Career! This word makes me freak out every time it crosses my path.
Or wait! Maybe I am the one crossing the path here. It scares me so much that even when I sit to write, all the memories of my semester exams, preparations, internship tensions, placement, litigation, and ‘corporate job’ flash in my mind.
There I just think about the good old CLAT days, which even though at that time seemed like a challenge, is the best way to practice my good-old “escapist strategy”.
But no matter how much we try to escape, it is undeniable that we cannot escape our fate. This, apart from career, gives me goosebumps.
Thinking of fate reverts me to the very famous Bhagwad Gita saying,
“Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani”.
Little did we know about the obstacles which we will have to face in doing this ‘Karm’ of building a career for ourselves.
From the Cut Throat competitors in the college, commonly termed as CTs’ to the teachers who burden us with neck-deep cases, we have faced it all. Still, somewhere, the fear of occupying the last seat lurches. One simply cannot severe out the antagonism.
Conforming to the expectations of the people seems the most uphill task. After making it to a college, I am sure, most of you can certainly empathize with me.
The proud moment of going to top-notch college didn’t last for long as you had to constantly be a part of the ‘Rat Race’ and meet the expectations of your family, friends and even classmates in college who are certainly as good as you for they have come through the same exam, or who might be awing your rank and appreciating your answers in the class.
I wish the struggle ended there but certainly, it doesn’t and thus you end up staying nervous all time, finding better ways to take your mind off the unnecessary pressure and competition. Suppose, you do not end up being the topper! Then? Then the saga continues.
You go to some committee interview where all CVs’ seem lauded with accolades that leave you speechless. There, another saga, “CV banana hai, yaar” begins.
The “Gyan Ka Mandir” (Temple of Knowledge) college seems to be like a roller coaster that throws you off from different heights.
The internship applications which you send to a number of organizations and firms, who choose to be mean and not entertain you, seems more like a normal phenomenon.
You approach seniors who sarcastically put it as “Resources and contacts.” There, we have another race, “Resource Banao” race. Some are born with a silver spoon, some are lucky enough to buy it, but if you do not belong to any category, you term yourself “ruined”, where, you can only see, as I can recollect one of my 12th Std. poems, by Stephen Spender, “future painted with fog.”
The moot selection time when everyone is behaving in the most “stud-type” manner, making you feel all the more like a donkey that you had already been feeling.
If you get in, well and good, if not, then again you feel like a loser. It is this point of the career when all the odds are against you and you even after working hard are unable to reach the peak of your success.
This career-making drama drives you crazy and even if you overcome the law school issues, you will be welcomed by the “ugly truth”.
That’s the time when Law school graduates miss their college life, and you wonder why. You go on net and see the recruitment of the law schools and your heart sinks the moment when you see a percent less than 100.
The problem with our brain is that it is intrinsically programmed to think negative and we always think that since 99% are going to get in, I am going to be 1%.
Even if you overcome the apparent shock of low recruitments and an awaiting meltdown in the Legal Industry, the worry then shifts itself to salary and this fancy term, ‘Package’.
This is something which has had the greatest number of Google searches before you began struggling in this circus. Somehow, that just made you feel proud but now it curls your blood.
It pains when there is no reply to the incessant emails sent for internships. It pains when you work hard and yet fail to confirm your expectations. It pains when you are not termed as THE STUD of the college. It pains every single time when you think about career, so much that you rather choose to end it in one go.
I still remember the time when the first thing that was asked to us by our seniors during positive interactions, something like, where do you see yourself after 5 years” and we had an answer at the back of our hands, “Corporate Job”. Now, most of us laugh at ourselves, thinking how foolish we were.
Law is much more than that. I am amazed. Sometimes it’s the lack of opportunity that worries us, sometimes it is excess of opportunities that do the same.
Since we are humans, our ever thinking brain jumps to its favourite work and worries. “Par kya guarantee hai ki mujhe wahi milega jo mujhe chahiye?” (What’s the guarantee that I’ll get what I want).
So in the end, if you are capable and well read, you will get what you want and you won’t restrict yourself to the very starry options open, but would like to explore much more than that.
A line, which perhaps is more comforting and famous than the not so infrequent scolding beautifully wrapped in idioms and proverbs of all kinds flashes in my mind.
“Beta kabil bano kabil, kamyabi to sali jhak mar ke tumhare piche ayegi.” (Become able; success will chase the able, jhakk marke).
I still can’t understand is it “career woe kya hai” (what’s the career woe?) or “career woh kya hai”! (what is a career).
Editor’s note: This post was first published on 29th November 2013.