Acute Need To Nurture Career Readiness In Students

The acute need of introducing a program to nurture student competencies to drive career readiness and create long term career opportunities

With a changing paradigm in these trying times, the education ecosystem is in a state of flux. A hybrid of in-person and remote learning is a new reality facing educators, proving to be a mammoth challenge as well as a unique opportunity. In today's scenario, identifying and implementing career pathways for young learners has multifarious advantages, including boosting the morale, career satisfaction & productivity of individuals, thereby creating a future-ready and capable workforce to face life’s challenges in a positive way.

Skilled communicators are always in demand as they can empathize with others, and synthesize that collective knowledge. They are in a better position to make informed decisions and respond appropriately to any new developments in their career progression.

Careers play a significant role in our lives today, and any decision in terms of career planning has to be made with the utmost attention. With numerous courses, certifications, colleges and job opportunities available, choosing the right career path can become an intimidating process for students. A well thought out choice of career will not only bring forth effective job opportunities but will allow a student to embrace a satisfying and respectful lifestyle. Also, when an individual is able to pursue their desired career path, it helps them become better informed, confident and dedicated within their chosen profession. Hence, the importance of career guidance and proper counselling cannot be underestimated. India is a developing country and its power lies in the minds of our youth. Understanding the importance of career guidance in making an informed decision regarding career progression enables students to maximize their inherent potential. Thus lies the absolute importance of career counsellors.

It has been observed that on average, youngsters are aware of only a limited number of careers that they have observed within their own families or peer groups. As such, exposure to a vast variety of careers suited to skills and interests is of immediate need. This heralds in the next stage - to decide what career to pursue. This can be an overwhelming decision for most youngsters. For individuals who find it difficult to decide the right career that is appropriate for them, a career guide can help sort out this confusion. There are infinite career options available to choose from, and without an expert’s guidance, one might stick to the few options that one’s friends or guardians want one to pursue. An informed career guide makes one aware of the scope of every career option in detail, which widens the horizon of students as well as keeping parents up to date. For those who think they are clear on their career paths and have attained enough clarity to work towards a chosen career option, career guides ensure that they achieve their goals without any distractions.

A common question asked by many individuals is, 'When is the right time to seek a mentor?' Although any time can be a good time to engage with a career professional to help accelerate your career progression, mentorship becomes more meaningful when you have a career goal in mind and/or want faster results to pursue a career challenge or opportunity. Career goals can range from overcoming knowledge, skills, confidence or resource gaps, to gaining clarity on career choices, to identification and application of core strengths, to explaining gaps in resume, to pursuing your dream career, or to having a better work-life balance.

Career guides are mentors who help individuals in self-discovery, identification of strengths and weaknesses and provide an adequate nudge to hone desired skills. Furthermore, they guide learners on their journeys to navigate their career pathways, in addition to counselling parents about various options that can lead to a successful future. Not only are the students in need of counselling, but their parents need it, too, as they form the core decision-making authorities without whose consent learners are unable to make any progress. When parents and schools are confident about the choices their wards are making, the same confidence rubs off on students. Self-assurance about career choices builds, enabling the pursuit of a career pathway with confidence, clarity, and zeal.

At the end of the day, the goal of students, parents and schools in the same - to ensure career success for a future filled with satisfaction. There is a need for a comprehensive career guidance program that handholds learners in their core career journeys with the help of career counsellors and guides, under the guidance of parents and schools.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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