Square pegs, Round holes

Square pegs, Round holes

Have you heard about the unhappy engineer who would’ve rather been a doctor but didn’t, due to an erroneous decision he made during his academic life, and has now become a patient suffering from depression? This is a typical example of a square peg in a round hole. And there are many such examples – of individuals who don’t like what they do for a living. Most of them land up in their jobs/professions due to misinformed, misguided, or worse still, casual career decisions made in early academic life, which are irreversible for most people.

Each year, thousands of students enter college, undecided about their ultimate direction in life – many have little idea about what they want to do when they leave higher education. This is more often the case for students from non-vocational courses but is by no means exclusive to this group. Most students have great difficulty in choosing the subject to major in, and the job prospects associated with it. Finally, even if they are sure about the sector of industry they wish to enter, they may be unclear about the actual jobs. It is not easy to consider mid-career changes and therefore most individuals simply continue with their ill-fitting jobs/professions.

Career choice is a time-consuming process, and not something that must be decided thoughtlessly. Yet, often students of class X and XII opt for pursuing a path that is based on reasons other than pure aptitude. Quite often decisions are made by parents on behalf of their child – and mostly these reflect the aspirations of the parents themselves and have little to do with their child’s propensity towards that path. Peer pressure is another important factor that determines what students opt for.

Therefore, when it comes to careers, it is extremely important that students make the right decisions at the right time. The multiplicity of career options in the present times isn’t making it any easier for the already hassled students. Thankfully, there is a way out of such confusion. That way is found in career counselling. Well planned career counselling can offer some sound advice that can help students make sensible decisions.

Class XI and XII students of Thane can now avail of the benefit of a career counselling service being jointly offered by the Rotary Club of Thane, DnyanSadhana College and Saraswati Vidyalaya High School and Junior College.
The primary function of the counselling service is to assist students in identifying their personal potential so that they derive maximum benefit from their educational pursuits. The service comprises of a scientifically designed computerised aptitude test, which attempts to reveal the student’s talents or preferences for certain activities. For example, a person who likes to tinker with machinery would probably score highly on a test of mechanical aptitude. Such a person has an aptitude for mechanical work – and at least a fairly good chance of succeeding at it.

An aptitude test alone is of no use, unless it is properly interpreted. A qualified counsellor will help students with this aspect. The counsellor will not only talk to students but also to parents, who have an equal, if not more, important role to play in deciding the future course of action that students take.

Dilip Soman, president of Rotary Club of Thane says, "Most career guidance seminars only provide information to students about the various options available to them. But each student has unique skills sets and that is what needs to be explored. Our objective would be to help each student connect with his/her own talents and abilities. The mandate of this counselling service is preventative – such that students do not regret tomorrow, the decisions they take today."

Principal of Saraswati Vidyalaya, Meera Korde has decided to subsidise the cost of the test for city students. Furthermore the Rotary Club will bear 50 per cent of the cost. In the bargain, each student will have to pay a mere 100 rupees for the test plus counselling session. The sessions will begin soon after exams. The Rotary club evens plans a few guest lectures for the benefits of the students. For more information, students/parents may contact Dilip Soman on 25804408/3549; 25820734

Imagine doing what you love and being paid for it! The value of "doing what you love" cannot be stressed enough. Students must be made to realise that they will have to live with the consequences of the decisions they make today. Therefore they must not take such a critical issue lightly. Lest they become square pegs suffering forever in round holes.

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