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 to assuage your doubts.

I am 20 and pursuing B.Com (second year). Due to financial problems, I am currently working in a part time job as well. I want to do MBA but I have a dream of being a tour guide as well. I want to pursue a tourism and travel course as I am interested in wandering from place to place and meeting new people. I’m confused about what I should choose — on one hand I want a secured life by having a degree from a prestigious institute such as FMS, on the other hand I want to satisfy my interest. I haven’t prepared for any exam due to this confusion. Please guide me. – Pankaj Kohli

Dear Pankaj,

I understand the dilemma and the conflicts that you are going through now, between completing your second year, wanting to pursue your passion in the travel trade and holding up a part time job to bring in the financial stability. You have age and passion on your side, aim for the stars and be realistic. I would suggest that you get a part time job in a prestigious travel company right now (part time/paid internship) and test the waters of what it could become once you get confirmed and complete your course. By doing that, you will become aware of the not so nice tasks and boring jobs that one needs to carry out in every passionate calling that we choose. And once you complete your course, you will know what your heart would keenly want to accomplish – an MBA or a full time travel job. You can then certify and study, equip and enhance your skillsets accordingly.

However, think about how would it feel for you to be a priority guest taken around by a guide, travelling and exploring the world on company or personal expense as opposed to being the guide himself? Think big and work hard to make your dreams come true this new year.

I am 18, preparing for the medical examination. I feel that if I go on and become a doctor (MBBS), then I can only be a doctor for the rest of my life. I am passionate towards acting, dancing, and singing. I feel that I won’t be able to balance my passion and profession. There is an Ayurveda college nearby, and my mother wants me to enrol in it so that I can pursue my passion too. But I am actually not interested in Ayurveda. Can you please guide me? – Vidya Harish

Dear Vidya,

What are your fears? You don’t want to do medicine? Do you see yourself as an effective, committed doctor? On another note, are you a professionally trained actor, dancer, or musician? Do you see yourself living a successful life as a professional performing artiste? I have many physician friends who are passionate singers and actors, and they pursue their passion very actively over weekends and holidays, some even do shows and concerts. It also helps them maintain their work-life balance and feel good in the creative space. You are clearly disinterested in Ayurveda. There are many other professional courses in the healthcare services/allied fields that will help you strike a perfect balance between doing a credible course to establish your identity and balance a personal passion across the performing arts. What does your heart want? What do you see yourself doing and being at 25? I would recommend that you meet a good career counsellor who can help and guide you through this decision-making process effectively.

I have a master’s degree in tourism administration (2016-17), and I am working in a resort in Munnar as front office manager. I am interested in pursuing further studies in the field of tourism administration. Kindly guide me on how and where I can pursue further studies or suggest a better job opportunity. – Richard Varghese Joseph

Dear Richard,

There are many popular, recognised institutes and colleges that have sound courses in tourism management. What area are you keen to develop yourself in? There is geography and international tourism, tourism marketing, transport management, tourism products of India, travel agency management, information technology for tourism, human resource management, sustainable tourism development, food and beverage management, and so on. All these have good prospects and career scope, both locally and abroad. Have you considered an MBA in tourism management? If you have the passion to travel and love interacting with people, it can take you places. It will equip you with a detailed business sense about various tourism scenarios. You will learn managerial skills, problem-solving, efficient communication, and principles and practices required in the travel and hospitality sectors. You could also start your own travel-related entrepreneurial venture. If not, you can work as a hotel or resort manager, general manager, food and beverage director, human resource manager, conference or event planner. Sectors that would gladly employ you would be travel agencies, tour operators, hotel and hospitality industry, ships and cruise, state tourism development corporations, resorts or spas, adventure tourism, entrepreneurial new entrants. A few colleges that you can consider are Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management in Gwalior, Hyderabad, Goa, Thane, Bhubaneswar, Nellore, Noida, and Kerala, and Christ University, Bengaluru.

I am 21 and doing B.Com (third year). After Class XII, I joined B.Com through distance education and CA simultaneously. I passed CPT in my first attempt. However, I did not clear CA Inter in the first attempt and I am focusing on B.Com now. I am not interested in doing CA but feel pressurised by my family to pursue it after completing my degree. My interests are in English, economics, and accounting. I am confused about what to do after B.Com. Is it possible for me to get into a career other than teaching in these fields? Please guide me. – Shebeena

Dear Shebeena,

Of course, you can do so many things post your B.Com, other than teaching, with English, economics and accounting. You can also change your choice of subjects for a master’s programme. Unfortunately though, I have not been able to understand what you enjoy beyond these three subjects. Would it be possible for you to get a career and a personality profiling done? It would give you a good indication of what your strengths, likes, dislikes, values, skills, attitudes and work areas look like, which will be instrumental for you to pick a relevant course post B.Com. Please don’t do CA if you are not keen on it, as sooner or later you will not find the will to go through with it. Rather, invest time, money and energy in fine-tuning your passion and current interests, so that you can follow it through and make an informed career choice.

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 will answer questions sent to The subject line should be: ‘Off the edge’

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