On his recent visit to India, the Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was heard quoting that “Courage in the face of opportunity is more important than courage in the face of reality”.
We may not be able to change what will happen in reality, but we can definitely do a great deal of things when an opportunity knocks on your door.
It is said that you must have a Plan-B along with Plan-A, if you are really smart. While you are engaged in a profession that is mainstream, based on a college degree that you acquired, you can also jot down a list of possible career options if your boat seems to have a hole in it.
Keeping in an account, the unpredictability of the future in private organizations, it is a safe bet to have your skills and talents honed and kept alive so that if there is any reason like lay off, job crunch, winding up of the company, closure of partnership etc. you are not doomed.
Your chosen profession could be a full-time occupation engaging you for longer hours of work and specific skills required for that particular position. Whereas, “alternative career” options are some occupations which can grow out of your favorite hobby, passion or liking, your innate talents or simply your skills to communicate well with others.
For example; a person could be a full time IT employee in a company but if he is good at playing a musical instrument or if he is a vocal artist, he can work as Band member in an Event management company. If someone is a teacher or a lecturer in a college and has a good hold on his/her language skills, they can become blog writes, author of books, newspaper editors etc. This can start as a mere interest in the beginning and can grow up to even making you a founder of a new entrepreneurial enterprise!
A doctor can be a guest lecturer, a lawyer can be a company advisor, a journalist can be a hobby photographer for a wildlife magazine….and there is no restriction or prohibition as to who can cultivate what kind of hobbies and skills and hence, pursue an alternative career path which they are most comfortable or happy with. I have heard of scientists who are poets and story writers! And so the world has innumerable options and opportunities for you to explore and experiment with.
As a college student, you can try seeking out part-time job opportunities in the field of your interest, grow your talent and practice the necessary skills to keep upgrading often so that you are in demand of the market. What may start as just your favorite ‘time pass’ hobby might end you up winning a Nobel laureate in few years! Who knows?
Several world-famous artists when giving their press interviews have shared that the best thing that has happened in their careers of the limelight was a very simple idea that became a hit or a hobby that just threw an opportunity suddenly that made them the superstars overnight. You could be the next!
Along with the mainstream career, you can also choose to become a cartoonist, an animation artist, a fashion designer or an interior designer, a scriptwriter, VFX and gaming artist, a photojournalist etc. With the advent of latest technology and several gadgets that make life so easy, you can try your hand at several arenas that can be of a great support to assist you in earning those extra bucks when you need it the most or make you carve your niche in less explored areas.
Make a list of opportunities or hobbies that you want to commercialize and do a little bit of research on where it is available and your flexibility to adjust your day to day activities while you can concentrate on the mainstream goal. Contact the popular training institutes and colleges that provide short term and long term certificate courses, hobby classes or even a professional degree courses in the area of your interest to make the best of the both worlds.
Jim Rohn a famous author and the American entrepreneur rightly puts it “Part of your heritage in this society is the opportunity to become financially independent”.