Mon, 18 Feb, 2019

Making wise and informed choices

01st July 2018, 03:18 Hrs

Jay Joshi

The end of high school is a tough time for students, not just because they answer the crucial SSC exams, but also because the question about career and making a living are now staring them in the face. It is time to make choices that will shape our lives for years to come. This is where many students fall prey to confusion and make hasty decisions. Some choose to follow their peers while others just aim for high-paying fields, hoping to get the best standard of living. However, they soon discover that they lack passion for the job and thus regret their career choice.  The only way to avoid this situation is to help the student discover his or her passion and aptitude during the schooling years itself, and inform them of the career options that match their talent and passion. 

This is the goal of My Smart Move, an online programme that identifies the student’s innate interests, abilities and talents and helps them turn it into a career. 

“I worked for 28 years as a mechanical engineer, and found that many people find their job boring. HR departments across  the industry have found that people who find their jobs boring do not perform well. When I tried to find the root cause of this, I found that these people do not like what they do. Upon researching the issue deeper, I found that this happens because most students do not have a vision for their future.” says Sudhir Acharya, managing partner at Leiansis, a start-up based in Bicholim that has developed the programme. “And because the students have no vision, they see no purpose in studying seriously. My Smart Move identifies their passions and interests, and  show them career options that suit their talents and likings. Thus, when they realise that ‘I am also capable of making a successful career’, it helps them develop interest in studies.”

That said, this is not a career counselling programme, clarifies Mr Acharya. “We use technology and analysis to identify the talent and passion by providing exposure to various options. This is not possible just by career counselling. The first question a career counselor will ask you is “What do you like”. In our case, we have a tie-up with people in different fields who will inform students about their respective areas of expertise so the students can make better choices.” he says. 

A key question however is whether we are looking too seriously at career for teenage students? As Alibaba boss Jack Ma puts it, 20s is the time when you can make mistakes, try different things so that you eventually find a place where you can settle. So, should we put students through paid courses. That is a different issue, says Mr Acharya “we deal with school students. We believe that it is easier to discover their potential and interests before they are influenced by external factors. With time and exposure, their thinking becomes biased. If we identify their leanings right now, that will remain throughout. It will not change.” 

The online programme of My Smart Move takes four hours to complete, and requires no advance preparation. The students can complete this programme in one or two session during their free time without disturbing their other activities. Apart from taking the online programme, students and their parents can also attend the career planner meet up where experts are available for detailed face-to-face discussion. 

Another factor that contributes to wrong career choices is the way we portray and perceive success, says Mr Acharya. “ We celebrate high scorers and high earners, but the students who made wrong choices and suffered as a result of it should also come forward and create awareness.” he elaborates.

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