Who am I? What should I opt for after class 10th? What would be right for my future? Which college……….which profession………………..what kind of salary????????????????? Aaargh….OH GOD!!!!
So many questions arising in the mind of a 15 yr old, it is difficult. How to find an answer? This was the situation with each one of us when we were in class X. We used to discuss this a lot among our peers, spending hours searching the net and asking our cousins & elders about subjects & colleges, but we were never satisfied with all the gathered information…..we still always hoping to get more information, something concrete.
I remember one of our trainees asking, “Ma’am, I’m in class XII, which college should I opt for engineering? But when I went into detail with him it occurred to me that this guy had taken commerce & since childhood had always wanted to become an engineer……………………..
Since that day I have done Career Counseling for more than 1200 kids all across the country with ETASHA, using ETASHA’s “3P Model”, that is understanding the personality of the individual, recognizing their potential and matching both with the emerging profession. It is a mixture of group work and one to one counseling. We draw career maps for each student after conducting psychometric tests & Interest scoring and then short list 8-10 careers, discuss them in detail and come down to 2-3 careers.
Every individual is different from the other, so my experience also varies with each one, owing to their age, family background, region and their expectations relating to themselves & from their families’ side. I still remember my first counseling session two years back, when a very cute, bright and smart 21 year old guy who had completed his Mechanical Engineering from BITS Dubai could not choose between an MBA and an M.Tech & wanted to seek help. It was a learning experience for both of us. For him he came to realize his capabilities, aptitude & hidden interests. For me it was an amazing experience – I was suggesting someone’s career, it was like providing someone with a lifeline and I was learning about my skills as well. This boy wanted to go for management & his father wanted him to do an M.Tech but finally his aptitude matched with his interest. His reasoning, closure, numerical and enterprise skills were amazing which straight away indicated a management field.
With each session I enhanced my learning, my knowledge about careers and my counseling skills. Another challenge with both kids and counselors is managing the different expectations of the students & their families. Generally while undergoing the process kids realize their potential and interest in particular careers but sometimes I have to explain to them the real challenges in those careers. I remember a young, smart girl from Sarita Vihar who was studying in class X at DPS and aspired to become an air hostess. Her mother fixed up the session because she was really worried. The girl was really good in arts & architecture, her scores showed that she had all the capabilities and aptitude to excel in the design industry. I assessed her knowledge regarding the life & career of an air hostess and it was clear that she was only focusing on the perceived ‘glamorous’ part, but not the real challenges in their life such as the long flying hours, being away from home for long periods, having to remain calm, polite and friendly in difficult circumstances, dealing with irate customers etc. Many of the young people in our country have a poor understanding of many careers.
Another problem is meeting parent’ expectations. I can recall many long conversations. A common desire for most parents we meet is that their kids become successful and their expectations are often unrealistic. Once I met a very learned and intellectual family, in which the father was quite adamant & passionate that his daughter should follow her brother in studying engineering. That’s a common picture: every second person wants their kid to become an engineer, a doctor or a C.A. The girl was very bright and intelligent, however, her quantitative, closure, reasoning, enterprise and numerical skills clearly showed that she would be more successful in commerce rather than engineering – but her father was not ready to accept this. Two years’ previous, the girl’s brother had scored 90% score in class XII, but had gone on to fail in three papers in the first semester of his engineering degree and now the same fight was on again…………..Even after learning that the daughter didn’t have a mechanical aptitude nor an interesting the subject he still wanted her to opt for PCM and move into engineering. The girl was not allowed to voice her opinion at all during the session.
I sympathise with the feelings and expectations of parents but here want to ask one question to all the parents including mine………….”Which is more important….. landing into a ‘prestigious’ career and becoming a professional or opting for a profession and becoming a successful person”?
In another counseling session for a student of class XII, whose parents were really worried about his future because he was always busy playing basketball and reading newspapers, the testing showed that his interest and aptitude lay in journalism. After a month or two, I met him and his parents in the admission section at IP University and today he is pursuing Bachelors in Journalism from a renowned college ……….that was shown in the result of his counseling session with me 2 months earlier and he was able to make it in the entrances. I was thrilled to see him and the progress he is making.
Things are pretty much the same whether we are talking about kids studying in government schools at Ballabgarh, Haryana, Nizamuddin, Hauz Rani, Badarpur, or the kids from slums of East Delhi or even those staying in shelter homes at Vizag and Hyderabad. The only difference lies in their confidence, their outlook towards life & the options available to them. We encourage bright kids and inform them about bank loans for achieving their career dreams. We have a long list of colleges, ITIs and polytechnics which students can choose from.
WE really need to think about this……………………….I really enjoy my job because I’m able to help kids in realizing their potential and capabilities and in becoming a ‘SUCCESSFUL’ PERSON.