It’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking about your career, wondering what will the first job feel like, or what direction of work should you choose in the first place. What if you make the wrong choice? What if you’re stuck in the wrong job? What if you can’t figure out what you want to do while you’re still in school? We understand that all of this can be stressful and send some long days your way.
We want to share with you these four tips that can help you not only with deciding a career path, but in every other aspect of life.
Don’t be bogged down by failure, it’s a necessary step.
As you have heard everyone say, as you were growing up, failure is required to make you a stronger and better professional. Not only does it teach you techniques and methods to be better at your job, it also trains you to have a keener eye when proofing your work. It makes you more diligent and motivates you to put in more effort.
Just like it happens in school with your teachers, your mentor, or boss, will know that you shall fail at some point and has definitely taken it into account when hiring you. This of course, does not mean that failure will keep you out of trouble. The best thing to do is take it in your stride, apologize, LEARN and fix the mess.
The most important thing here is to reflect on what exactly went wrong, and figure out steps to avoid this in the future. This is applicable to those math problems, that first job, that relationship, and every other phase of life.
Ask for help when needed and build relationships.
No matter how smart you are, it isn’t possible for you to know everything, and nobody at your workplace expects to either. You must trust that people higher up or who have been there longer know the process and are there to support you. This is the same as how it works in school too; when you don’t understand something, you ask a senior or a teacher. Simple, isn’t it?
This also helps to build relationships in the office, which is always of good use. The better your relationships with various stakeholders in your work life are, the smoother and happier your journey will be. Go out of your way to help people, and they will do the same for you.
Have a five year plan, and break it down to action plans
Most of us have a vague idea of where we see ourselves in five years. It’s a good thing to plan. Obviously, this does not have to be sacrosanct, and you will have to keep alter this plan as you go. Don’t forget to think of personal goals and integrate them into this plan.
Make sure, when you do have a five-year plan, it is broken down into smaller one-year plans. These plans include actionable steps of what and how you will achieve these goals. The more broken down these plans are, the more achievable they will be.
In an ideal sense, backward planning works best. You have a vague five-year plan; detail it for the next one-year, by creating a timeline monthly. As the months approach, create goals per month.
The most important thing while planning is monitoring your plan. Check if things are going as planned, if not you need to revisit your goal, see if its achievable and realistic, then revisit your approach, what can you do to make things more efficient?
Now apply this to your short-term plan of scoring good marks in your Board exams, and see how it works?
Understand there is no perfect job
No matter where you reach, how successful you may be, there will never be a time where all days in the year are brilliant, productive and exciting days. Ups and downs are a part of life and work.
Even in your dream job, two days out of five maybe bad, boring, monotonous and sometimes you may not want to get out of bed.
The important thing to see is that the other days are still putting a smile on your face, challenging you to push yourself and making your brain tick. Use this to motivate you to go back to work the next day, clean slate ready to take on the world!
As long as you’re in school, preparing for the exams throughout the year, it’s quite normal to forget everyday routines that can help you stay strong while you charge ahead. Teachers will focus on assignments, parents will focus on results and you’re left striving extremely hard to make everyone proud. While that, of course, is the ultimate goal; you cannot expect great results if you’re physically and mentally weak.
“I don’t have time for fitness”
“How does physical fitness even matter now?”
“At this age, what can I do to keep myself fit and active for studies?”
Allow us to explain.
- Eat Healthy
While you might be tempted to gorge on junk food, especially during those long study hours, we suggest you refrain from those fatty foods and focus on eating clean instead. Even eating a lot of home-cooked meals works. The idea is to avoid junk food. Junk food tends to make you feel uneasy, and also makes you feel drowsy and sleepy. Plus it will lead to unnecessary and drastic weight gain. But make sure to fuel up with food also because your brain needs glucose to function well.
- Drink a lot of Water
Not drinking enough water will lead to headaches, sleepiness and fatigue. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times, and drink whenever you can. Keep a reminder around you to drink as much water as possible. It will help you stay alert and fresh too.
