Singer, actor and television anchor, Meiyang Chang, is the host of the new show, India’s Best Jobs on Discovery Channel. With people increasingly giving up traditional career paths to follow their dreams, today’s youth are blazing a trail in many fields.
Chang shared his views on his career, the show and issues regarding the youth.
Why should the youth be made aware of all the different kinds of careers that are possible today?
It’s a unique show, which will take viewers through the lives of those people believed in their dreams. It features a yoga trainer who is in her early 20s. She got inspiration from her mother who herself is a yoga enthusiast. It’s a common perception that young trainers earn only after they gain a certain amount of experience. She proves it all wrong. Today she is successful and trains many celebrities.
Talking about why the youth should be made aware of different careers today is a crucial subject. Parents should realise that there are different kinds of professions. If you are willing to work hard, you can realise your dreams.
If you could choose any career, what would it be?
I would have been a dentist like my father.
Is it possible for middle class children today to look past pressure from society and parents, and do what they want to?
As part of society, it’s difficult to go beyond traditional jobs, but I think doing things, which don’t interest you will not take you anywhere.
How do you prepare for being a TV anchor?
It’s not possible to prepare everything beforehand. Sometimes the sense of humour comes on the spot. I would say that preparation is a very long term thing. I used to be an introvert. The change from how I used to be to what I am today has been a gradual training. Humour depends on what kind of people you have around, what is your approach towards life, what kind of shows you watch et al. The main mantra is if you are happy in life automatically all the humour and happy vibes come from somewhere or the other.
What are some social issues you feel strongly about and why?
I used to be one of those guys who threw garbage anywhere. I didn’t know I was wrong until someone questioned me. I now ensure that I throw garbage in dustbins only.
I make it a point to not waste electricity and water. Fortunately I got in touch with a guy in Mumbai, Afroz Shah. He started a volunteer organisation to clean Versova Beach. I joined him a year ago and since October 2015 we have managed to clear all the garbage that was there on the beach and the amount of trees that he has been able to replant is commendable. I think that is one cause I am very close to because I have seen the results.
What advice would you give to someone fresh out of school or college about a career?
I would tell them that it is just like marriage. When you are getting married, you have to take a particular stance, because you are the one who is going to spend the rest of your life with your partner, not your family, society or friends. There you put together your pros and cons while deciding your partner.
It is the same with your professional life. Everything is not always rosy, there are lot of cases when people have tried something different and it hasn’t worked out but if you never try, you will never know.
Who has been your role model?
I have always looked up to my father because when he started working he didn’t
have anything. Both my parents are from low social economic backgrounds. They worked hard living in a small city (Dhanbad). They have given me certain values be kind to everyone, work hard and enjoy one’s work.
What is one thing you think the youth is doing wrong and the one that they are doing right?
There youth is doing a lot of good things. It would be unfair to say that the youth is doing something wrong. Something which we can definitely do better is being kind to people and not make a fuss about small things. I wish we were more sensitive about topics like safety for women. I think that is one section where youth can change things because they come with a blank slate and can be moulded.
Do you have any regrets?
It would have been great if I could have managed to continue my dentistry along with entertainment. It’s just that both would have required a lot of attention. So I had two choices —dentistry or this. I chose the entertainment industry and I have no regrets.