Stories about career

A Pakistani boy in the kitchen: Chasing my dream with a pinch of salt

Three years ago, roughly around this time of the year, I told my parents what I wanted to do with my future. I still remember that day. My father and I were searching for seafood at the infamous Delhi Colony market. The sun was at its peak and the heat was unforgiving. A’Levels is a crucial time of the year; it is that time when students stress about their future. Thinking about shifting from a school to a university was considerably overwhelming at that time. If I’m not mistaken, it was a Sunday that sparked my realisation of where I ...

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Follow your passion: How I became a sports journalist

In 2007, as my ‘A’-level exams were nearing an end, I was confronted with that inevitable question: what to do in life? That’s when I began to assess my options. Engineering wasn’t my cup of tea. I’d be having a laugh if I thought of becoming a doctor. What was I left with? The ‘easiest’ option available: pursuing a BBA degree. Till the time I got into a business school, my life had been a roller-coaster ride as far as choosing a career was concerned. There was a time when I wanted to become an aeronautical engineer. Then, physics happened ...

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When your boss breathes down your neck

It’s not fun. It’s not helping, and no, it’s not okay. Please leave me alone. I did a sales job about a year ago. It was probably the worst experience ever. It galls me to even speak of it as the memories haunt me till date. But, after being in denial about my skills for a good five months, and falsely assuring myself, “If he can do it, then so can I” or “If she can do it, I can definitely do it”, I finally realised, it wasn’t my cup of tea. Dealing with customers was not painless; it came down ...

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You can’t be a journalist, you’re a woman!

“This is not the right field for a woman”, he said, with an impudence that seemed at odds with his otherwise timid appearance. He offered his two cents, “advice” he called it, as if delivered with nothing but my best interest in mind. “Why don’t you go into TV or reporting?” Being a woman, with any kind of unique ambition in Pakistan, comes with the stigma of rebellion. Women, however, are no longer choosing their occupational roles based on societal expectations. There are now female taxi-drivers, camera operators, police force employees and photojournalists — and while this shows the progress the country ...

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Dear women, equality comes with a price!

Pakistan is now producing more female doctors than male ones and it is not a good sign. According to some of the senior doctors and medical staff, Pakistan’s health system had won the gender equality battle at the cost of productivity. More women are now pursuing medicine, as compared to their male counterparts, which is affecting the health system adversely since a large number of women abandon the profession after completing medical school. Due to the open-merit system introduced by the Supreme Court in 1991, which abolished the 60:40 ratio for male and female students in medical college admissions, men and ...

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School,college,marriage,kids – is there more to being a woman?

From a very early age, girls are taught to be responsible, politically correct and open to compromise, with a greater emphasis on conformity for societal appreciation. There is just one problem, most of these lessons are bequeathed with the view of a woman’s future home, future in-laws, hypothetical husband and even more hypothetical children. Lessons that bring forth a form of “automatic decision- making” that is of the “school-college-marriage-kids” variety. It is almost as though a majority of women conclude that the ultimate result of any pursuit prior to their mid 20s will be matrimony and anything different would be rather ...

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I want to be part of the corruption brigade, don’t you?

As a Pakistani, I really want to be a part of the corruption brigade; after all, it is the biggest business in this country, right? Recurrent news about the level of corruption in Pakistan explains that in the past four years, people in power can easily pocket around Rs8.5 trillion!  This encourages me to focus on a single point agenda to pursue ─ how can I become corrupt? I guess majority of the Pakistani youth is also thinking along the same lines. Apparently, there is no need to think of another option because this one is the most convenient. Pursuing another career ...

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Working women: Whose decision is it anyway?

The other day I was watching a Pakistani drama in which a young couple was discussing their future plans. The following conversation played out: Boy: As soon as we get married I want both of us to make a lot of money! Girl: But what if I don’t want to work? Boy: I will make sure you do. Girl: So if I say that I don’t want to work after marriage, you won’t marry me? Boy: No. The girl got upset and the scene changed, I stopped paying further attention to the play as just then my friend brought over a tray of snacks. However, later that ...

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Do what you love, love what you do!

A recent article by Cal Newport in the New York Times stirred up the debate on how people should choose their career path. The mantra of ‘life coaches’, self-help literature and career counsellors alike is to ‘find’ your passion and do what you love. Some know earlier on in life what that they want to become ─ doctors, entrepreneurs, scientists or even ballerinas. These people are lucky enough to identify and live out their passion. However, my experience tells me that most people are unaware of what they want to do, or they fail to avail the opportunities for pursuing their passion. In most ...

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If you jump off, you will fly, I promise!

Two years ago, I made the first most life-altering, high risk, and extremely indulgent decision of my adult life. For most of my life, all my life-decisions were sort of handed over to me and I had no choice but to follow their trajectory. But regardless of following all the right decisions and a path full of perfect daisies, I was still lost as lost can be. After a breakdown of Lindsay Lohan proportions, my drug of choice was chocolate ice-cream, I decided to actually do something about my situation. My decision was take up writing as a full time ...

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