Its been more than 5 years now that I am doing counseling/coaching for students, and professionals. When I look back, there are so many lives we have touched. This process was never been a one-sided affair. While I was guiding them, the processes have enriched me in several ways. I learned many things out of these interactions and to add to my year resolutions, I thought to bring down some of these learning to you under the monthly series titled as ‘Counselling Conversations.’
Though names and the identities are disguised, the essence and the crux would always be the same. I believe the learning out of these stories can be of much value for people going through same experiences or on the verge of committing similar mistakes.
So here is sharing the second one in the series- A Story of Auto Vs Audi!
In the last few months, I started conducting weekly counselling sessions at Mumbai. Though we have started leveraging technology which connects us easily with any student/professional across the globe, I still prefer meeting them face-to-face wherever possible as it helps a lot in many ways.
I was going through Jayesh’s assessment report and very much sure about his personality aspects. I was not aware of his reason for opting for counselling and thought I would discover it while talking to him.
He entered my cabin with a smiling face. Once he settled down, I began the session.
“So what are you doing these days?” I asked him.
He struggled to reply when he said “engineering sir”. I sensed his discomfort when he said that. Before I could ask him again he clarified,
“I was doing engineering sir…. you can call me a dropout … I was going through psychiatric treatment for a year and then I came back home”.
I have never handled similar students in the past, so I was not sure what to say next. However, Jayesh helped me saying, “I am okay sir. The treatment helped me to recover. Now I have to start thinking about my career”.
I asked him if he had decided to get back to engineering studies and he told me that he never enjoyed engineering. In fact, he never wanted to become an engineer however his family insisted and forcefully admitted him there. As the semesters passed his backlog started mounting and he couldn’t cope up with the pressure.
Jayesh studied in Military school. He was fascinated with the defense services and wanted to join them. He gave his best shot to study for NDA entrance but couldn’t make it in multiple attempts. His parents forced him to take engineering seat despite knowing that he can go for BSC and from there to armed forces with CDS route.
“Sir, I couldn’t convince them but now I have decided that I would not continue with engineering anymore. I will take admission to BSC and give my CDS. The challenge is as I lost 3 years in this I would only get 1 chance. How should I ensure I make it?”
Next 10 minutes I guided him on how he can prepare for the CDS entrance from the first year and how he can ensure he makes the best use of his opportunity.
One has to combine disciplined preparation with burning desire to ensure the favorable outcome. Jayesh is now ready to act on the same.
It seems my encouraging talk helped. Before leaving he still had doubts and I told him to open up. “Sir, I am not much worried about the exam, I know I can crack it. But how I can cope up with the mindset of people around me? When I was in school my relatives used to give my example to their kids as an ideal student, now they give my example for wrong reasons. Sir, nothing changed over the years. I am still the same person. However, everyone’s perception about me changed. They feel I am totally useless. “
I know if I have to address this. However powerful you are, people around you and their perceptions can bring you down. I could have told him to focus on himself and forget what people saying but I know it was easy to say than putting it into practice. Instead, I shared this story.
“Jayesh, do you travel in auto? If you are in a traffic jam, an Audi and an Auto is stuck in it, you might think there is no difference between riding an Audi or an Auto. Even in a traffic jam, you would feel it is better off being in an Auto. However, when the signal goes green and you get a free road ahead, Audi zooms past Auto and proves the difference.
I am sure nothing has changed in you during these years. You are still an Audi. But the congestion of circumstances around you is making you feel that you are just an Auto. As long as you believe who you are, others perception won’t matter. The congestion would ease soon and make sure at that time you zoom like an Audi and prove your point.”
As soon as I finished my sentence, Jayesh stood up. His eyes shined with newly discovered confidence. He shook my hands firmly and assured me that he will bounce back.
I thanked God for popping up that story in my mind. I had never heard that story before but felt that sometimes God surprises you with his prowess. He gets things done from you and you just became a means of communicating his message. Thanks to counseling I am able to serve as his messenger.
About Career Corner
Career Corner is a career services company aimed at helping students and professionals to make RIGHT career decisions. Our assessment, counseling, coaching, mentoring and training programs aimed at helping individuals to discover and develop their careers. We can be reached at www.careercorner.in
About the Author
Business Leader with 10+ years of diverse experience across Strategy & Operations. Worked across industries (Automotive, IT Services, Management Consulting, Education) and geographies (India, USA and South East Asia).
A social entrepreneur at core who started his first social venture SPANDAN at 22 at COEP. Under SPANDAN, TMI and Career Corner conceptualized and developed innovative approaches for solving education and employment challenges by youths. Currently heads Career Corner a career services company aims at helping students and professionals to build their careers.
Rushikesh holds Bachelor of Engineering from COEP (Pune University) and MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.
This article is one of any articles that he has written and posted on his Linkedin Profile