Importance of Career Counseling


This post has originally published here.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people pass matriculation in Pakistan. Many of them end up in high school (known as college or intermediate in Pakistan). Mostly students go for Pre-engineering because this way, they’d have the choice to opt commerce-related courses in the future. Unfortunately, over a fraction of the students who pass intermediate are able to study in universities because of the excessive pressure of making money to feed one’s family and quite expensive fee structure of the universities (a not-so-much-of-a-prestigious university offers a bachelor program in around 3.5-4 hundred thousand rupees. And that’s just basic tuition-fee. Not to mention all the other expenses like travel, stationary, course material, etc., make the overall cost reach 5-6 hundred thousand rupees.

The list doesn’t end here, unfortunately the students who do opt for higher education in universities, mostly choose fields and areas out of parental pressure or what they assume would make them get the best and highly paying job when they graduate. That, in fact, is the weakest assumption many students make in the most crucial times of their lives. The result: lack of interest in the field/major they enrolled in, lack of passion to achieve exceptionality, and eventually poor job performance. The solution: professional career counseling services to not only students but also professionals seeking to opt a different career path.

Career counseling is one of the most neglected areas of education in Pakistan. There are only a few career counseling firms but they’re located in the metropolitan cities of Pakistan and a few ones that are good, charge a lot of money. Result: we’re back to square one!

The REAL solution: Career Guide, and online career counseling platform for students and professionals in Pakistan. The catch is: IT’S ONLINE AND IT DOESN’T CHARGE ANY MONEY FOR COUNSELING! Yes, that is correct. Founded by Basit Saeed, Career Guide is an idea of social innovation, initially presented in P@SHA (Pakistan Software Houses Association) Social Innovation Funds seeded by Google. More than 350 ideas were presented in the first round and only 64 got shortlisted. Career Guide was one of them.
Career Guide was launched in November 2011, and over the past eight months, it has counseled over 400 students without charging them a penny!

What do you think of Career Guide’s approach to use internet as a medium instead of becoming just another brick-and-mortar counseling firms? Please provide feedback and suggestions via the comments.

If you or anyone you know need career counseling, you can contact Career Guide via our Facebook page, Twitter handle, or LinkedIn Group.


Post-Graduation Fears

It was the last day of my final semester exam. Like always, I started studying late at night, but I couldn’t focus on the subject. Instead, I was thinking about my future, thinking what life would look like from now on, without university, buddies, bunking classes to celebrate friends birthdays, and combined study seasons.

They say good and enjoyable moments pass early. I guess they are right. It seems like yesterday when I was holding my acceptance letter in amazement thinking how did I make it in this top-level university? It feels like yesterday when were ragged by seniors, when we used to be called ‘freshy’ for a whole semester.  It feels like yesterday.  All those years went by and here I am!

University life was one of the best periods in my life. I had a lot of friends, my teachers used to love me, and our gang was the most famous one in our university. We used to organize workshops, parties, concerts etc. All of that is over now.

I couldn’t continue studying now. So, I closed my eyes and started thinking about my future. I had been living with the support of my father. He used to pay my fee, gave me enough pocket money to do shopping, hangout, and stuff. But now, I’m supposed to earn by myself. Sure I used to do some work for extra money, but the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone and step into a wild, uncaring, and selfish world started to freak me out. Questions like, “is it normal?”, “is it normal to feel this way?”, “does everyone feel the same at the time of their graduation?” are some of the many unanswered questions roaming inside my mind.

Did it happen to you too?
Regards,
A typical to-be-graduated-student!

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