What would you do in an ideal world?
You would take up some work that interests you, right?
If you had an equal choice, I bet you would pursue your design interests over engineering work. Well, that is what I think you should do. FOLLOW YOUR INTEREST. In the long run, interest / passion is crucial to sustain you through the many years of your career that are yet to come.
Coming to the real world…
Well, in an ideal world, choices are easy to make. In the real world, they are not that easy. So here is my suggestion for you — NEVER LOSE TRACK OF YOUR INTEREST. In the short run, you may have to take up some work that is more aligned to engineering than to design. But do not lose heart. Keep following your design interests on the side till you can make design your full-time job. Some examples:
- Get some certification in your field of interest (this builds up your resume)
- Do a side project in design (a good project is even more valuable than certificates)
- Use websites like Meetup.com to find common interest groups for design in your area
Finally, there will come a time in life (this time may come very soon, or may be in a few years) when you will get a chance to switch completely to design. At that time, engineering may seem a more lucrative and safe option. That will be the key turning point in your life. If you can make your decision to pursue your interest, you will be the happier for it in the end. Initially, you may have to slog it out more than your other friends who played it safe. But in the end, working on something you like is worth all the happiness in the world.
BTW 2 points here:
- If you get the chance to make the transition right now, do it right away. It is your life, and every moment is precious. It will take courage, but you will find the courage on the way
- If you pursue engineering for now, the chance of switching careers will not come your way automatically. You will have to set a path so that you can change careers sometime in the near future.
Some real life stories
Since all the above points are general guidelines, I will leave you with three examples of people who pursued their interest:
- My cousin did her B.Com. and then realized that she was more interested in Fashion Design. She did a second Bachelors in Fashion Design from NIFD Delhi. She did exceedingly well in her class, and later got a chance to go to Europe for her work.
- Arunabh Kumar finished his engineering degree from IIT and then realized his heart was in films and theater. He took up a technical research position in an institute in Mumbai so that he could be physically located at the hub of film/theater in India. He quit his job and went on to become the founder of The Viral Fever.
- Arnab Ray juggles two careers — research in a top institution in USA, and writing (he is one of India’s top bloggers, and has also written two novels). He has to be very disciplined in order to maintain two careers but he seems to be doing that successfully over past several years.
So, these are just some stories of people who followed their interest. All these stories serve as inspiration for those who hear about them. What story will you write?
BTW pardon me for using the oft-quoted poem here, but it is highly relevant here:
[Image credit: http://livelifelessordinary.com/?p=2249]
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