“It’s a great learning that every human being is endowed with inherent aptitude for something or the other. None is born stupid contrary to what our education policy says to many who are not able to score good in formal educational examinations”
– Dr. Sapna Sharma
Dr. Sapna Sharma (Sapna) is a Counselor & Motivational Speaker at Dr. Sapna’s Spiritual Counseling & Life Coaching. As a Career Counselor she adopt Integrated, Scientific and Spiritual approach encompasses a broad range of practices that is aimed to help improve individual well being, alleviate distress & maladjustment, resolve crisis and increase ability to live more highly functioning lives. She speaks about her career and career counseling in an interview with Amarjeet.
Amarjeet Sharma (AS): Please brief us about your Educational background.
- Certified Life Reinvention coach- 2011 (Certified Coaches Alliance, Canada)
- Certified Psychometric tool assessor- 2011 (Oscar Murphy International, Singapore)
- Diploma in Freelance Journalism- 2010 (CTJT, UK)
- Master of Science in Counseling and Psychotherapy–2008 (IPMS, Nagpur, India)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Counseling and Psychotherapy—2006 (IPMS, Nagpur, India)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Career Counseling—2004 (IPMS, Mumbai, India)
- Masters in Industrial Relations and Personal Management—2003 (Nagpur University, India)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Development—2004 (IIMS, Chennai, India)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Training and Development—2004 (ISTD, Delhi, India)
- Diploma in Ophthalmic Medicine and Surgery (DOMS)—1995 (GMC, Nagpur, India)
- Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (M.B.B.S), 1992 (GMC, Nagpur, India)
AS: What has your time as a Career Counselor meant to you personally and why?
Sapna: It’s a great learning that every human being is endowed with inherent aptitude for something or the other. None is born stupid contrary to what our education policy says to many who are not able to score good in formal educational examinations. I have witnessed many very low scorers do amazingly well in the options chosen after thorough counseling sessions. It is humbling and motivating at the same time.
AS: How did you get into Career Counseling? What interested you into Career Counseling?
Sapna: I knew my first career as an eye surgeon was not ME. Though every one says that medicine is the best career it was not so for me. That was certainly a motivation to think and question the concept of so called “The Best Career”. Once I became aware I could see many such lost souls around me who were the victims of the fixed definitions given by the society. That was when I knew that this is what needs to be done. Students and parents needed to be guided at the correct time.
AS: Which tools do you use for guiding careers?
Sapna: After trying many different instruments I have zeroed down to using only Differential Aptitude Test. I spend a lot of time talking to the student and the Parents because I believe that no instrument or tool can completely define a human being.
Have a question regarding your career ?
AS: Why do you think it’s important for students and parents to undergo Career Counseling together?
Sapna: Neither the student nor the parents know the student completely hence it is important to talk to each one of them to get a holistic view.
In Indian family set up decisions about the child are taken by the parents hence they need to be convinced and satisfied in the interest of the child.
AS: What are the top 3-5 skills you should have to become an effective Career Counselor?
- Knowledge and awareness of the world career scenario.
- Non- judgement.
- Belief in the inherent intelligence of every individual.
- Readiness to explore and accommodate the dreams and suggestions of the student and parents.
- Excellent communication skills.
AS: What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Career Counseling industry?
- It is a great career option from every aspect that one looks for in a career- Satisfaction, Earning, Freedom, Low investment… go for it.
- Believe in the inherent intelligence of each person so ask and listen.
- Practice to leave all your judgements out while listening to the counselee.
- Listen and solve each of the queries that the parent and the student have, it may sound silly to you but to them it is a question of life.
- Keep yourself updated every day.
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?
Sapna: Usually internet is my source and I like to browse openly and explore and compare rather than rely on only one site.
AS: Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Career Counseling?
Sapna: Difficult to name. When I began internet services were not available in India so my only source where the books written by Kumkum Tandon. So yes I do respect her as she would have done whole lot of a research to put those volumes together.
AS: Would you like to share few words/suggestions about the work we are doing at CareerGuide?
Sapna: Great work. There are still much lesser number of career counselors compared to the number required. Many students are not able to reach to a counselor for many reasons like- shyness, parental restrictions, money/fees issue/ lack of awareness. So being available on the web is the best you could be doing for them.
My sincere appreciation and best wishes.