Peer Pressure and Career Selection

Is your child more influenced by the peers while making career choices? When the child is young, parental influence is the most dominant thing, but as the child grows, enters adolescence, parents start taking a back seat and friends or the peer group becomes more important. Peer group influences a child when it comes to lifestyle, education, appearances and even CAREER!! It’s important for the child and for the parents to understand how important this influence is playing a part in the career decision and manage it before it leads to some undesirable result.

Priya scored 82% in the X class exam and decided to take up science in the XI only for the reason that her friends were taking that. She did not want to be left alone. She had a bent for writing and had always thought of going into creative writing field but then she thought she going in for humanities in school would drift her away from her friends. But gradually over time as she wasn’t able to perform well in school, she started losing her self confidence and started doubting her decisions. Her passion for writing started fading away as she tried more to match up with her friends and her studies. Getting the social acceptance from her friends became the priority for her.

Well, peer pressure is not limited to children alone, even the parents are into this circle. For parents it matters to them which stream other children in their social circle are choosing. They do not want their child to be left out. They put their child through continuous competition with other children without realizing the fact that whether my child can study those particular subjects or not and hampering their self-confidence. Parents feel that we know what is best for our child.

Ashish wanted to take up B.Sc (chemistry) for this graduation but his father was against it as he felt that his friends will mock him and his son for taking up a simple degree and also considering the fact that he won’t be earning much. Ashish was pushed into Engineering, today he is working in an IT firm but struggling with depression and anxiety disorder. All his father can do is regret about his decision today, the price is being paid by Ashish.

Certain steps can be taken by the parents and the student themselves, like getting the psychometric assessment which will help in analysing the child’s actual potentials, personality and interests. Another major way of getting through the peer pressure problem is proper discussion of the child with his/ her parents. Clearing all doubts, exploring options and collecting right information about it. Not loosing ones individuality is also important while making decision. Confidence in the decision will come when the student has studied the consequences of his/her career decision. To facilitate the whole process of decision making, professional help in the form of a qualified career counsellor can also be useful.

“If you and your friends have different body structures, attitudes, talents, likes and dislikes, how is it possible that there would be one- size – fits- all career for all of you.”