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First job versus Higher Studies - Things to know before decision making

Sometimes our life plays with us putting us in Cross roads where we have different paths to choose. And we need to really have some idea about each of the roads otherwise we may simply go in some road only to find out later that we are at a ‘Point of no return’. These cross roads are our different goals in life and each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but at some point of time, we must chose only one road or one goal leaving the others. This is when the trouble starts.

For a student who has completed his basic graduation and has not achieved better academic results, the situation to choose between a small Job to start his/her professional career and to go for Higher studies, is like putting him/her at the Cross roads with the puzzle unsolved. This article only helps you to understand a little better about the practical situations of life which helps you in proper decision making.

Things to Know before this Decision making:

1. As soon as we finish our studies, we will be very eager to get a job and enter into the professional life. There is nothing wrong in that. But if we don’t get into the job we love to do, then there will not be involvement in the job in the long run and we can’t really enjoy working. In the beginning, with the joy of getting the first job, everything seems to be wonderful but slowly the truth comes out.

This is an important point to remember in life, also as per “The Monk who sold his Ferrari” book by Robin Sharma.

2. Sometimes we may need to wait for some other good opportunity to get the right job. Waiting is always terrible, but sometimes it is important to be patient and finally do something which we like and where we can involve ourselves deeply. This produces great results. Again a point learned from “The Monk who sold his Ferrari”.

3. There are two ways to get to your desired position in your profession. Particularly if your academic results are not permitting you to get what you want in the initial stages of your career or at the beginning of your career, then:

· The first option is to join in a company in some ‘not-so-great’ position and then try to put your 100% effort and rise in steps to reach your dream position. This really needs a lot of patience, perseverance and hard work. This option also puts you under pressure as there will be some of your friends or juniors who might have chosen the other option and may go forward a little faster than you. But this way of hard-working in the Profession also builds your strong resolve by giving you some life experiences. Based on the company you are working in, the growth will vary, and probably you may grow faster too. But in India, we can’t expect that all the companies are really professional, as they initially appear to be, for a new comer.

· Alternatively, you have the second optionthe Higher studies like M.Tech from reputed universities like IITs, NITs, where if you put again 100% of your effort, you will skip all the low level jobs and can join at a higher level, directly into your dream position. The growth will be initially slow because you are already at a higher position. This option may not present good life experiences at the beginning, but it gives you command over what you are doing and you can always have a chance to lead the people. If you are not egoistic, you can easily get to know about all the experiences of the lower level jobs by interacting with the people working in those positions.

4. There are both some advantages and disadvantages with both big and small companies. In Small companies, you will not get a good salary but with your good attitude you may approach anyone and can make a good relation with your colleagues and even with all your big bosses, you can learn many things even if they are not relating to your discipline. In Big companies, the salary will be attractive, but you rarely meet your big bosses, there will be too many colleagues and the scope for learning beyond your discipline will be limited. And when it comes to recognition, your job in a small company initially may not create a value for your resume whereas a job in a big company will do so. But what are more important to us, in whatever kind of company we join, are the ‘Knowledge we gain’ and ‘the way we mould our career’ utilizing the opportunities that come to us.

5. Wherever we go we see and find the different kinds of people – good, bad, jealous, cooperative, etc. Life teaches us the lessons through our experiences, but our good attitude will pay off properly at times, so it is really more important to have a strong good character, and you shall keep charging yourself with positive ideas, reading inspirational books, interacting with your near and dear, taking the valuable suggestions of your well-wishers.

6. Professional life is not as easy as the Student life. The Student only worries about marks, grades, job opportunities. There are parents to take care of the students for personal needs, and there are lecturers and the institute, who take care of education, but in the Profession there are many factors involved, and the person is more responsible in terms of delivering the output producing satisfactory results, dealing with superiors and with sub-ordinates. A Student only receives, but the Professional always delivers. A Student is accountable only for his results. A Professional is accountable also on behalf of his sub-ordinates. So a Professional must have good determination, communication skills and team building skills in high amounts than those required by a Student. And every Student will become a Professional someday to face all these challenges. So be prepared for it – to change yourself from a Student into a Professional.

If you are really good at Time-management, and if your Profession permits you to have a fixed working hours schedule, you may also think first to join a company and start working and simultaneously prepare for some higher studies so that when you achieve a great result, you can quit your job in between and can continue your higher studies full time. This way, your first job also provides some value to you in understanding things while you do some specific projects in your higher studies, which again will help you in your further professional life.

Remember these points, and prepare yourself thinking in the positive way discovering your own strengths besides knowing your personal goals. “The Monk who sold his Ferrari” book really helps you in sorting out what is important to you. Once you know what exactly do you want, then your goals are half achieved. And don’t take any decision which puts you on the other road far from reaching your goal. For this reason, you may even lose opportunities at the beginning, but do only what you want to do.


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