Do you feel uncertain of a career option? Do you lack the freedom to choose a subject that you really want to pursue? Do you always feel low on self-confidence? Are you constantly doubting yourself? A Q&A column by Nandini Raman, practising counsellor and trainer, to assuage your doubts.

My brother is an ex- Pharm.D student, but had to discontinue the course due to hypertension and mental stress. He is currently at home, undergoing medication. As a family, we are struggling to get him back to academics. What are the opportunities he can explore, in order to restart a career? He has completed his class X SSC, class XII BiPC. What do you suggest? – Ravi Kiran

Dear Ravi,

It is sad that you brother had to discontinue his Pharm D course due to his illness. What is he stressed about? What would he like to study next? Did he drop out because he didn’t enjoy the course/curriculum? Nothing is lost, he is young and will bounce back. He needs help, direction and guidance. Get him assessed by a competent career counsellor, who will help him identify and understand his interests, aptitude, area’s of likes and dislikes. A counselling psychologist, in addition, will be greatly beneficial, as he can share his fears, doubts, and triggers, and learn to develop healthy coping skills and strategies to overcome his medical issue.

I am still pursuing my B.Tech. What I want to know is whether companies consider our hobbies and membership in NCC or NSS or skills, and if certificates play a major role during interviews? – Daneshwari Kankanwadi

Dear Daneshwari,

Of course, many companies today consider and actively shortlist all-rounders. Candidates who have participated in extracurricular activitiess, hobbies, sports and other interests such as NCC/NSS credits, beyond subject skill and knowledge alone to showcase in an interview/CV, have an edge. Many hire and use candidates with credible NSS scores for their internal CSR activities, leadership roles, and other parallel company initiatives. Companies want to recruit global employees, who can seamlessly fit into the company’s philosophy, mission and vision with their various skill sets.

I am 24 age old, and from a Telugu-medium background. Now however, I am eager to learn English. For almost nine months now, I have been following books and newspapers. I failed in a few job interviews due to lack of communication skills, and thus, I want to become fluent in English. How do I go about this? – Ala Anil Kumar

Dear Anil,

None of the speakers, writers, authors, orators were born knowing English. Everyone needed to learn, and gradually, they improved their skills. You too can do it. Identify a reputed coaching class in your locality. Alternatively, find an experienced tutor to train you. Get in touch with British Council in Hyderabad. They have some great classes for beginners. Keep watching English news — debates and documentaries, and read the English newspaper everyday.

I am 17 years old and have scored 91% in my class X exams and 60% in my class XI exams. I am waiting for my XII exam in March. What are the different courses I can pursue, apart from the usual — physics, maths, chemistry, Tamil, English — after completing class XII exam, if I score 70-75%? Where can I study further and what course? I also want to study something adventurous. Please guide me. – Fahad

Well done on your scores. However, 91% to 60% is quite a drop. Put in your best effort and tell me what you think you can score in class XII exams? You still have time, and the finals are more than a month away. These marks are important, as they will count and get you a good college of your choice that will shape your future. So, work hard now. What gives you the sense of adventure? You have not mentioned what you really like? What would you like to do five years from now? Teach? Be a sports player? A psychologist? Become a police officer? Join the Army? Do research? Run a successful business? Dream and make it happen! Please think about this.

The advantage is that from a science stream, you can choose almost any course for graduation. Please sit with a counsellor at school or in your city, to help you identify what you are good at, and not merely what sounds nice to you now. Make an informed choice. Good luck.

Disclaimer: This column is not a substitute for long-term therapy. It is merely a guiding voice. Some issues may need medical intervention.

The author is a practising counsellor and a trainer. She has worked extensively with students and young adults across a range of issues. She will answer questions sent to The subject line should be: ‘Off the edge’.

Click here for the original article on The Hindu

Add your comment or reply. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *