Career Myths and Debunking Them

CAREER. Yes. It’s that one word which has the maximum potential to confuse our already bewildered minds! And as if our own apprehensions were not quite enough, the neighbourhood know-it-all uncles and aunties step into our lives and add to the problem. “Beta, engineering kyun nahi karte?”, “Beta, medical ka zamaana hain.”, “Beta, history padhke zindagi mein kya kar loge?”, are commonly heard dialogues and enough to scare us and make us abandon our dreams.

Unfortunately, a successful career, according to our society, is all about being able to fulfill our materialistic aspirations than to follow our dreams. Therefore, in the light of such stereotypes, let’s have a look at some of the myths related to various unconventional career options and how you can debunk them and set a trail rather than follow a conventional one.

1. Working with NGOs

While you proudly claim yourself to be a pillar of welfare of the society, you also put yourself at a dire risk of being offended by stereotypical questions and comments like, “But where are you working?”, “It’s not really a career option”, “Not meant for those in the business arena.” and so on . And, here we need a reality check! Working with NGOs does not necessarily mean mere Volunteering but offers you the privileged Employed tag also. One is exposed to multiple career options once one starts working with an NGO ranging from entrepreneurship and teaching to health and medicine. Needless to mention, a hands-on experience in social welfare makes you a preferred candidate for welfare organizations like UNICEF, WHO, ILO in the UN and also allows you to make a significant contribution to the society, stricken by various evils. Anshu Gupta, the founder of Goonj Foundation, listed by Forbes magazine as India’s most powerful rural entrepreneur, is a perfect example of a successful career with an NGO.

This link provides an array of opportunities that the NGO sector has to provide and in case you want to dip your toes before you take the plunge, check out the top NGO internships.

2. Writing



You say, “I want to become a writer” and there starts the unending lecture. But considering the long list of young writers making it big in the world of fiction, you might not want to give this career option a miss. And when despair surrounds you, you have Chetan Bhagat for inspiration whose books are now being made into successful motion pictures. And how can one forget J.K Rowling’s inspiring journey filled with repeated failures, financial troubles and rejection to become a millionaire author?

Also, one can pursue journalism, editing and publishing which are some lucrative career options nowadays. Another popular career option for writers these days is blogging. Although, making a career or living entirely out of blogging can be a tad difficult but it can surely help you in your career. YES! Listing this hobby on your resume and flaunting the readership your blog has to the recruiters speaks volumes about your talent and increase your chances of getting recruited. A crisp, creative, informative and visually appealing blog increases the readership and you can earn some quick bucks by placing advertisements on your blogs as well.

Need more convincing? Check out Amit Aggarwal’s story, India’s first and only professional blogger. Also check out the whole bunch of content writing internships out there to get a feel of the opportunities available.

3. Art


Gone are the days when the field of art had only few opportunities to offer. With the unprecedented growth in social media and entertainment arena, the demand for artists has been soaring in different fields like animation, ceramic designing, exhibition designing, fine arts, graphic designing, fashion designing, web designing, textile designing, architecture, interior designing and so on. While the indelible impact made by the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh and M. F. Hussain cannot be ignored, this long list of young and dynamic artists will surely make your artistic fingers twitch and to polish your design skills further, you may apply to any of these design internships available in India.

4. Research


In the recent years, there has been a thrust in the research field even in our country. UGC and CSIR offer fellowships to research students in all the fields. After research, people can find rewarding careers in the academia (faculty positions), and a lot of private companies also hire researchers. The best part is that you get to contribute something new to the universe of knowledge. There is excitement in finding out new things.

Says Armaan Mehra, a 2nd year Zoology student in Hindu College. Research options pertaining to Sciences, Humanities and Commerce have been increasing rapidly with fields like Medical Sciences, Nuclear Science, Aeronautical Science, Biotechnology, Economics, Finance, Business Economics, Literature, Archaeology, Sociology , Psychological Sciences gaining prominence. The link has a list of fields that you can choose to conduct your research on.

5. Humanities


Reluctance to pursue a career in Humanities and passionate criticisms by the AUNTIES are a cliched story. But, believe it or not, the present scenario is in stark contrast with the myths attached to it. With numerous subjects under the discipline ranging from Literature, Politics and History to Journalism, Economics, Psychology and Sociology, jobs in the field of education, civil services, media, politics, research, finance, social work and so on are becoming the most coveted ones. As Geetika Ahuja, a 2nd year Sociology student in Lady Shri Ram College, puts it-

Humanities open up a wide window of opportunities, where one can delve in philosophy, the arts, the sciences, the social causes of events-all at the same time. It is an amalgam of all these subjects and much more and helps to holistically develop your mind.

Check out this link for more info or this link for a list of internships available in the fascinating field of Humanities.

6. Performing Arts


Well, this is one field that faces most of the animosity from our kins. But let’s just accept it – possessing enormous talent can do wonders. Although, making it big in the world of performing arts can involve bucket loads of sweat, patience, hard-work and tolerance but what is life without struggles? While Careers in acting, dancing and theater are fast getting acceptance amongst the masses, Music is also being considered as a lucrative career option. Music enthusiasts can also go for Music Journalism and share their love and sound knowledge of the music scene by working with some of the leading music magazines like The Rolling Stones, The Rock Street Journal and so on. As Janvi Anand, a (Hons.) graduate who already has a successful music institute called Crescendo to her credit, says,

Music as a career has been underrated. There are numerous possibilities if you take up music as a career. A session artist, a performer, a studio artist, a teacher, a songwriter, a producer, composer, arranger, artist manager and there are many more than what I can even think of. As often referred, “There isn’t a good music scene in Delhi.” But to build a scene, one needs to be a part of the scene.

Janvi is now a well-known figure in the music circuit and her institute is sweeping the market by storm. Also, she is contributing to adorning hundreds of CVs by providing internship opportunities to the youth!

Check out this link for more information on careers in performing arts.

7. Sports


Pursuing your dreams and channeling them into an undying love for your nation. Ah! Magical, indeed! But, unfortunately people fail to realize the magic. The unending list of young talents carving a niche for themselves in this field cannot be ignored and therefore, sports is that one field which is becoming as lucrative as the conventional ones. Also, if you possess an unmatched ability for critically analyzing the happenings in the field of sport, you can opt for Sports Journalism as well! Boria Majumdar, harbouring a knack for all the sixes and fours and goals on the pitch, is now a household name. Coaching is also one of the options that the field has to provide. For more, check out the link-

Hope you find this useful; if you are mulling over a road less traveled career option yourself and are in a dilemma, leave a comment  – we will try to answer it the best way we can :)

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About author : Madhuwrita Nandi is a 2nd year B.A (Hons.) student of Gargi College, University of Delhi.

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