Take it slow, a step at a time

Q&A for You

By Shivani Manchanda
  • Published 8.01.19, 1:50 AM
  • Updated 8.01.19, 1:50 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
A soft skills trainer needs to have excellent communication skills, patience, self-confidence, humour and the ability to think on one’s feet, as well as be able to market oneself. (Shutterstock)

Q I have an MCom degree. I have been working as an accountant in a company for the last five years but I am terribly bored. I would like to become a soft skills trainer. What should I do?

Sohini Dutta

It is wonderful to know that you have an interest in teaching and would like to pursue a career as a soft skills trainer. Even though it would be a shift from the accounting profession, there is no reason you should not consider it. A soft skills trainer needs to have excellent communication skills, patience, self-confidence, humour and the ability to think on one’s feet, as well as be able to market oneself.

However, before you leave your current job, conduct a small research project to find out who your clients will be and what their needs are. My suggestion would be to first develop the curriculum for the training modules you would like to conduct in future. Given your background, you can develop courses designed for accountants.

Also, instead of quitting, volunteer with your company. You can conduct a trial session for colleagues and get feedback. You could also consider interning under a human resources professional with soft skills training. Once you are sure about a career change, you could do a master’s degree or diploma in human resources management. Depending on your financial responsibilities and risk-taking ability, I would urge you to take it one step at a time.

Cut your teeth

I belong to a lower middle-class family. Is acquiring a bachelor of dental surgery (BDS) degree a good career option? Will I be able to set up an independent dental practice?

Shiva Kumari

If you manage to get a seat on merit in both undergraduate and postgraduate dental colleges, it will be a lot easier on your finances. When you establish your practice, you have to keep in mind the various expenses involved. Considering private and very upscale dental clinics are now opening everywhere, it can push up the entry level cost. Do meet some dentists in your area to get a realistic idea about the costs involved. In the meantime, you could also look at other medical professions where setting up your own clinic may be cheaper. An MBBS doctor just needs his stethoscope and blood pressure measuring instrument to start a practice while a dentist needs an expensive chair and a gamut of tools.

Drugs that can heal

Q I am appearing for the Plus Two board exams. I love biology and chemistry but am not confident about cracking the pre-medical entrance test. Is BPharm a feasible option?

Kaushik Deka

If you are planning to do a pharmacy course, ensure that the programme is accredited to the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) (www.pci.nic.in).

You can either choose a two-year diploma in pharmacy (with hospital training) or a four-year bachelor’s in pharmacy. After doing BPharm, you can work as a medical pharmacist, a retail pharmacist, an academic or even conduct research on drug development. To succeed in this field, you need to have a good knowledge of drugs and their interactions. Being specific, detail-oriented and patient will also help you. Jobs can be found mainly in hospitals and the retail sector.