Last week I had two different interactions, which led to a common phenomenon. People of two different ages reacted very similarly when life asked them to change and grow!
Laddu Pinto was going through a phase of depression. He had lost his job due to COVID. Well, that was not the reason for his misery. When his company closed production some eighteen months back, along with Laddu, three of his good friends were relieved of their job.
Today, those three are back in employment, and Laddu is still struggling for a livelihood! Whenever Laddu thinks of his friend’s well-being, he becomes upset and curses his luck. He approached me to get guidance for his career development.
After understanding his circumstances in detailand evaluating his strengths and opportunities in the marketplace, I suggested he begin with a start-up venture. The idea was like a shock for Laddu. He seemed to have lost all his resilience. He insisted that he get back into a work role similar to his last job. The very thought of entrepreneurship was scary for him. In his words, “as it is, I am short of comfort and confidence; if I begin something of my own, I do not know what will happen in future!”
Studying in class 12th, this schoolboy fared poorly in his Term One of the board examinations. Although he has been a high achiever, he could not get good marks for some reason. His parents brought him to me for getting counselling.
When I spoke to this boy, I found a lot of resistance in his attitude. During the counselling session, he only suggested the benefits of the online pattern of testing. Even though the more significant part of his school life, he had never studied online, he was absolutely uncomfortable with the offline examinations. Due to the coronavirus, schools went digital. This chap got so much used to the online mode of studies that the very thought of going to an examination hall was frightening and sickening for him.
Friends, the two real-life stories above have something in common – the belief that “I cannot change.”
Laddu’s friends restored their work-life not because the previous organisation hired them back. On the contrary, the three of them got engaged in different work domains. One of them started with a human resource consultancy. At the same time, the other two joined education institutes – one took the job of a Training and Placement Officer. In contrast, the other became a first-time professor!
These three people were happy because they demonstrated readiness to change and adapt to every evolving circumstance.
The reality was similar in the case of the schoolboy. He was one of those few students who got stuck with the online system of examinations. I contacted a few school principals and discussed their experiences. I was made to understand that students, in general, had lost connection and excitement with offline studies. However, most of those did get back into the offline pattern without making much fuss about it. One of the school principals said, “Look, these students are highly flexible. Most of them did not find it difficult to get back to normal schooling.”
In both these cases, I asked my clients the following questions?
- Did you ever change your school?
- You may have changed sections or groups during school days?
- While playing sports, you may have been a part of a different set of teammates every time!
- How quickly did you adjust to the College ecosystem when you first became a University student?
- You may have made new friends in life, didn’t you?
- You may have shifted your house and travelled to new places?
- You may have changed your city of residence?
Invariably, most of the above questions got answered in affirmation. In the process, I convinced these people that they had experienced many significant changes in their lives. Change is nothing new to them. They might not be habitual in experiencing change. Nevertheless, they have a ready aptitude to approve uncertainties and newness in life.
Think twice if you are going through any situation that demands you to think different. Think out of the box or go much beyond your standard life conventions. You may be resisting the change just for the heck of it. The fact remains that you have an inbuilt ability to absorb changing scenarios comfortably. Extract courage from your past experience; get ready to attract new fortunes into your life!
Do contact me in case you have any career queries.
Dr. Ajit Varwandkar is the Director of myaglakadam.com. He is a leading career counsellor and can be contacted on 9826132972 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This column was originally published by the author in The Times of India