Career counselling is one such passion that does not need a pre-defined route of education. People from different backgrounds can become a career counsellor provided they have a passion to help students and guide them in the right direction for their bright future. We recently had a conversation with Mr Vikas Kaushik who has ruled all the traditional paths to become a career counsellor. His determination to help the young generation has led him to a path where he can contribute to the future of the country. In his journey he has helped several hundred of students from different fields. His eclectic combination of experiences makes him a great motivator for the students to pursue what they dream of.
Mr Vikas Kaushik is a man of eclectic experiences which makes him a great career counsellor
Mr Vikas Kaushik is a pilot by passion. He has completed his CPL from Stanford Flying Club, USA. After completing his course for being a certified pilot, he continued with his studies in the field of engineering a year later. He did B.Tech in the field of Electronics and Communication. Apart from this, he is a Microsoft specialist and is also a computer safety expert by hobby. He says that career counselling comes naturally to him since he has been guiding his juniors and peers in selecting the right career stream for some years. He has thus helped many students to take up an appropriate career option. His real journey in this field started when he, along with his team at Bassekraah.com decided to take it down to a micro-level and reached out to people in different towns and cities through social media and other channels to guide them regarding importance of career counselling. The team collectively reached to more than thousands of students and helped them in solving their dilemmas of different career options. He says that, “It gives me a sense of satisfaction in guiding others in whatever capacity I can as I can easily relate to their dilemmas as teenagers.”
Career guidance, if given by industry experts, can mark a greater impression on students’ lives
When asked what does career counselling means to him personally, he said that career guidance in today’s time has become a much needed service and if it is given by industry experts, then it marks a greater impression. Since he has different experiences of aviation sector and engineering sector, he can easily discuss the challenges that a student might have to face in these industries. He can easily guide a student wo wants to pursue his career in one of these fields since he has first-hand experience of these industries. He believes that giving the right guidance at the right time can save us from the wastage of human potential and we can use these resources in the right industry and sector. Career guidance can solve several myths and misconceptions that students have regarding certain career fields.
A career counselor needs to equip himself with all the 21st-century skills to help a student
He uses different ways to guide a student in a right direction. While aviation and engineering comes a lot from his experience, he also uses internet and various official websites of Universities and colleges to keep himself updated on the latest developments in the education industry. He also emphasises on the importance of interaction with various industry experts. Further, he relies on reading and research to gain better understanding of different career options. Apart from this, he thinks that a career counsellor needs to equip himself with all the 21st century skills especially communication and problem solving. Also, that research skills and career counselling goes hand in hand. With thousands of jobs being created every year, one must search and research better to understand the industrial demands. He adds that from his experience and that from his mentor Ms Chetna Sabharwal, he has learnt to be a good listener and not jump to conclusions. Listening to the underlying concerns of a confused student or parent is akin to becoming a good coach.
Parents and students need to undergo career counseling together to understand aspirations and actual possibilities
We asked him if he thinks that students and parents need to undergo career counselling together, he was very positive of this idea. According to him, career is one’s work-life. While we do change jobs, majorly our occupation remains in the same broader sector. Hence, it becomes highly important to take inputs from both the students and parents. Some of the valuable inputs such as daily habits, behavior at home, study habits, etc can only be contributed by the parents whereas the parameters like social adjustments abilities, interests, talents and inherent skills can be judged by psychometric testing. For instance, a student who is high on bodily-kinesthetic energy many not fit for a desk job. Thus, any conflicts in aspirations and actual possibilities can easily be resolved with an open interaction with parents and their wards all together.
Empathy, genuine concern for others and willingness to give unbiased advice are the essential aspects of one’s personality as a career expert.
He believes that career counselling is an ever evolving sector. What seems relevant today might not even exist in future. So, anyone who wants to take up this career must equip himself to be a life-long learner. Psychology as a background does help in picking up the right combination of psychometric tests and qualitative observations related to the student. Empathy, genuine concern for others and willingness to give unbiased advice are the essential aspects of one’s personality as a career expert. He further adds that India per se is not very organized in providing latest employment information for the global market, thus it becomes a responsibility of career counselors to research and validate information that has to be given to the students. Internet has however made it easy for the career counsellors to seek information on labour market scenarios and information on job tasks, functions, salaries, requirements and future outlooks related to broad occupational fields.
To remain updated of the developments taking place in the education industry and markets, he takes help from leading newspapers which provide him immense knowledge of latest changes in the industry. He also regularly visits employment news, LinkedIn.com, Shiksha.com, Quora and Google. He has also taken lots of inspiration from his mentor Ms Chetna Sabharwal who is founder of Bassekraah.com. She introduced him to CareerGuide.com portal. He says that this portal is very well organised, systematic and uncluttered in giving valuable information to the subscribers. Responding to filtered questions according to his own expertise helps him in managing his time well. He believes that CareerGuide.com provides a vast network of professionals from all walks of life and industries.