The Telegraph
Thursday , November 29 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
Career Hotline
Keep Plan B ready

The odds of cracking entrance exams, whether engineering or medicine, are stacked equally against all candidates. So, it is important to have a back-up plan in life. There are various career options for students apart from engineering or medicine. In fact, it is a pity to see science students blindly opt for commerce in case they fail to get into an engineering or medical college.

In today’s world you can have a very successful career in biotechnology, forensics, earth sciences, geology, maths, statistics or food technology. Figuring out the career options in these fields can go a long way in making you a more balanced and successful person. I think studying chemistry and maths can open up a wide range of career options. Maths and statistics, for instance, are the basis for a variety of careers in finance, actuary, engineering and information technology.

Find your strengths:

Before you take the leap do pause and reassess your strengths and goals. Let us first begin with your strengths. Initially you may feel you are a total failure because your academic performance has never been good. Let us for the time being ignore your academic performance and concentrate on your strengths, abilities, skills and talents. Examination results do not judge your overall capability. Academic achievement is only one dimension of your personality. We human beings are lucky to have several aspects in our personality and it is up to us to identify the entire range of our potential and develop it to the fullest.

Achieve your potential:

The spirit of these words never leaves me. These words assume that you have an inner capability and it is only time and hard work which will bring it out. In my experience as a career counsellor, I am yet to meet a person who has no capabilities. It is not humanly possible. So, I believe each one of you reading this article is capable of moving mountains — only you need to believe in yourself and give your best.

Self-analysis :

So don’t be downcast but jot down the areas where you have mastery and proficiency. It could be anything like fixing a fuse, making friends, cooking, making people comfortable, writing letters, gathering information or remembering minute details. Share this list with as many people as you trust and watch the list grow. Meet a career counsellor who can help establish your strengths and identify your career options. Remember all of us need help at certain points of time and professional guidance can help you be in control again. Hold on to your dreams of success.

Send your queries to Career Hotline, Careergraph, The Telegraph, 6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700 001. Fax: 22253142; e-mail: