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GMAT Essays : AWA / AWM Issue Essay 5.1

GMAT Essays - AWA / AWM Analytical Writing     'Analysis of Issue' Essay


Contributed by Vikram
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Issue Topic 5.1 Financial benefit should be the prime criterion in deciding a career.

Discuss whether you agree or disagree (partially or totally) with the view expressed providing reasons and examples

ESSAY (Contributed by Vikram)

The stated topic is based on an underlying assumption: that we indeed have choice and freedom in our career decisions. In what follows, I intend to question this assumption. It is my view that even when presented with such a choice of career paths, the path that leads to the most financial gain is not always the best option.


The question of whether we really have a choice when it comes to making a career decision has three typical answers. The first one is that we live in a free society and our final career path is entirely up to us. The individual gathers information and then chooses a career that he feels is best suited for him. The second answer is that, in many cases, the individual really has no choice in the matter since he is subject to forces beyond his control. These could be family background, education level, childhood history, race, etc. In many instances, the 'job chooses the individual more than the individual choosing the job'. The third answer could be that many people fall into career paths by accident. 'Fate' as it were leads them to their career path. It is interesting to note that while such 'accidental' career choices often lead to job dissatisfaction and a lack of involvement in work, every now and then, one of these 'children of fate’ do magnificently well and even go down in history !


So clearly, the choice of career path is not always in our hands. Having said that, even when the choice is entirely our own, opting for the career that promises the highest remuneration is not the best way to go, for the simple reason that the job that pays the highest need not necessarily be the most satisfying. History is replete with examples of individuals who did brilliantly after they swapped their original lucrative careers for lower paying jobs that they found more enjoyable. A great example here is that of reggae superstar Shaggy. Shaggy joined the U.S. army since he couldn’t find work, and is a Gulf War veteran. However, he gave up this career in the army to pursue his passion - music. After hard times in the early years of his music career, his single 'Oh Carolina' became an international hit. The rest is history. Many entrepreneurs, who today head large corporations, gave up lucrative high-paying jobs to pursue their dream of running their own company.


If people had chosen careers based only on their financial prospects, the world would be a very different place. If the one and only Mahatma Gandhi had not given up his career as a lawyer to pursue a noble cause, India would not be a free country, and the British Raj might still be in existence! Many revolutionaries and freedom fighters, or for that matter, even terrorists give up their careers to pursue their hopes and dreams. Obviously, in all these instances, there is almost no financial gain of any sort. Nations are born and empires fall as a direct result of the choices made by such individuals. We would have far fewer priests and social workers if financial gain was considered the most important factor in deciding a career..


In conclusion, it is best for all concerned if an individual’s career choice concurs with his interests and passion. If on the other hand, the individual’s passion is the pursuit of wealth itself, then this whole discussion is academic !

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