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Choosing and pursuing a profession in a material world

Published: 17 Jan 2018

"How did you land up this job ? What is your package ? What are the chances of getting a foreign placement ? What are your chances of promotion ? What is the highest designation or package that you can get in this company ?"

These were the questions asked by a parent (whose ward wanted to pursue law as a career option) from an in-house lawyer few weeks back.

This parent, not for once, asked as to what subjects are taught in a law school or what attributes does it take to become a lawyer or how much hard work is required.

This is the time of the year in India when students are waiting for their final schooling results and mulling over taking up career oriented courses at college level.

Pursuing certain professions has become very fashionable in India in last two decades since our economy was liberalized and thrown open to MNCs. Parents even do not hesitate from dedicating a large sum of money for education these days to secure a seat for their ward at any premier institution.

The internet is buzzing with the packages that students of premier law / management / technical institutes get in campus recruitment drives by biggest corporate houses and magic circle firms. Students (even their parents in certain cases) get driven to a profession mesmerized by these numbers and glamour of it. What they fail to take into account is that these big corporates and magic circle firms do not hire even 1% of total fresh graduates from the country.

To my knowledge, there has been no research as to how many fresh graduates hired from the campus stick to a company / firm that hires them on a very high package beyond a year or two. On the contrary, cases of frustration, burn out or mutual dissatisfaction are very commonly heard. Campus hiring numbers have become a PR exercise. Many students compete for these hirings and then wait at their first firm for another firm to make a better offer and the process continues … they are not interested in learning at the job, they are always on a lookout for the next big thing. Some blame their parents for putting them in a wrong profession to satisfy their own egos and change their profession after few years.

One must appreciate that professionals who do not stick to a good place for few years and hone their skill sets face saturation in the profession very soon. In any profession, there are not more than 10 big players. Being a job hopper, if you have been with 5 of them, you have more or less nowhere to go after few years.

Most of the financial crisis situations emerge when people buy things that they do not need, with the money that they do not have, to impress the people whom they do not know. 

Therefore, students (and their parents) should ponder and select a career option based on a student’s interests, hobbies, inter personal skills, attitude, parents’ financial condition and so on – not going by a fanciful package reported in pink newspapers given to some unknown person who may be 1 out of a million passing out that year.

To excel in any profession, you must love what you do. Once you decide to pursue a profession, stick to it, give it your best and be serious about the job you are in. If you are not giving your best to the present, your future can be no better.

I am no HR consultant, nor any management guru. These are just my thoughts as a professional and as a concerned parent – felt like sharing.

Best of luck !


About the author :

Bhumesh Verma is a Corporate Lawyer with over 2 decades of experience in advising domestic and international clients, with a place in "The A-List - India's Top 100 Lawyers" by India Business Law Journal. He keeps writing frequently on FDI, M&A and other corporate matters. He can be reached at bhumesh.verma@corpcommlegal.com.

Firm: Addleshaw Goddard

Practice Area: Trade & Customs

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