Friends and self-determination: Career influencers
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You, too? I thought I was the only one.”
~ C. S. Lewis
When we are with friends who understand us we don’t feel alone, and the sense of belonging gives us security.There is something very comforting about following other people and doing what everybody else is doing. The power of friendship is such that not only our friends but our “friends of friends” can also influence our lives. Thus, how we manage our friendships in school/college can eventually have a bearing on our ethics, work habits and most significantly our career paths.
Whether we like it or not every now and then we tag along with our friends and do the same activity that they are doing. If your friend is going to the gym regularly there is a reasonable chance that you might be tempted to go along to keep them company. Similarly, if your friend is going out for a smoke you might tag along to just hang out and inhale smoke passively. Friends can sometimes goad us to take risks that we are not comfortable with and very often it becomes difficult to say no or to walk away. To quote J. K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.” The strong desire to be “liked”, to “fit in” to be considered “cool” by our friends are universal desires and cuts across all age groups. It is for this reason that friends have a great influence on our lives and can help us nurture our goals or take us away from them.
Shivani Manchanda, a post-graduate in Counselling from the USA, is a warm and vibrant counsellor. Her expertise lies in counselling students on career development, stress prevention and international education. She is an enthusiastic speaker with over two decades of experience.