Career choice should answer the question, 'Who am I?'

 Phyllis Farias
My interest lies in pursuing technical writing. I am committed to a boy who wants me to do my MBA and the same is with my parents. I am confused as to which field I need to choose. Should I do my MBA first or Technical Writing? I also want to know the specialisation I should choose in MBA so that, it would help me settle down in technical writing. 
JN

Dear JN,
Let me repeat and reiterate what I have said many a time in this column. At the heart of a career choice, is the answer to the question, Who am I? It is for you to match yourself to a career choice. I am sure your future husband and your parents have your best interests at heart. At the same time you need to do what your heart says, for you will be the one in the work situation.
There are two things you can do to help you to make the decision:
* Find out the ‘personal attributes’ and ‘skills set’ one would need for both the options and then decide which is the best match for you.
* Go for an Aptitude Test to a good career counselor.

Dear Madam,
I am currently studying in 2nd semester B.E (E&C). I got 93 per cent in PUC and 89 per cent in the first semester. I always get tense before the exams and internals even though I have studied everything. This time I got less marks in one subject in my internals because of tension and due to this I am falling sick frequently especially during exams. My parents won’t allow me to study when I’m sick. They tell me to sleep, but I can’t sleep because of tension. After the exams I sleep for three days due to fever. Please guide me. I give studies the most importance in my life and I don’t want to lose marks. Even if I have studied I keep on revising it continuously.
S

Dear S,
A little tension before an exam is good as it can sharpen your awareness and keep you alert. Sometimes, however, tension is persistent and extreme and can be damaging. You seem to be in the extreme category and need to come out of it.
Exam anxiety is expressed in two ways – mental and physical. The mental component of stress includes all your thoughts and worries about the exam. The physical component includes feelings, sensations and tension.

You could try the following techniques to deal with both components.
* Mentally yell ‘Stop’, when you notice that your mind is filled with worries and fears. This can break the cycle of worry and then use any of the following:
* Fill your mind with pleasant thoughts with something you like to do like being with a good friend, walking alone in a special place or even playing a brisk game.
* Visualize success – take time to rehearse what it will be like to succeed. Be specific. Create detailed pictures, actions and sounds as part of your visualization.
* During an exam, take a few seconds to focus on any object. Concentrate all your attention on it – this is like meditation.
* Talk to yourself in a positive way. Give yourself some encouragement. Treat yourself as well as you would treat your best friend.
* Breathe – you can calm physical sensations within your body by focusing your attention on your breathing. Fill your lungs and diaphragm than release all the air. Do this at least five times.
* Tense and relax all your muscles starting from your feet and coming up to your face.
If all these techniques fail to work, then you may have to see a counsellor.

Dear Madam,
I am a 19-year-old boy doing my final year diploma in Mechanical Engineering. I was an above average student before I joined college. In our college we didn’t get sufficient teaching from our teachers. So I failed in 4 subjects out of 7 in my 1st year exam for the first time in my life. I made a mistake and told my parents that I passed in 5 subjects. After the supplementary exam, I passed in 3 and failed in 1. I told my parents that I passed. Thereafter I attended the 2nd year exam with one paper of first year. I passed in 5 subjects out of 7 but I failed in the 1st year paper and I lost one year. After these incidents my parents didn’t speak with me. Of course all parents would do the same, but now I have passed all the subjects and my parents are still neglecting me. Their words irritate me a lot and so I do not want to live. I want to die – What can I do? I want to become an IAS officer but I don’t have much money. Please help.
TS

Dear TS,
I can understand why you lied about your results. You were most probably ashamed and you were protecting your ego. When one is in this situation one forgets to think that if and when it is found out, then the parents have two things to be angry about. And your parents were rightly angry.

Now, just for a moment, get out of your shoes and get into the shoes of your parents. How would you feel about your son who not only failed but also lied about it? I am sure you would feel angry, hurt and betrayed. That is what your parents felt and still feel as they have lost their trust in you. Even though you have now passed in all subjects they most probably cannot trust you. This is what is making them say hurtful things.
The situation can change provided you earn back their trust in you.

* First apologize sincerely
* Start communicating with them in a frank and honest manner in all matters
* However much you are hurt by their words – tell yourself that you know that they love and care for you. Let me assure you, that they actually do for it they did not; they would not have been so hurt.

Once you change your attitude, you will find that they will forgive you. Every life is precious and yours is too. Reach out to others and you will find meaning to your life.

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