In this age of intense competition, many parents feel burdened with the immense pressure of helping their children make the right career choices. Out of well-meaning intention, some parents put enormous pressure on their kids, pushing them to opt for traditional professions because it seems like the safest route.
Yet our brave new world includes a staggering variety of avocations, fueled by gigantic strides in technology. The challenge is to create a career choice process that takes advantage of these changes and the new ambitions of our youth population.
India’s median age is projected to be only 29 in 2020. Other countries have similar youthful projections: the median age in China will be 37, Europe 46, and Japan 47.
Given these trends, Mathrubhumi — Kerala’s visionary media group — launched a unique initiative. We employed an integrated campaign to communicate awareness about career choices through our various media platforms: print, radio, television, online, and social media.
The awareness campaign used the following approaches:
- Success stories: With intent of inspiring change, we shared more than 100 stories about young people who made successful, yet not-so-typical, career choices. Some of the interesting jobs they hold include ethical hacker, food designer, subtitler, and tattoo artist.
- Discussions at schools: All 14 editions of our newspaper organised school-level activities for children, teachers, and parents. This included one-on-one interactions with professionals who opted for alternate careers. Discussions encouraged parents and children to communicate about their aspirations and dream jobs.
- Viral video: Our “Reimagining the Future” video featured various careers, including costume stylist, hair and make-up artist, food scientist, nutritionist, fitness trainee, pet groomer, video game developer, and watch dial scientist. The objective was to educate and enlighten parents to help them understand how choosing an alternate career is a positive choice made with an open mind.
Response to this campaign was staggering:
- The video generated more than 3 million (30 lakh) Facebook views and 10 million (1 crore) impressions.
- We reached out to 50 schools, and more than 2,500 school children were educated through seminars and participated in discussions about how they could specialise in exciting new fields.
- Parents learned how they can support their children in a competitive world.
- We also got various film celebrities to share their childhood memories and spread their message to parents and children.
Our efforts were applauded by tens of thousands of parents. Many shared their views about how great it is that our news institution, with a rich legacy of 94 years, is at the forefront of promoting cutting-edge career opportunities for the next generation.