Jasnam Sidhu studied Accounting and Finance at university and regretted it. While he wished he would have studied Computer Science instead, the problem was a lot greater than his personal experience. This regret was by no means limited to him. Roughly, about fifty per cent of all university goers regret going to university. And a similar proportion of people regret their subject choice.
Many do not understand themselves well enough when choosing subjects and universities. Nor do they have resources and advisors to guide them forward and equip them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. With this in mind, Jasnam co-founded Disruptive Innovation Practise at PwC to tackle this and develop innovation capabilities.
The landscape of the professional world does not match that of those guiding us ahead. And often, we are unable to keep pace with the change, simply because we are unaware of it.
No job is going to exist forever, and the needs continue to change. The most demanding skill today is nothing specifically academic or co-curricular. Instead, it is the ability to acquire new skills and adapt to the changing environment that matters. Careers and settings will continue to mould into different shapes, but adaptability will drive us forward.
The first step to choosing a career path, a subject choice, or just any practical decision is self-awareness, followed by an awareness of the rest of the world. Know who you are and where your interests lie. But eventually, match all of it with what is valuable to the world.
And irrespective of the path we choose, jobs today are no more about a fixed route. You can choose to study English literature at university and still become a management consultant. The key in today's industries is less about your degrees and specializations. They are more about your emotional quotient, your ability to handle stress, negotiate across different clients, and command their support.
Developing an adaptability quotient when all institutions around have a rigid structure based on the norms of yesterday might not sound very achievable. But having curiosity and being able to move it to action in an atmosphere that does not appreciate it too much helps possess the tendency to thrive in fast-changing environments.
Jasnam believes in continuous experimentation and discovering who you are; and who you aren't! Be open to trying your hands on new things and enjoy the process of drifting across various options to find your passions! Stay true to who you are, and continue to trust yourself, irrespective of what the outcome may be.
As you go through these cuts and journeys, you are on your own mission and adventure.