Wednesday, August 27, 2008


When we were in high school, at some point, they introduced an "office", or institution, or persona or something, named guidance and counselling. Can't remember if there was a near riot or how that came into being. Anyway. It was one of those things I considered for other people. I think it was part psychosocial and part career advice.

So I was thinking the other day, if I was asked to give young guys advice on careers and the like, what I would say. You know the way they invite some guy who's been working for a while, to inspire guys in his alma mater about certain careers and stuff.

I wouldn't take up such an invite. There are two likely outcomes. One is that I'll perpetuate that when I grow up I want to be a neurosurgeon thing that kids do. It always amazes me when KCSE results come out. What would that kid in Std 8 know about neurosurgery. Do teachers or parents tell the kids, subliminally or otherwise, that kind of thing. Does he say it because that's the most prestigious thing to do for a living. The one with most financial gain? Or does his dad spend all his time in operating theatres, doing incomprehensively complex surgeries and losing a tonne of patients, and the kid does want to follow suit. At some point in my youth my mum did give me a copy of gifted hands to read. But it was more out of religious and social reasons, rather than career ones. I think it was about the time I'd started stopping going to church. Anyhow. At least I got to know what neurosurgery is. Was fascinated by the concept of a lobotomy. Anyway. I didn't grow up to become a neurosurgeon. Far from.

The other likely scenario is I would end up poisoning their minds. My view of jobs hasn't exactly been healthy and it wouldn't be fear to load that on them. It's better if they made up their own minds about career and stuff. They wouldn't believe anything I told them anyway. I remember when filling out the forms for choice of university degree the one thing I was sure about was what I didn't want to do. Had no clue about what I wanted to do. What a nightmare. Finally filled out my choices the night before the deadline. My first choice was based on the fact that one of my fellow cubemates had chosen that course. And the required subject cluster for me would consist of Maths, Physics, Chem and Georg or something. I actually got inspired after that. The thought of my cluster was enough to motivate me to read about diffraction and stuff. Not quite enough to read Abbott, but enough to make me read. It was do or die.

So I would prefer not to advise. On matters of career, and in general. The thought and responsibility of someone else doing something because you said so is pretty daunting. I can share my experience, perhaps venture an opinion if really pressed, but tell someone outright do this or the other. That's tough.


Blogger matejivu said...

may be you should speak to their parents so that they can be honest with their kids. or may be not.

Thursday, August 28, 2008 9:50:00 AM  

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