Prisoners of Profession? – Rajesh Tanti, Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce

Finding the right job is never easy, but very crucial. Your profession can affect your life tremendously. Either you are happy and content at your workplace or it feels like a prison. Life goals combined with socio-economic factors and the environment around you are strong influencers of job choice. That is why, it helps to start thinking early about the choices and the other factors that inevitably impact your decision. Having a head start with a road map can help. So, especially for students who are appearing for your final exams next year, if you have not begun, it is a good time to start discussing, reflecting and laying the ground-work for your future.   

Everybody wants to have a better career and this is the reason why people spend so much time, money and energy in education. But what is the benefit of all these sacrifices if a person can’t live a happy life.

There is a very strong connection between happiness and career. Lack of job satisfaction is one of the biggest woes of today’s workforce. Have you ever thought about how much time you spend in your job? We spend approximately 8-10 hours of our prime time! Out of 24 hours daily if you spend 8-10 hours, under pressure, complaining, criticizing and condemning than how can you expect to be happy in your life if you follow the same routine for 30-40 years.

People who work for so many years in the same job or profession and live an unhappy life – well, I call them prisoners of their profession. Most of the people become job prisoners because they are caught in the wrong job! And most of the people are in wrong jobs because they live by chance and not by choice.

It is difficult to make students and freshers understand the consequences of being caught in the wrong job. Most often, many realise it, too late. By the time they do, it’s too late to come back and correct their mistakes. For example, if a person becomes a doctor after spending so much money and time, and later realizes that this profession is not meant for him/her then it is not easy to switch over to a new profession or to restart.

Even most of the working people also find it difficult to identify the symptoms of being caught in the wrong job. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:
Fear of getting out of bed and going to work, work schedule tearing family apart, job dissatisfaction, sleep disturbances, short temper, boring becomes the favorite word in workplace, mood swings, lack of opportunities to grow, no social life, dreaming about quitting, low morale, increased use of drugs or alcohol. This does not rule out personal factors from being the cause of these problems, however, there is a relation between our mental and physical well being due to both personal and professional imbalances.

Proper career planning is one of the ways to escape being caught in the wrong job. The saddest thing is that most of the students pursue education without adequate career planning, and most of the educated parents and guardians miss out giving proper guidance too. I feel getting an education without career planning is like people spending their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.

Furthermore, in the guise of career planning, many students follow the traditional method of career planning and easily get caught in the wrong job. In the traditional method, most of the students choose their stream on the basis of marks. For example, if he/she gets 1st division they join Science, 2nd division goes to Commerce and 3rd divisioners pursue Arts. This is a trend in our society; but they should remember that the result of a single exam does not reveal your talent, interest and strength. This is because learning and the method of assessment and evaluation in our State strongly focuses on your memory, writing skills, knowledge of the subject and another important fate decider – the mood of the examiner.

Then there are some parents who want their children to become a doctor just because they are doctors. While some students choose a stream or course because of friendship. There are also some students who choose a stream or course with the intention of avoiding the complicated subjects. In the meantime, there are some students who give up on their dreams due to lack of finance and choose a stream or course which they don’t prefer.  But here I would like to add, before giving up, make sure you have complete information about the financial assistance provided by Government, financial institutions and respective colleges and universities for scholarships and loans.

On the other hand, planning a career scientifically means choosing a career on the basis of one’s personality, interest and skills. To shed more light on this, here is an illustration. Mr. John is a college student and conducted three tests:  personality, interest and skills, and his report says:
Out of six personality types viz. realistic, investigative, artistic, social, entrepreneurial, and conventional, John’s social personality type is strong and the report says, “He is a dedicated leader, humanistic, responsible and supportive. He uses feelings, words and ideas to work with people rather than a physical activity to do things. He enjoys the closeness, sharing, groups, unstructured activity and being in charge.”

The interest report indicates seven interest areas:  outdoor, practical, scientific, creative, business, office and people. His strong interest area is people. So he likes to work mainly with people or that he is concerned about their social welfare. The work of teachers, counsellor, police officers, and welfare workers involves a great deal of personal contact. An interest in working with people can also include jobs such as sales, cashiers, waiters, and secretaries, speaker, preacher etc.

Skills report says that his hidden skill is, ‘communication’.  So if he chooses a profession where he communicates more with people he will be more productive and happy. From the above illustration it is clear how proper career planning can help us in choosing the right career.

*If you are a student who needs any help in choosing your career feel free to send an email to
Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Nungchim Christopher, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please email:

Leave a Reply