Learning Is a Lifelong and Continuous Process - Radhika Jajodia

Radhika Jajodia

It is a new world for the student, it teaches them lots of life skills like managing one's emotions, effective communication, negotiation, survival, and in essence it can help the student to know and bring out their true potential. 

1. Tell us more about your journey and background? 

I started my journey right after grade 10, even though my professional journey began in the year 2005. I was very sure that after grade 10, I will become a counselor and work in a school setting with adolescents. But I did not want to miss out on experiencing the other areas or the sectors. 

So I started my career as a life skills trainer with an NGO for giving a better life to the children of women in prostitution. Moved on to the corporate filed as a career guidance counselor and personal development trainer.

As I said I always wanted diverse experience and wanted to explore my field before settling down as a school counselor, I freelanced and worked with corporate clients and couples and families. Finally, I am now a school counselor working in Dubai. 

I predominantly work with adolescents helping them to see their potential and give them the gift of the belief that everyone is unique and born to be successful. 

I also closely work with the parents and teachers helping them to have a better understanding of the challenges of being a teenager and how to build a relationship based on the foundation of trust and respect and how to motivate and inspire the youths to achieve their dreams and believe in a better tomorrow. 

2. How can a career counselor help someone take a more informed decision? 

Gone are the days where one used to decide their career paths based on the percentage of grade 10. The decisions were made that if one score above 90% then science, commerce, and the last choice were humanities. 

Further, the only know options were medicine, engineering, CA or a lawyer. Now days not only the youths but also the parents are aware of the plethora of options available. 

Right career counseling helps the students to make an informed decision based on the interest, personality, or the personal core values and the aptitude into consideration. 

Let me elaborate with an example, in order to become a surgeon, one not only needs to have an aptitude or skills in the science but one has to have an eye for detail, should be able to perform under pressure, the job demands him to be an introvert. 

Even if a student has the skills but not the required core personality it will be difficult to become a successful surgeon. So it’s important to have the right amalgamation of the skills, interest, personal core values, and professional characteristics. 

3. How do you go about assessing someone and making a recommendation? 

I always take into consideration and use psychological tools to assess the interest, aptitude, and personality, or the core values of the child. However that is not enough, one has to remember that we are dealing with humans and no assessment tool is 100% accurate when it comes to humans. 

It can act as a parameter or a guideline. I give more weightage to the career counseling session and discussion involving both the student and the parents. 

The recommendation I make is based on the discussion of what the student and the parents want, while the assessment results are the guiding light that gives me a scientific base to discuss the pro and cons of the profession that the student or the parent has in mind. 

4. What according to you are the key differences between studying in India v/s abroad? 

The key difference is that one has the flexibility in permutation and combination of subjects. One can study biology and chemistry and also have designed it as a subject. Apart from the flexibility, I think the exposure that the student gets to a different culture interacting with diverse people is real education. 

It is a new world for the student, it teaches them lots of life skills like managing one's emotions, effective communication, negotiation, survival, and in essence it can help the student to know and bring out their true potential. 

Now I am not saying that the student will not know his true potential in India, it depends a lot of the home environment, family culture, peers, values, and the chances of exposure to a diverse and different world other than their own. 

5. How can people practice mindfulness? 

First, it is important to understand what mindfulness is all about. It is a state of awareness, focusing on something, observing, or feeling something in a calm state of mind. Therefore in order to be mindful follows simple steps. 

Take a moment from the fast pace and the hustle-bustle of life and observe. What to observe is the question. When feeling emotional about a situation, take a pause focus on breathing, and just experience and observe the emotions you are feeling. 

It is not something complicated or has to be done only during a critical situation. Mindful can be incorporated in day to day activity. It is the opposite of multitasking. Some of the simple mindful practices are: 

· While eating food focus on the taste, texture, smell, color, the temperature of the food rather than eating while reading or watching TV or mobile 

· When you go for a walk feel the grass on your feet, feel the air, or maybe the sweat on your back. 

· Feel the texture of the clothes that you have worn or been aware of the temperature of the room 

· You can just close your eyes and focus on your breathing 

· Close your eyes and be an observer of the thoughts you have in the span of one minute. 

· Gratitude and affirmations diary is also helpful. 

6. How according to you can one manage stress? 

Let’s understand, what causes stress? Is it the situation or our reaction to the situation that causes stress? Let me elaborate with a simple example, what causes stress, the stray dog that I see on the path that I have to take while walking or my past experiences, and my thoughts about it. 

For a dog lover, it is not a stressful situation but for a person who fears dogs or has had bad past experiences with a stray dog, it is a very stressful situation. 

Therefore the situation is not causing stress, our thoughts are the source of stress. In order to manage stress one has to manage their thoughts. Practicing mindfulness, meditation, exposing yourself to the stressful situation first in your mind through visualization, and n in small steps, in reality, is very effective. 

7. Which is your favorite book and why? 

Honestly, even though I am an avid reader I don’t have a particular favorite book. I believe I know very little and there are lots that I don’t know. Every book, article, or magazine that I read teaches me something. 

Learning is a lifelong and continuous process. Currently, I am reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I am gaining financial education which we often fail to get. 

Instagram ID - @jajodiaradhiks

Radhika Jajodia

Radhika Jajodia

Guidance Counsellor
Indian International School - DSO,
Dubai, UAE.

Interviewed By - Sandeep Virothu

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