Choosing the Right Career for Women By Fahmida Mehreen
Women. As soon as we hear the word, we imagine our mothers, our sisters, our wives, our daughters, our cousins, and our friends. As a woman, a person has to undertake uncountable responsibilities starting from looking after her parents and siblings to taking care of her own family with husband and children and in-laws, while maintaining many social rapports. In our society, we cannot imagine a home without a female figure because they carry the burden of home management like a pro, which probably by default, males lack.
However, in the 21st century, women are not confined within the walls of their house only. They are not just taking charge of the kitchen and laundry, but also taking responsibilities in their field of occupation. Besides being homemakers, women nowadays are exceling in almost all fields, starting from medicine, astronomy, mathematics, accountancy, engineering, literature, civil services, sports, entertainment: you name it! Today’s progressive women do not bind themselves. They have reached the top of the Mt. Everest like Nishat Mazumdar, and have taken charge of fighter planes as military combat pilots like Flight Lieutenant Nayma Haque and Flight Lieutenant Tamanna-E-Lutfy. These are just a few names amidst innumerous examples.
Now, it is important for a young lady to consider many aspects before deciding on a career that she may like to pursue. It can be anything: the choices are open for her. But it is vital to keep in mind that whatever she chooses has to fit in her lifestyle and her own comfort zone. Or else, her passion may as well become arduous for her at one point or another.
Among many things, first and foremost, the person must know what she is best at doing and what she enjoys doing the most. Does she enjoy reading and writing? She can be a writer. Does she love numbers? She can be a mathematician, or choose to pursue any professional degree in the field of science. Does she like the smell of chemicals? A pharmacist maybe. Does her heart race when she hears a plane fly high above in the sky? She can be a pilot or an air hostess. Is she a good talker and good at analytics? She can be teacher, academician, even an auditor. In short, it all depends on what drives her passion to the utmost extent. And, this she must decide on her own without the pressure of any other persons, be it family or peers.
In our conventional society, whether it is a boy or a girl, the family plays a crucial role in deciding what the person’s profession will be. By the time a child reaches grade eight, it already gets decided whether he or she shall be a doctor, an engineer, a lawyer, a civil servant or an accountant. Unfortunately, the child is rarely given an option to explore his or her own skills and areas of excellence. Thus, in many cases they fail in the later parts of their life despite being highly capable and proficient. Sadly, that is talent wasted.
This situation only becomes tougher for a girl in our patriarchal society. Much often it is expected that the girl will finish her basic education equivalent to graduation or at best masters level, and then get married off to some eligible bachelor. The rest depends on what the man of her life wants and her overall lifestyle becomes. This is where we should call for a change: of course, the girl will get married and start her family and have a wonderful personal life. But that does not mean she has to compromise with her professional development. By shackling herself to serve her family and raise her children, she is not only depriving herself to excel but also causing a loss to the society as a whole, which could have benefitted largely from her contribution in her field of work.
Therefore, it is of supreme prominence that a girl makes up her mind what she wants to be and how she imagines her life 15 years later by time she is 16 to 18 years old. From an early age, when she is matured enough to think for herself, she must speak to her parents and other members of her family regarding her aspirations and what she dreams of becoming in future. If hurdles come in her way like disagreements and family compulsions, she must not shatter and give up. She has to push herself and make sure that her academic performance is not going down. She must hold on to the positive energies around her. If all is failing, she may take assistance from counselors, mentors and other services which are available these days at universities and even in some schools.
Co-Curricular activities play a very crucial role in shaping a person’s skills. Activities like debating, music, poetry, art and sketching, creative writing and many more can help a person discover her talent. From a young age she should learn to balance between academic tasks and other activities so that down the line she will know how to keep a good and healthy work-life balance.
When a girl is choosing her career, she has to think of variables like family, children, financial need, domestic responsibilities, and such like to determine her future career. This she has to do on her own and not rely on others to decide for her because it is her life and her career on the table. She will have to plan her professional life around her personal life so that she will not have to sacrifice her career for the sake of her family, because it is very well possible to maintain an absolutely healthy way of life if the choice is made rightly. And in order to make the right choice, she has to know her interests and not suppress it; rather, she will have to let the entire community and the world around her know about her aptitude and ability. Additionally, in due time, it is essential to choose a right life partner who can help her to maintain a proper lifestyle while keeping her profession and work on a good go, assisting her at home, and mentally motivating her to move forward.
I am a working woman myself, and have been happily married for the past 3 years. I can say as a matter of fact that it is difficult to work all day and come back home to take care of household matters, no matter how petty things are. Yet, I am willing to take the hassle and work through my challenges because my profession defines my identity besides being someone’s daughter and someone’s wife, and that is something I am not willing to compromise with. I believe, like me and all the other much more successful female figures in our society, today’s young women should not negotiate their professional life with the inconvenience for their personal life. They have to be headstrong and work hard to build their own identity.
Good luck, girls!