“There is a lot of difference between risk taking capacity of an adolescent & adult, this is where counselling comes to an aid”
– Preeti Taneja.
Preeti Taneja (Preeti) is a head guidance counsellor with 14 years of experience in Psychometric Testing, Career Counselling and People Management. She is the author of research paper on “Impact of Assertiveness Training on Self Concept Among Adolescents” which got published in “Indian Journal of Psychological Science”. She speaks about her career and career counselling in an interview with Amarjeet.
Amarjeet Sharma (AS): Please brief us about your Educational background.
Preeti: I am a post graduate in psychology & human resource management.
AS: What has your time as a Career Counsellor meant to you personally and why?
Preeti: It has been an amazing journey of 14 years assisting youth in making an informed career decision. I am glad that I am a part of community which is committed towards channelizing energy of youth in the right direction and at the same time showing them ways to make optimal use of their inherent talents & abilities. I have counselled more than 16000 students of various reputed schools of India in my stint of 14 years as a career counsellor & it gives me immense satisfaction to see those students excelling in their career & most importantly living a successful & contented life.
AS: How did you get into Career Counselling? What interested you into Career Counselling?
Preeti: I got an opportunity to work as an assistant recruitment executive with one of the leading recruitment firms of Chandigarh in year 2002 (i.e. after completion of my graduation). The organization was catering to the manpower needs of manufacturing as well as service industry. I served the organization for 3 years & during that period got ample opportunities to interact with senior HR professionals of some of the top-notch organizations. My knowledge about various career options increased immensely. I also got to know about the skills HR expect from candidates while hiring for various job roles. I got well versed with the job responsibilities, working conditions, remuneration & hierarchy of various job roles & my awareness of top recruiters in various industries also increased manifold. I used to read career articles written by Ms. Praveen Malhotra during my school years. She has been my role model. And after working with a recruitment firm for 3 years and gaining thorough understanding of different careers, I was confident of embarking my journey as a career counsellor, hence joined Institute of Personality & Aptitude Testing as a career counsellor in year 2005. I was approached by Daink Bhaskar to do career column writing for their special education supplement “Career Quest” in year 2007, I accepted the proposal immediately. I joined Vivek 90.4 Fm community radio station as a career expert in year 2010.
AS: Which tools do you use for guiding careers?
Preeti: Standardized psychological tests, individual guidance & counselling & career talks are some of the tools which I am using presently in assisting individuals in making an informed career decision.
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AS: Why do you think it’s important for students and parents to undergo Career Counselling together?
Preeti: Parents play a vital role in career decision making process of their child. Many children make a career decision just to fulfil the dreams of their parents without taking into account their real interests, aptitude & personality traits. They are the ones who usually face the first & major failure of their life at a tender age of 18 because of their inability to clear the competitive exams & go through mid-life crisis. Most often, it is seen that parents being not aware of the latest career trends in the market, force their children to opt for conservative careers. As parents want their children to lead a happy & successful life, they want to keep the probability of their child failing in off-beat & emerging careers to the minimum. There is a lot of difference between risk taking capacity of an adolescent & adult, this is where counselling comes to an aid. Career counselling helps in aligning the career aspirations of a child & expectations of parents so as to ensure that the child gets maximum support required to fulfil his career dreams & relieving anxiety of parents which may be there due to lack of information about the emerging career options.
AS: What are the top 3-5 skills you should have to become an effective Career Counsellor?
Preeti: To be an effective career counsellor, one should have an innate desire to assist others in making informed career choices. He/she should have excellent communication skills so as to share information related to various careers with aspirants. He/she ought to be an effective listener & have empathy to understand the needs & aspirations of individuals approaching her for career counselling. He/she should have thorough knowledge of various psychological tests. He/she should possess excellent individual & group counselling skills along with thorough knowledge of prevailing & emerging career options.
AS: What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Career Counselling industry?
Preeti: It is vital for any individual thinking of making a career in career counselling to gain knowledge of various psychological tests, work religiously on his/her individual & group counselling skills & equip himself/ herself with knowledge about various prevailing & emerging career options.
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?
Preeti: I attend career fairs, HR conferences, education conclaves on regular basis. I read a lot of career content on print & electronic media.
AS: Which are the Career Information resources (i.e. newsletters/ blogs/ websites/ apps) you visit regularly?
Preeti: LinkedIn, Newspapers with education/ career supplements, books by renowned career experts, Blogs by HR & Career Experts.
AS: Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Career Counselling?
- Parveen Malhotra
- Usha Albuquerque
- Kum Kum Tondon
- Jitin Chawla
- Sachin Bhatnagar
AS: Would you like to share few words/suggestions about the work we are doing at CareerGuide?
Preeti: CareerGuide is doing a wonderful job assisting youth in making informed career choices. The growth of organization in such a short span is commendable.
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