A basket ball player, a guitarist or a chef — all these booming career options are treated as extra-curricular activities in India. What if we can change the mindset and tell youngsters that it is okay to follow your passion and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly?
Discovery Channel is launching a new series titled India’s Best Jobs which will feature 13 extraordinary individuals who followed their inner calling and turned their passion into profession. Hosted by actor and singer Meiyang Chang, the series decodes the careers of select trendsetters who chose unusual yet extremely successful career paths proving to the world that ‘Aaj ke India mein sab kuch mumkin hai!’ It aims at opening a world of possibilities and breaks myths around jobs and careers for the youth of India.
Each episode will feature ‘a day in the life of’ a celebrity and find out first-hand their reasons for choosing an offbeat career. Each episode will answer the How, Why and What of their life-changing decisions and the misconceptions that they had to struggle with and overcome to build their careers. RJ Naved (Radio Jockey), Zakir Khan (stand-up comedian), Ranvir Brar (chef), Prashant Sawant (fitness trainer for celebs) and Anshuka Parwani (celebrity yoga instructor) are some of the names featured in the show.
Talking about the concept, Chang says, “The show is all about people who are excelling in offbeat careers as well as those who are pursuing conventional jobs unconventionally. It is their work that sets them apart. It is a mindset-changing show and depicts the message that you can be your own boss.” Chang also hopes that a lot of elders too watch the show to know that these are valid and respectable career options.
He also shares that the journey has been a bit of an eye opener for him too since he explored various career options before settling for his passion. He says, “It was a great experience. With so many people as part of the show, I had the chance to experience different perspectives about what was the turning point for them. I associated with them quite a lot since I too changed my profession from being a dentist to joining Bollywood. It has been an exciting discovery to observe people pursuing something that they are so passionate about. For me, it was like getting to see a mirror in front of me with different aspects.”
In real life, is passion just enough to pursue an offbeat career option? “Passion is not the only thing, a lot of other things also come into play but if you set your heart on something, only then you can go ahead and find ways to achieve it,” says Chang adding, “You must also experience the challenges and lows before you hit the highs. You have to put in the research, weigh the pros and cons before trying out something unique. But if you never try, you’ll never know.”
You may have the passion and the will to work hard but how to convince others and society about your unconventional career choice? “Honestly, the show intends to break that wall,” says Chang and continues, “We want people to know that you have hundred things in front of you before you settle for something for the rest of your life. For example, ‘One of my friends was studying dentistry with me, but in the final year, he said, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ He left it in between, moved to Mumbai, and started working as a script writer. He is happy pursuing his dream.”
Chang feels that many a time we are aware of what we want but we don’t know how to take that leap. Is our education system to be blamed for compelling us to not think beyond conventional jobs? “The flaw is not in the Indian education system, it is also the type of teachers that a school hires. Let’s say, I am really interested in History as a subject but if I get a teacher in school who is not able to create or build that interest of mine, I would always wonder what is the point of studying the subject. For that matter, music, art or sports are treated as extra-curricular activities when these are as important career options now as the others. This kind of change needs to happen in our education system,” he says and signs off.
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The series India’s Best Jobs will premiere on July 1 2017 and will air every Saturday at 8 pm on Discovery Channel