“Career Counselling is the need of the hour for all to choose the right career”
– Amit Chilka
Amit Chilka (Amit) is a motivational speaker and a certified career success coach from ICF. He is very passionate about guiding students to choose the correct path in their life. He speaks about his career and career counselling in an interview with Amarjeet.
Amarjeet Sharma (AS): Please brief us about your Educational background.
Amit: I have done B.E. (Instrumentation), MBA HR as well as I’m a ICF certified Career Success Coach
AS: What has your time as a Career Counsellor meant to you personally and why?
Amit: Personally for me it is the best time. I happen meet a lot of people with different thought processes. It gives me a lot of insight into different personalities and the ideas they have about their career. One common thing I have observed in most of the students is that they are very unclear about the career they should choose. I love helping them choose their career with my expertise.
AS: How did you get into Career Counselling? What interested you into Career Counselling?
Amit: I have been doing corporate career planning for fresher’s and professionals who get into IT. I have seen that they get opt for campus placement as it is easy to get into. Once they come into the organization they are completely clueless of what is expected out of them. Eventually they realize that this is not their cup of tea and don’t know what is to be done ahead. The root cause of this they have not been counselled during their junior college regarding the career options. Most of them take up engineering thinking they will get a good job in IT.
Career counselling is the need of the hour for all to choose the right career. More importantly I strongly feel it should be done by someone who has industry experience. S/He would be able to guide the students from a very practical perspective.
AS: Which tools do you use for guiding careers?
Amit: I use a tool called Brain Mapping. It is a neuroscience based tool which helps us understand how the brain development of an individual has happened. It helps me rightly guide the individual based on the person’s abilities.
Most of the other tools used for counselling concentrate on the likes and dislikes of the individual. While it may give a fair understanding of the person’s interests, it is more biased on the then state of the individual. Ex. If the person has been influenced by a relative of his, who happens to be an Interior Designer and is at the peak of his career; the individual is most likely to exhibit his career interest in being an interior designer. This may not always be the right choice for the individual as s/he has not evaluated weather s/he is actually has the ability and long term interest to take it up.
The brain mapping tools eliminates this situation as it digs deep into the belief system of the individual and helps arrive at the right career decision.
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AS: Why do you think it’s important for students and parents to undergo Career Counselling together?
Amit: Most of the times the parents and the child are not on the same page. The parents want their child to take up a particular career because they think there is future there. This thinking is again based on what they see around – could be their friends or relatives who are successful in what they are doing. The child not necessarily would want to do the same. There are a lot more opportunities which have opened up which the parents might not be aware of. Hence it is important that both parents and students undergo career counselling together.
AS: What are the top 3-5 skills you should have to become an effective Career Counsellor?
- The most important is the ability to listen. This will help us get a lot of insights into the thinking pattern of the child.
- The second is the unbiased approach while counselling. The students today are smart enough to know what they want. More importantly they are not looking for advice. So it is important for the counsellor to actually play a role of a coach and help them arrive at the career they would like to choose.
- Being updated on the current and new opportunities.
- Having a futuristic vision on what could be trending then.
AS: What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Career Counselling industry?
Amit: First things first choose the right tool to evaluate an individual’s personality. Master the tool before you start using it.
Secondly, hear out what the individual has to say. Most of them come to a counsellor because they are not heard by their parents. Thus it becomes imperative for the counsellor to hear them out thoroughly before giving advice.
Master the art of coaching to help the individuals arrive at the career they want to choose. This is the need of the hour. The child has got enough and more advice already from their parents and elders in the family. The only way to connect with them is not giving advice. You need to be friend to whom they can open up and speak their heart out. Then you should be an enabler in their career strategy.
AS: There are many new career options that have come up over the last decade which was not heard of before, how do you stay updated on the latest trends in Career?
Amit: Internet is the best way to keep yourself updated. There is a lot of material available for you to read out there.
Networking with the other counsellors helps in a great way. Knowledge sharing is the best way to keep yourself updated.
AS: Which are the Career Information resources (i.e. newsletters/ blogs/ websites/ apps) you visit regularly?
AS: Would you like to share few words/suggestions about the work we are doing at CareerGuide?
Amit: CareerGuide is doing a great job. Career guidance is the need of the hour. Offering help to the students when they want it is the most crucial. You are addressing this very problem and hence it is commendable.
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