policy of ‘letting foreign names’ set their hubs at even Grade two cities in India. All these foreign universities/ Indian Universities / Private Universities will need quality Faculty / Researchers. Unfortunately in our country there are very few seekers for the ample money which the Govt earmarks for research in its budgets every year.

I am sure that the 7th & 8th pay commissions will bring the salaries of Faculty at par with those of the other ‘best Govt careers available’. I also hunch an IES — ‘Indian Education Services’ exam happening soon to select the best teachers for the best/ plum positions. The private sector because of competition for ‘Quality Faculty’ will have no other option but to offer ample money to any Teacher / Researcher who is ‘GOOD’. There also remains a lot of scope for ‘Teachers’ in coaching institutes who are paid astronomically; if they are at the right place.

Having said all above; there remain two caveats further. The teacher will need to be a ‘TOP quality researcher & /or a Grade 1 teacher’ to derive the maximum from this career.

What you need to do? :- ‘Post Graduate and then do a Doctorate in the subject you enjoy the most’. Also check if that subject is the one which will be in demand after a few years e.g. Management as a subject will ever be a part of the course offering of any domestic / foreign university. Also Physics / Mathematics etc are likely to get taught at most coaching classes till India wins the FIFA final.

entrepreneurship ideas

(Image courtesy: Pinterest)

SUGGESTION No. 2:-  If you are not excited by how much money your employer wants to earn next quarter & if your organization’s Goals do not inspire you- then seek a career counsellor which exudes excitement, gives you a chance to earn ‘lots of money’. Become an ‘Idea Entrepreneur’.

Let your IDEA rock your micro market. Stick to it and you shall definitely see unimaginable rewards coming. The more difficult it is; the EASIER it is. Reason: – 99% of the people will leave mid —way because it was difficult / seemed tough to achieve by the duniyaadaari definition. (TED Talks on Entrepreneurship)

Whatever you do — be the NUMBER 1 in it. Success is Incidental then. People reward the number 1 at least 10 times more than they reward the number 2 or number 3. Go & Do it. The world is waiting for you. An anonymous author said- ‘Ships are safe in the harbor; but that’s where they not meant to be’. Why become ‘Acceptable’ when you can be ‘Exceptional’. Why become Joginder Sharma, if you have the inherent ability to become Sachin Tendulkar in your field.

The difference between Steve Jobs and an ‘ordinary job’ is ‘how one utilizes his 24 hrs.’… Period!

Trust me — ‘A confident person’s qualifications do not matter’. If you are looking to read more from me on careers, please click HERE.  You may also check out ‘Events for the Youth’ to know how I can contribute to your fellow students.

My last piece of career advice for students would be – know your worth or let people undervalue you! Isn’t your life’s purpose too big to sweat small things? You’ll never be SEEN & HEARD if you follow the SCENE & HERD. Be yourself. I am speaking from personal experience.  All these years; I tried very hard to become something; which I WAS NOT. At the end — I ended up becoming — WHICH I TRULY WAS.

You too find your shine!

Akash Gautam

About Author

World’s Top Corporate Organizations including 30+ of the NIFTY-50 companies in India trust Akash as their Keynote Motivational Speaker. India’s premier colleges like IIMs, IITs, SRCC too go to him whenever they need a refreshing, big bang impact. Write to us to know how he can transform your Team.

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