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Thursday, 23 May 2013

What do you expect from yourself? Ask our counsellor Q&A column

[The following column written by me appeared in the Deccan Herald Education supplement of May 23, 2013]

Dear Madam, 
I have finished my 10th std in 2000 and PUC in 2006, due to some family problems. I completed my degree in 2009 and after that I took a job in a school. Now I want to do MCA. I am worried about the impact that the gap may have on my future if I work in the corporate sector. And my percentage is not so good in PUC. Please help me.  

Dear student,
If you are able to explain your gap in a way that is authentic and shows how you used that opportunity to grow and gain life experiences, you may in reality be able to position yourself as someone who may be more of an asset to an organization. Don’t look at that gap as a failure, or a short coming, but as a life event that gave you opportunities to gain life experiences that you would not have got in a classroom. So think about what the reasons for the gap were, how did you use the gap time, what did you learn in the process and how are you a better person now because of it. If you analyze your gap time in this way, you start thinking about it as an opportunity that taught you something. If you able to convey that in your interviews, you can convert it into a strength. Remember, success in the corporate world does not depend on your marks, but on several other things like your confidence, your communication skills, your ability to think out of the box, your ability to problem solve, your ability to work in a team and lead a team, and so on. Marks just open the door.

Dear Madam
I am currently in my 2nd year CS Engineering. I was very good at studies in the 1st year and in my PUC. My CGPA in the 1st year was 8, but in my 3rd semester, somehow I lost interest and neglected my studies. I got 2 backlogs. I'm not able to regain my strength. My mind is getting distracted from studies, my parents have lot of hopes for me. I even read motivational books, but the motivation will be there in my mind only for one or two days. I joined college to achieve something, but I'm not able to concentrate now. I want to achieve something in my life, but I don't know what is lacking in me. I'm very confused. Please help me.

Dear student,
I understand that your parents have lots of expectations from you, as is natural for all parents. The important thing for you to answer is what are your expectations from yourself. This is not about your doing something for your parents. This is about your life, and your doing something for yourself, that makes you happy and fulfilled. If that happens your parents will be satisfied. Remember, the biggest beneficiary of your “success” is going to be you, not anyone else. So find your motivation. What are your dreams? What are the steps you need to take to fulfill them? Break up your goals into small, achievable targets so that you get a sense of fulfillment along the way. Failure in any one of the steps on the way, does not mean that you are a failure. It just means that you failed at that task in the first attempt, and you need to learn from your mistakes and try again. Try to understand what is distracting your mind. Is it stress and pressure, is it the peer group, is it a romantic relationship, is it fear? Once you are able to understand the source of your distraction you can address it.
All the best.

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