“Whatever you do on to others, comes back to you, in full measure – somehow, somewhere, someday – so whatever comes from the heart, goes to the heart.”
– Bella Arora
Bella Arora, a Career Counselor, Soft Skills trainer and a Self Development Coach is the founder of Arora Counselling and Guidance Centre. A Punjabi girl born in Delhi and brought up in Mumbai. She cleared Civil Services Examinations and was selected for an appointment in Mantralaya, which she did not join due to personal constraints. She speaks about his career and career counselling in an interview with Vivek Negi.
Vivek : Please brief us about your Educational background.
Bella : I am convent-educated, Commerce graduate and a post graduate in Law and Computer Arts.
-B.Com., LL.B., LL.M., MCA, DCP, CAIIB.
Vivek: What has your time as a Career Counsellor meant to you personally and why?
Bella: I have counseled people from the age group of 13 years to 63 years. I have counseled students, graduates, undergraduates, post graduates, housewives, those seeking mid life career changes, and so on. And I am very happy when I get their feedback after few days/months, sometimes even a year, thanking me and expressing satisfaction at having found a career which they really enjoy. In fact, I have even counseled a couple of persons who were on the verge of leaving their respective jobs/training sessions. I have shared the joy of their family members when they saw their wards/children retracting from taking a wrong step and arriving at the right decision.
I am thoroughly contended with my work – its career for me, no doubt – but it also offers me an opportunity to help and guide so many people – the joy and satisfaction I experience is far beyond the monetary compensation I get!
Vivek: How did you get into Career Counselling? What interested you into Career Counselling?
Bella: Frankly I did not choose this profession; the profession chose me.
Having been a ranker throughout my life, I always had different interests and worked for short stints with Media, corporates and Banks; but soon I realized that I was not cut out for a 9-to-5 kind of job. I then started my own coaching institute – Arora’s Tutorials and I soon found myself teaching much more and beyond the textbooks. I began conducting career counseling and personality enhancing sessions along with tips to improve language skills, manage stress and anger, develop social skills, etc. free for my own students as an add-on to their coaching. I started getting very positive and encouraging responses from those whom I counselled. What started as vacation workshops and sessions grew to such a level that I had to choose between coaching and counseling. I realized what appealed to me most was counseling, advising and guiding and thereon I became a professional counselor.
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Vivek: Which tools do you use for guiding careers?
Bella: I have created my own assessment tests which help me to gauge not only the candidate’s IQ, EQ, interests, hobbies, etc. but also his background, his priorities in life and his short & long term goals in life. Once I get a clear picture of the strengths, fears, emotions and aspirations of the candidate, I am in a better position to create a strategy through dialogue and then suggest the best career options for him.
Vivek: Why do you think it’s important for students and parents to undergo Career Counselling together?
Bella: Most of the time, parents bring their children to a Career Counselor primarily because there is a conflict between the child’s choice and aspirations on one hand and the parent’s desires and decisions on the other. Bringing them together at the Counseling table helps me to make both the parties see and understand each other’s point of views. To top it, I have the candidate’s career profile ready with me (based on the tests which I have already taken before the counselling session), I can confidently guide them as to which career options are most suited to the candidate. Both parents and children find it much easier and comfortable to open up before a counselor; they come up with their doubts, differences and questions more candidly than they would with each other. Many times, I end up counselling the parents!
Vivek: What are the top 3-5 skills you should have to become an effective Career Counsellor?
Bella: I am good in communication – I listen well, I speak well and I understand well – even what has not been spoken! I am good at interpreting voice tone and pitch, facial expressions, gestures and body language.
- I have excellent convincing skills. It is not difficult for me to encourage and motivate people to identify their shortcomings, accept them and work on their strengths to bring out the best in them.
- My personality works to my advantage. I am a very friendly and warm person. I can put people at ease very quickly so that they open up to me with their innermost thoughts and character without any fear.
Last but not the least, I keep myself abreast of the latest information related to education, career and job world. I have a vast databank of information which helps me to give the most appropriate and best career options to my clients.
Vivek: What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Career Counselling industry?
Bella: I would say UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION is the foundation of good Career Counselling.
- To be a good Career Counselor you need to understand psychology well.
- You should be a people’s person. You should have the skill of putting people at ease and understanding things from their point of view. Never try to impose your thoughts, views or decisions on them. Make them understand what you have to say and then let them take their own decision.
Vivek: 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?
Bella: I keep myself well informed by reading, browsing and subscribing to educational journals, news updates, college and course information and corporate requirements. And of course, the internet is an additional resource.
Vivek: Would you like to share few words/suggestions about the work we are doing at CareerGuide?
Bella: I would say you are doing a revolutionary work by giving a platform to innumerable students and candidates to make an intelligent choice of their careers as well as to so many counselors to provide guidance to the needy ones.
- I also find your Q&A and blog sections very very informative.
- You have covered nearly every aspect of Career Counselling on your website. That is highly commendable.
Have a question regarding your career ?