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My parents want me to become a doctor or an engineer but I …

Team StoryWeavers|January 6, 2021|

choosing-the-right-career

“The Sharmas have two doctors in their family. They are reputed and earn well too. I believe our son Ashish would make a fine doctor. What do you think?” the husband asks his wife.

Ring any bells? Ever found yourself stuck in such a situation? Yes, sometimes these things give us goosebumps. Many students find themselves in Ashish’s shoes quite too often. Most of them choose never to speak up for the fear of upsetting their parent’s dreams.

It’s not always the case that students and parents share the same dream as far as careers are concerned. 

When you wish to pursue your passion as a career, especially when your passion lies outside the popular mainstream choices, your parents can become one of the most difficult-to-convince people on the planet!

When they look at your interests, they may be crunching numbers in their heads! This is perfectly normal because, in the end, they wish to see their kids do well in their lives and be financially secure too. Career choices like singing,  acting and dancing are considered non-conventional professions and most people in such a line of work often have numerous struggles to overcome. That’s because these fields are highly competitive. For the hundreds and thousands that choose this career path, only a handful make it really big!

What concerns parents about their child’s career path?

  • Security: The first concern that pops up in a parent’s mind is naturally that of security. Ask any mother and she will tell you how concerned she is when it comes to the job security of her children as they grow up. As children grow, it is normal for parents to guide them into fields that they think are more beneficial in the long run. It is out of love and concern that they do this, but sometimes they overlook the interests of their child. If you put yourself in your parents’ shoes, you’ll understand why they might do this. It’s simply because nothing is more important in this world to them than your future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Reputation: You must have come across families with members who are very influential and prominent figures like IAS officers, deans, successful surgeons and professors among others. These families are highly respected in society and many people look up to them for advice and guidance. Such families are becoming a common sight in society these days. Parents in such families would naturally expect their children to perform extremely well and would wish for them to select careers in reputable fields. When parents break a threshold in their professions or with regard to their education, they set the standard a bit higher for those yet to come. They expect their children to do better than what they did and it is not odd for them to think along those lines. Even parents have to live their share for social pressures. They way they think is also influenced by these factors.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Competition: The job landscape around you is evolving extremely quickly and the competition is quite fierce. Parents worry if their child would be able to compete in such a world. This thought is typical of any parent. All parents would want their children to outpace the competition. And so the hunt begins for the best line of work, with the least competition, and a high chance of success, for years to come.

How do you convince your parents about your career choice?

This is a tricky question and there is no one size fits all for this. The answer will depend on numerous factors. Do your parents know about your passion? That’s the first question. Have you ever communicated about it with them before?

Most students shy away from telling their parents what they really want, for fear of facing not-so-pleasant consequences. That’s when the parent steps in to decide on their behalf assuming that their child has no particular interests. You can’t blame them when they do this, you know! They do it to secure the future of their child.

Some parents get surprised when they find their children sharing their interests in art and other stuff which they themselves had when they were teenagers. This helps them to better relate and understand what the child is going through.

You have to understand what is a priority for your mom and dad. You will have to address every issue carefully, diplomatically, and perhaps stick to logic more than emotion while rooting for your cause.

Let’s assume that you wish to choose a career path as a music composer. You know that this profession is not a very common one and that the competition is very high. Becoming a successful music composer will depend on the coming together of a host of things. And giving a perfect timeline for your career is also not possible at least initially.

So in short your parents may not be very thrilled to hear the words “music composer” fall out of your mouth. One way to convince them is by taking the middle ground. What’s the middle ground?

You could strike a deal with your parents. Tell them that you are willing to take up a course of their liking, given that you are confident enough to handle it. And that you’re doing this to broaden your options after graduation. You could tell them that you wish to parallelly pursue your passion as a music composer. This way they will find it hard to turn down your offer while you get to walk on land and water at the same time!

Telling them about your passion also kills feelings of regret. You do not want to look back at life and think that you made a mistake by not letting them know when you had the chance.

Possible FAILS:

This does not always work and you may never win the consent of your parents. There are numerous ways to turn your offer down. Check out some possible setbacks that you may face:

  • Dad: “Ashish, you do realise that medical science is no cakewalk. You will have to focus all your attention on your subjects. How are you going to find time for all this?” 
  • Mom: “What if you decide to drop out in between your programme because of your passion for music?” 
  • Dad: “You remember what happened to Gautam right? He was into acting. On the slightest sight of getting a small opening, he decided to quit his Engineering program. Look where he stands now?”

As a disclaimer the above given instances are just a couple of shapes that this conversation can take up, but at the heart of it is open communication and compromise.

Everything will depend on how well you convince them into letting you go after your dreams, while not compromising the security of your future.

No, it’s not the end of the world if you can’t go after your dreams today. There will always be a tomorrow and honestly, the best thing about learning is that there is no such thing as an age limit, and it’s never too late to start. So don’t lose hope! 

As the old saying goes, “where there is a will, there’s a way!”

About the Author


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Rohit Raj

Rohit Raj is someone who fell in love with the word “Change”. If there is one thing that he hates, it’s a boring and repetitive life. When he is not working he loves keeping track of the world of business, personal finance and tech. Being an ex-coffee addict, he considers giving up his cup of bliss a monumental feat, although he does miss the caffeine-fueled nocturnal life at times! He enjoys research, reading and reducing most things that he comes across into numbers!

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