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#careeradvice #parenting #India

In India lot of parents are interested in future career choices of their kids from a very early age. This desire to find out "gifted" domain of child drives parents to many irrational and outright harmful paths.
This thread is to help you if this question about child's future keeps you awake at night.

i want to stop you from being an emotional idiot and be harmed by scams.
Most parents tend to believe following things (traps)-
1. Everyone we know is doing it. Yes. Most Indians buy money back policies too. we are hardly a sensible herd!
2. If advertisement contains language that "sounds" scientific, has smiling and smart white people in it PLUS some reference to "ancient Indian knowledge" . This combination is irresistible for parents. like a dog who catches whiff of a bitch in heat, they cant think straight.
3. Some machine e.g fingerprinting, with a catch line - "your finger prints are unique (fact) , so is your child (quasi-fact, more emotional appeal)"
4. Most important part- a 20 page report in excellent English, created by smart marketing brains.
Once you have a product that ticks these boxes, all you need is newspaper adverts, peer references (commission paid) and schools willing to offer mass testing (for a big chunk of revenue). And Bingo! you have a winner on hand. Now just smile all the way to your Swiss bank.
Before you spend your money on career counseling sessions of children as young as 3 years (some have tried even at 9 months!), ask your self ONE question -
What is the proof (long term follow up study) that career choice method being sold to you actually does the promised job?
A more fundamental question - Is it even possible to predict strengths of an adult at early stage (specifically with reference to career choice)?

All existing evidence says a resounding NO!
When you have a real choice to make, you need solid information. Indian education gives you this choice in few steps as follows -
1. at the end of 8th std, you can choose commerce subjects instead of math&science. This choice is either forced on you by school or parents smartly
acknowledge severe natural dislike for math/science in their child and decide not to further torture the child.
2. at the end of 10th std - to choose stream Arts/Commerce/Science (math/bio)/Vocational training. Most parents choose math/sci to "keep options open".
if your child agrees with you, Bingo! decision is easy. If your child wants a future without math/sci, Bingo! let them go ahead. Where is the role of fraudulent career counseling here?
3. After 12th Std. - choice of professional college - in reality dictated by child's marks, your financial ability and your gullibility for glitzy college ads.
4. After completion of college - again dictated by marks/desire for further education/ parents' financial muscle.
In my opinion, career guides (working for a fees from you and NOT for commission from colleges) can help a child after 10th and 12th std. to make further choice when child is confused.
A good career counselor has REALLY wide knowledge of various paths in life and ability to assess strengths and weaknesses of the child by his/her path so far (not based on psychometric tests).
Good career counselor considers financial position and resources of family, their anxieties, child's genuine abilities and a healthy respect for uncertainty of future.
Such counseling often involves 2-3 sessions, thinking and search time, etc. You should be willing to pay for this expertise.
Remember a bad counselor is dangerous because they mistakenly steer you away from your strengths. So don't EVER say "what is the harm in this!". Wrong advice is WORSE than a throw of dice.
In a nutshell -
1. Tests are fraud
2. Don't panic and try to choose too early.
3. Don't be deluded by your child's school performance
4. Make provisions for your own retirement. Don't depend on children.
Good Luck.
( I don't do career counseling so please don't see me for this help. Over 20 years of practice, i have met thousands of victims of career counseling/testing scam. Hence this thread of common sense. I have followed these steps for my children. They seem happy, so far)
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