I hope you have gone through our last blog in which we discussed why the right career counselling is essential for career growth in the future. Now, let’s discuss the need for career guidance and career counselling at the right time and more importantly, what can happen if one decides to pursue a career path without any career guidance and career counselling.
Today, I will tell you my personal experience with career counselling.
I used to be a good, sincere student and performed well academically till secondary level (i.e. 8th class). As at that time, anyone who is good academically was considered to be meant for either engineering or medical field. So I also became a part of it and started preparing for Engineering entrance exams along with my studies from 11th class onwards. My interest in academics started to go down, my performance dipped drastically and as a result, I was not able to clear any entrance examinations and I was hardly able to clear my 12th exams.
I was completely broken, ruined, and down in the dumps as my family, friends, relatives have huge expectations of me and the 12th results came as a shock to everyone who knew me. At that point in time, I was completely clueless and didn’t know what to do. Then I met a person at one of the events I attended at that time. He was a marketing person and working at a Film Making Institute. He told me about that field; it was a new field back then and he got me so fascinated that I decided to do a diploma course in film making right after high school. There were skepticism and doubts about my decision, but my family showed confidence in my decision and supported me to pursue the course. The course was interesting; but a large part of the curriculum was based on arts, design, and multimedia. As I had no interest and aptitude in those areas, I struggled a lot but eventually, I was able to complete the course successfully. I appeared for the placement process of a very renowned TV channel and cleared all the technical rounds but in the last round, i.e. HR round, I came to know that the minimum eligibility for the role is graduation and since I was a high-school passout, I was not eligible.
Then I decided to pursue graduation in the relevant field, i.e. Journalism & Mass Communication. I cleared Manipal University’s entrance exam and joined Manipal Institute of Communication, which was the top college for undergraduate students in that field. The degree programme not only provided me knowledge about the different domains under Media ranging from print to audio-visual (radio, TV) to New Media (online Media) but also provided me exposure to different academic disciplines ranging from History, Political Science, Economics to Advertising, Public Relations, etc. This exposure made me start exploring my interests against a range of subjects studied and I figured out that I have an interest in Humanities and Management. I came to know about a Masters programme in Social Work during my undergraduate. After completing my undergraduate course, I joined the MA program in Social Work at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai programme after clearing their selection process.
And after working for 8 years in different projects with different organizations in the field of education, employability, employment, and entrepreneurship, I’m finally able to zero in on my right career on the basis of my interests, aptitude, talent, motivation, and work values.
Now, what does this story tell us?
Barring the few fortunate ones who are very clear on what they want to do, what they are good at, and what fits in with their personality, work values, aspirations, motivations, etc, deciding on the right career path can be a very daunting, excruciating process that may take several to many years in absence of career counselling. The second point which I have not mentioned is the cost I incurred on higher education, especially during the diploma and the graduation program. I was fortunate enough that my family supported me throughout my higher education which may not be the case or say, a possibility, with many Indian families. Also, apart from the financial support I received from my parents, their trust and confidence in my abilities and their constant support and encouragement have made it possible for me to come out of a very difficult period and reach where I am today. Third, the curriculum of my undergraduate program was in the lines of a modern Liberal Arts Course that gave me exposure to several academic disciplines and ultimately helped me a lot to figure out my career interests.
However, I could have avoided all the struggles and saved my time and energy and money from my parents had I thought about taking the help of a professionally qualified career counsellor. To be honest, there was no awareness of career counselling in those days and there were hardly any career counsellors those days except, maybe in Metro cities. Fortunately, today we have career counsellors present in most cities and with the proliferation of online and digital media, one can even avail career counselling in small towns and villages.
So, friends, the decision is yours. If you are a student, you should take career counselling ideally in 8th standard or if you have missed taking it then, take it as early as you can. If you are a parent, considering the cost of higher education and career prospects of your child in a rapidly changing world, be proactive and get your child counseled by an expert and qualified career counsellor. If you are a working professional and not happy with your current work area and unsure whether you want to remain in that field or not, take the help of a career counsellor who will help you figure out your right career path.
I hope, now you are clear that career counselling may help you with your career journey and the struggles associated with it to some extent. You can gain more insights, perspectives, and knowledge on career guidance, career counselling, and other important areas related to careers and education.