Youngsters from the state seem to be unafraid to experiment and dabble in different professions. Be it make-up artists, voice-over artists, fitness instructors, musicians or bloggers – they are pushing their creative boundaries.
Passion meets profession
After school, Shruti Chaturvedi took up engineering like many others, but realized it wasn’t her cup of tea. “I ended up charting a 16-18 month plan for myself, where I would intern in different companies in different roles in order to understand what I enjoy the most,” she says. A part of it was a limited-period blogging project and then there was no looking back. Now she is a full-time story-teller engaged in sharing happy stories. “The internet has been a savior. There is a lot of clutter that one has to cut through to be able to shine, but it’s a price worth paying,” she adds.
No job is easy
Personal shopper and stylist Shirali Shah echoes this sentiment. “From working for free for many clients when I started to now styling a movie – the recognition came with a lot of patience,” says Shirali, textile design graduate. Now she enjoys telling people about her work. “Most of the time the response is – ‘You shop for a living? Wow, this has to be a dream job!’ No job is easy and this one’s no exception. But the respect you get for starting something on your own is satisfying,” she says.
Mind over money
Activities that were just hobbies can now be honed to become vocations. However, it may take some budgeting if there is no security of a fixed income. Comedian Manan Desai says, “Offbeat professions come with a huge risk factor. I still laugh when I look at my accounts. My wife and I have seen miserable days as entrepreneurs, but if you make it through the initial days, then the sense of fulfillment that you eventually get by living your dreams is great.”
Smells like youth spirit
Singer Riya Shah who just completed her master’s degree says, “It’s about the courage to follow our passion.” Rudimentary beliefs about what leads to being ‘well-paid’ and ‘well-settled’ have been put to rest. And why not? These professionals have carved their own paths. Most importantly, they are doing what they love, so there is no stopping them.
A positive trend
Career counsellor Dr Nimrat Singh says this trend is positive. “By the time children are 16, they experience a complete burn-out. It is not surprising then that at some point, instead of aligning their careers with their education, they feel the urge to break away,” she explains. Many decide to travel or take a sabbatical and learn something that they have always wanted to. “It may not necessarily be their ‘Plan A’ for the rest of their lives, but this self-discovery allows expression of their creativity – something that the current education system does not accommodate. Parents have also realized that their children don’t think in the same way that they did,” she adds. In fact, they facilitate this process of finding a balance. between passion and profession. Ajay Kurseja, a father of two, runs a travel and tourism institute in the city. He says, “My belief in offbeat careers is an old one. I’m more than happy to let my daughter (who just cleared her board exam) experiment. I will make proper checks about the course she wants to pursue – because time is money and you do not want to invest it in any fly-by-night kind of an institute,” he says.