“I was keenly observing my colleagues. More than 85% of them felt that work was a chore and actually wanted to be doing something else. They hung on, just about going through the motions; merely for survival sake.”
– by Vinay Wardhan
Vinay Wardhan (Vinay) is the Director of Career Path Solutions in Hyderabad. He speaks about why career guidance is so important from his personal experiences that lead him to take up career counseling as a profession while in an interview with Amarjeet Sharma
Amarjeet Sharma (AS): Please brief us about your Educational background.
Vinay: Well; that’s an interesting story! I joined engineering without knowing what it entails. After the 1st year, realized I was a misfit there. I was counseled by my dad to finish my Mechanical Engineering course. I did. Then, I turned my back on engineering and started my career as a sales professional.
AS: What has your time as a Career Counselor meant to you personally and why?
Vinay: It has meant I have impacted many tender lives from becoming misfits. Personally, it has been a very contented work and a satisfying journey. I feel that it’s my calling and I am thoroughly enjoying what I am doing.
AS: How did you get into Career Counseling? What interested you into Career Counseling?
Vinay: When I was working in the corporate world, I was keenly observing my colleagues. Many (over 85%) of them felt that work was a chore and actually wanted to be doing something else. They hung on, just about going through the motions; merely for survival sake. This lead me to the world of Career Counseling. Fortunately, India has opened up its economy and with that there were a plethora of jobs available in many different sectors. I believed that this was the right time to guide the students to right Career choices in line with their Personality and Aptitude.
AS: Which tools do you use for guiding careers?
Vinay: Psychometric Tools are the main instruments which I use. Apart from this, a typical IQ test or an Aptitude test is used.
Have a question regarding your career ?
AS: Why do you think it’s important for students and parents to undergo Career Counseling together?
Vinay: This is the day of specialist. The days of mediocrity is dead and buried. Long live mediocrity!!! For anyone to be successful, that person needs to choose a career, and should feel like “Fish taking to water!” If he enjoys the career, then he is bound to put that extra effort willingly to excel in that sector. At the other end of the spectrum, Parents need to understand every child, nay everyone of us is different. We are born with certain traits and we also have a distinct personality. So, choosing a career for their ward in line with his traits and personality will to a large extent ensure the ward’s success. Merely copying others success is a recipe’ for mediocrity, struggle and maybe even disaster.
AS: What are the top 3-5 skills you should have to become an effective Career Counselor?
- Be a good listener. Take notes. Be empathetic.
- Understand and recognize the traits of the ward
- Have knowledge of the Psychological cause and effect of different environments of the ward.
- Make the ward and his parents understand the importance of selecting a particular career choice.
- Make a difference. This should be prime motive behind becoming a career counselor.
AS: What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Career Counseling industry? Vinay: This industry is at a very nascent state in our country. But, it is a sunrise industry. It will grow exponentially in the next 10 years or so. Hence, a career in this industry is an excellent choice. But, please check whether you have the traits and sufficient knowledge to become an expert in Career Counseling. A couple of questions you should ask yourself; “Am I a people’s person (love meeting and interacting with different people)?” and “Do I get a kick out of helping and guiding others?” If the answers to above questions is yes; then you are welcome.
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?
Vinay: Newspapers, Internet, movies, TV, Books etc are sources of rich information. This has helped me stay abreast of the developments in different segments. Still, I believe that I need to catch up a little more.
AS: Which are the Career Information resources (i.e. newsletters/ blogs/ websites/ apps) you visit regularly?
Vinay: There are too many to list here. But the Jobsites like Naukri.com, Monster.com etc; Career Sites like CareerGuide.com and facebook pages of different consultancies are my main sources. Of course, being in touch with my students also gives me an insight into the nuances and changes of the corporate world.
AS: Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Career Counseling?
- Surabhi Dewra
- K Seetha Ram and
- Anjali Bhat Manda