20 years ago, our mentors (our teachers, fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts etc) started giving us career guidance from an early age and tell us explicitly or implicitly what they expected us to become. They analyzed what was wrong in Nepal at that time and tried to make us into solutions to the problems they were facing, then.
That is why they told us to become a Professional ( Engineer, Teacher, Banker, Manager etc) or a Doctor or a Scientist.
“डक्टर वा इन्जिनियर है !”
Most frowned upon some of our ideas of making a career in sports, poetry, writing or even acting. Equally No No was Politics or Public Service or even the Army or Police. “After all the education you have got, you are going to be just THAT? !!” was their answer. Arts (Sociology, economics etc) and Commerce (Management, business, finance etc) was only if we were not good enough be a Doctor or a Professional (Engineer was the common name given then). Our mentors also never saw social sector as a viable alternative either. (maybe the concept was not born then).
Lately, I was curious to see whether their advice was effective in shaping our generation’s choices or not. Did they shape us into what we are today?
So I decided to test this out by checking to see how our high school classmates careers matched with the general trend of career advice given by our informal mentors at that time. Here are some statistics of a rough analysis of the current careers of my classmates from high school.
If you analyze this chart, there is virtually none (1%) of us are in the public sector (the yellow). This is we see a lot of problems in the Nepali society right now.
About half of us (50%) are working as professionals as recommended by our mentors years ago.
Nearly 1 out of 5 are in the medical field which was one of the popular career advises given by our mentors. About 15% of us are working as Bankers, Accountants and Managers, (This was the 3rd most popular career guidance back in those days)
Only 8% of us are engaged in some sort of entrepreneurial activity (that creates jobs and opportunities for others). Only less than 7% are involved in some sort of ways to help change the Nepali social problems. And these two sectors is where we see immense problems in ideas and leadership. Where did all the creative amongst us go ?
The conclusion I draw from this is, our choice of career (whether we like it or not) was the product of what the Nepali society believed it wanted two decades ago.
We have a similar choice today. I believe, it is in our interest to mentor our children (the next generation) in ways to improve the sections of our Nepali society where it needs help. If we want to produce good leaders, maybe we should encourage them to “lead”, take up careers in public service or to become actively involved in social/political/economic/creative activism.
Isn’t this the need of the hour today in Nepal? If you think so, lets recommend this when you give career guidance the next time, “Become a Leader or a Change maker.“