“Boards hai, mehnat karlo!”
“Life is set if you score well in your Class 12th boards!”
“What will you do if you don’t score well in your board exams?”
Finally, those traumatizing months are behind you, when this was all that you heard. With the board exams now over, it’s a great load off your back! But the big question is- Can you afford to sit back and relax?
The answer is Yes for those who have planned out things long back and a No for those who didn’t. Just like the story of the ant and the grasshopper. The ants can afford to relax but the grasshoppers can’t.
Is it Too Late Now to Plan Your Career?
Ideally, it’s best to start career planning early to give you the right head start, but it’s never too late to begin. There is good news for both the ants and the grasshoppers! The ants need not worry at all, and the grasshoppers too should be able to make it in time for the entrances and further admission procedures, with the right guidance and planning.
Nowadays, most colleges have entrance examinations for their admissions which open up after the class 12th board exams, barring a few colleges that finish the exam procedure early. The ones who decide on the merit of the boards results open for admissions after the results are out. So, it is officially not too late for deciding on a career.
Besides, there are a number of available options which you can choose from after working out your interests and aptitude.
What Next After Board Exams?
Put on your thinking caps as it’s the time for introspection and self-analysis. The more you do so, the better equipped you are to answer this question of “what next?” If your focus until now was on scoring a great percentage in XII boards, a change in focus now is what is required. A distant vision with defined short-term goals is the best approach you should take.
Since you had decided to wait before you could put the class 12th board exams behind your backs before diverting your attention, it’s the best time to channelize all energies into career planning now. There is an increasing number of interesting careers open to you; all you need is a good insight into the options available.
Is this Really the Turning Point in Your Career?
The post 12th decisions are surely the turning points in your career, as you make a conscious decision of choosing what interests or fascinates you, unlike school, where most of the subjects you study were without a choice.
The decisions you take now will carve your career path and good decisions will take you higher up the learning and performing curve, while wrong decisions may retard your speed and make you lose out on precious years. If you took a wrong stream in Class 11th and struggled to understand right through the two high school years, this is the right time to change. If you liked what you chose, go right ahead and explore the various options now open to you.
Recommended Read: Should You Drop a Year After Class 12th? Answers From a Career Coach
How to Choose a Career after Class 12th
The decision is tough indeed when you have your heart in so many things or in nothing at all. Those of you who feel equally adept in two or more fields would be finding it tough to make a career choice. And of course, there are some who aren’t yet aware of the many options or opportunities available as career choices and feel no subject interests them enough to take it up as a career option.
Then how should you go about making this important decision?
You could begin by focusing on the following areas.
Recommended Read: 7 (+2) Deadly Sins to Avoid When Choosing a Career for Yourself
1. Ask Yourself, “Do I like my present stream or do I need to make a change?”
If you think you have made the right choice and are finding it challenging enough, explore more career options in the same stream. But if in the two high school years you struggled to carry on and found it difficult to grasp the subjects, then a change in your stream and outlook may be required. Don’t worry, stream change is very much possible and not that difficult if you are aware of your options.
Recommended Read: Stuck with the Wrong Stream? Expert Tips on How to Get Back on Track!
2. Take Note of the Competitive Exams You Need to Write
You could explore more about the entrance examinations for the courses you are targetting. Popular courses such as BBA, BJMC, B.Tech, MBBS, Law, etc., all have entrance exams after class 12th. These exams are pretty competitive and require a great deal of preparation. It’s best to start early.
Recommended Read: 6 Highly Effective Tips to Balance Boards and Entrance Exams Together
3. Eliminate Human Bias in Your Decisions
Your mom/dad want you to become a doctor, your friends recommend that a career in design is the “in thing”, you feel that you’ll do great as a writer – do not take all these things for granted. You or others around you might feel you would do well in a particular career based on a host of factors, but the simple fact is that they cannot see the whole picture.
It is, thus, better to get a scientific evaluation done, so that any form of bias does not creep up in your choice. Psychometric career assessments evaluate you on different parameters (including your aptitude, interest and personality) to help you make correct decisions.
Recommended Read: 6 Pieces of Career Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me in Class 12th
4. Do Your Own Research
An essential step to move closer towards your decision is to know your options. While you can, of course, consult other people and get their advice, don’t take everything at face value. Read up thoroughly on what careers are available with your chosen stream and subjects, what they actually entail, what kind of education will be needed to pursue them, what colleges offer those courses and the like. The idea is to equip yourself with the power of information to know what will be getting into.
There are great online resources available, such as the Mindler Career Library, that can help you in your endeavour.
Recommended Read: College Vs. Course: Expert Tips to Make the Choice Easy
5. Take up Internships in Areas of Your Interest
It is a fact that we often do not know what actually happens in a career, and the best way to get this information is to “live it”. Internships can get you that desired exposure to help you comprehend clearly what to expect in your chosen career. Voluntary sign up for events, seminars, conferences or taking up an internship with different companies shall give you that experience.
Recommended Read: 7 Reasons Why Internships Are Not Just for College Students
6. Visit Career/Education Fairs
Career fairs are events where employers, recruiters, and schools give information to potential employees. Here you can get a chance to meet employers, establish professional relationships, and discuss potential job and/or internship opportunities. Many employers from a variety of industries attend, and there are both general and specialized career fair events.
Education Fairs expose you to the upcoming courses available and the universities or institutes offering them. Such fairs can help you explore the available options in India and abroad. Do visit one if time permits.
Recommended Read: It’s Time You Look Beyond ‘Scope’ When Choosing Your Career. Here’s Why.
7. Speak to Professionals in Your Shortlisted Fields
Interacting with professionals in your chosen career shall give you a fair idea of what to expect when you begin your career. Professions which seem enticing often involve hours of painstaking sweat and toil. You can connect with them through your own personal network or through social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. or through career fairs.
Recommended Read: Social Media Can Help Boost Your Career: Here are 5 Ways (And Examples)!
8. Take the Help of a Career Counsellor
A professional and scientific approach to the most important decision of your life could save you a lot of precious time and money. A counsellor is perfectly equipped to suggest and guide you with a combination of psychometric tests and expert guidance to help you reach the right decision.
What may seem great for your friend may not simply work for you. Advice from family and friends always has some personal bias and opinion attached to it as opposed to a counsellor’s advice which is purely suited to your capabilities and interests. Give yourself the advantage of professional expert help. They know best!
With one hurdle (the Boards) crossed now, it’s time to prep up for the next one. A bit of thinking, a little bit of analysis and a little bit of professional advice shall do the best for you now. I repeat, it’s not too late, but its sure time for quick action.
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