- Sleep Well
Preparing for exams usually means a child is sleeping late and waking up super early to study and revise. The child thus misses out on the healthy, recommended 6-7 hours of sleep, which in turn leads to headaches, sleepiness, mental fatigue, irritation, hunger pangs, forgetfulness and weakness. So how does one sleep AND study? Start preparing well in advance! Make a time-table keeping in mind your sleep schedule too. You don’t want to be sitting in the exam hall staring at the question paper wondering what the answer is, because you’re too sleepy to remember.
- Take time out for Entertainment
This does not mean you go for movies and parties every day. Dedicate an hour every day to some sort of activity that you enjoy, preferably outdoors, since a change of scenery will refresh you and help you study better. Allow yourself one day a week where you can go out for 2 hours instead of only 1, but make sure you earn those 2 hours of stress-free living. “I will watch the movie only if I complete 5 chapters of this book” sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? This way you will also be motivated to study more. Plus taking time out for entertainment will recharge your mind.
- Express Yourself. Reach Out.
Do not be scared to express yourself. If you do not understand something, ask your teachers. If you do not like a subject, let the teacher know (the teacher won’t be able to remove the subject from your reading list, but will definitely help you with techniques to make you learn better) Reach out to your loved ones if you feel stressed and troubled. Discuss your exam fears with your parents. Talk to teachers and parents about your life plans. Talking will help you ease the stress. Give it a try and you will know 🙂
These tips sounds extremely simple, don’t they? But you’ll be surprised to know how many people ignore the basic habits because of exam tension. Do not let it get to you, children! We’re here to help you prepare yourself for life. Reach out to us, and let’s work together to build a solid foundation for you 🙂
Choosing a stream right after your 10th boards is one of the trickiest decisions that you’re required to make, with a very limited idea of the options available. The stress around this decision is maximum, since the subjects you select in standard eleven and twelve are studied in depth – and you would like to be wary of making the wrong decision. Of course you can change your path once you’re done with Class 12, but even studying something you don’t want to for 2 years can affect your learning curve in a negative way. In fact you might lose the will to study too! Don’t stress, while you’re with us, you don’t have to worry about your education because we help you make the choice that makes YOU happy.
While the options have been laid out clearly – Science, Commerce and Arts, the choice you make directly affects the path you choose for further studies. While it is important to make the most ideal decision, it’s equally important to know the tools to minimise your stress and be more confident of your choice. Here’s how you can go about it. Knowing what you DON’T want is also important. It is important to narrow down your options with reference to your interests and your grades. While this basic education for about 10 years is just a small step to dig into something deeper, pick out the subjects that interest you. Remember that there’s nothing wrong in being unsure of the subjects that interest you – it could be a cross disciplinary choice as well, but it’s important to gauge your interest in terms of how your mind is involved while studying these subjects and whether you make an extra effort to be more involved with them. Eliminate your weaknesses if you can’t identify your strengths – and make the choice accordingly. Check your grades, check your interests, or eliminate the options that don’t work for you – that’s the ideal concoction to making a wise choice.
Research career prospects At the age of 15, you’re rather unsure about the everyday life of any career prospect that may interest you – whether it’s a chemical engineer, an investment banker, a researcher, or a graphic designer. Remember, at this age, with the limited knowledge and exposure, it is impossible for you to wholly understand the job roles of any professional or artist. Don’t let this stress you out; instead, consult people from different fields and ask them more about what they’re required to do at work every day. Of course it isn’t easy to understand their job roles even after you learn about it from them, but a vague area of interest is important. Remember that your mind is going to evolve a lot in the next five years, and that is completely dependent on the choices you make.
Understand who you are from your parents, teachers and mentors Understand your strengths and weaknesses from people who are close to you. It’s important to take in another perspective while making life choices. You may be interested in journalism – for example, there’s much more to the field than reporting and current affairs. It’s important for you to understand if this job interests you – if you’re actively interested in reading, current affairs, and you’ve got strong people skills and research skills. These skills may exist at a very nascent stage, but make sure you consult your parents, teachers and mentors and take in their opinions as well.
Remember that in the end, you know best. You will not be an expert since the beginning, but the next two or three years are just a training for you to dig deeper and understand what direction you would like your life to be headed. It’s not easy to make the choice at the age of 15, with limited knowledge, but remember you know yourself, and you’re surrounded by people who are looking out for you – you are going to make the best possible decision.