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.

I am a 19 year-old engineering student and have no interest in making a career out of it. I want to drop out and pursue a career in motion graphics and VFX. Should I go ahead with it? – Mukunthan I

Dear Mukunthan,

I understand you are struggling with your course, but how can I decide on your behalf? How good are you at motion graphics and VFX? What has been your previous experience with it? Have you tasted success, or is it something you fancy? If you are seriously considering dropping out, I suggest you do a complete career and personality profiling to know what field and course best suits you. It makes sense to take a calculated risk than just shoot in the dark. Good luck.

I am a mechanical engineer and have sat for many recruitments, but cannot pass them. Now, I am unsure about what to do next. The dilemma is perturbing. Do I wait at home for the next round of government jobs or do I apply for private ones? If I do apply for private jobs, then, by this time of the year, is it possible? My morale is declining. Please help. – Rahul Choudhary

Dear Rahul,

It is disheartening to hear that you are unable to get through a good placement. What is the feedback that you receive after the interview and the recruitment process? In future, please ask the panel to specify and articulate the areas that are not working for you, so that you can consciously improve in those. Private jobs are always open to hiring as and when there is a vacancy or a position that opens up. Sign up on some company portals that interest you. Also, sign up on online job portals and meet some aggressive head-hunters and placement offices. Discuss your area of interest in detail with them and explain the role/s that would excite you. Identify for yourself, what in the government sector interests you and meet a consultant who can perhaps guide you further for that as well, side by side. Accordingly, start your preparation for those exams.

I am 23, and am pursuing my LLB after graduating in commerce. After graduation, my parents asked me to opt for bank coaching and to get a secure job. But, I wanted to study further. It was my decision to pursue a career in law. Now, the course is in progress. But by this time, my friends have completed their studies and some of them got placed well too. At this point, I’m stressed. Even though my parents are supportive, they are not financially sound. I seem to have made a big mistake in my career. Now, I would like to do my master’s in law at Amity University, but I am in a dilemma over whether to study further or apply for a job. – Aparna Chandran

Dear Aparna,

It is but natural what you are going through. Relax. You made the right choice; don’t fret over it. Everyone has his/ her independent destination in life, and no two people take the same route. So, don’t let anyone overwhelm you.

When do you finish your course? Would you need to intern next or can you start working immediately? Have you considered working for a few years to be financially stable, before you do your master’s? Identify what part of law makes you happy and find a job in that area, specifically. You are young and there are many opportunities out there immediately after your course. Start networking and exploring options of where you would want to work and set the intent and the ball rolling. All the best.

I’m 17 years old, currently in Class XII, and also preparing for the JEE 2019. I have always been a good student throughout school, but things started to change as I progressed to class XI. I joined a reputed institute to aid my JEE prep. Things were easy-going at first, but I felt the stress, after some months. I don’t know what initiated such pressure, but it worsened when I entered class XII. I developed the habit of overthinking, because of which my mind has become so tired that I am unable to focus on my studies. This happens every day. As a result, my performance suffered at school and the institute. I just can’t make-up my mind to study. I see most of my friends studying for hours, but I am unable to. My determination has weakened. What should I do? Please guide me – Kshitij

Hi Kshitij,

You are perhaps going through severe performance anxiety and tend to overthink. Please breathe. The boards and JEE are just exams; yes, important for sure, but they don’t define and limit you. Set your personal goals, don’t worry about who is doing what and studying for how many hours a day. Be well-versed with the exam portions and focus on your journey. Make sure you are well rested, eat well, hydrated and work towards a timetable with specific goals. Where do you see yourself in May 2019?

This is the final leg; you need to be calm, rational and focused. Without that, you will make a mess of your class XII exams and that will bring down your confidence to do well at the JEE 2019. Regret is a wasted emotion. Please reset your ‘determination switch’. We are already in December and you only have a few more months to go. With the pre-boards and the revisions, you will be more than ready. Put your best foot forward.

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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