Off the edge Education

Time for a reality check


After my graduation in 2015, I have been preparing for the Civil Services Examination. Currently, I am working. However, my job is not demanding and I can take out the time required for studies. I am also sure that I want to be a civil servant as my current job is also similar (but not permanent — just two years). However, I am not able to concentrate on my studies. I spend time watching interesting videos and do not study at all. I am concerned and want to get back to studies. Please guide me.

— Narendra

Dear Narendra,

If you are too lazy to plough, don’t expect a harvest. I don’t have sufficient information on what you do right now but you are very young. Focus on what you want. Your time is now! You have only shared the fact that you are not able to concentrate on your studies to take the Civil Services Exam, since you seem to get distracted by watching videos online. You need to make a choice and identify how badly you want to be a civil servant. What does it mean to you? Just being merely concerned is not going to help you get out of your complacency.

Why don’t you join a coaching centre of repute for the IAS exam? This will ensure that you become disciplined and regular, work on the assignments and also get a real sense of what the competition is all about. Hope you start working seriously towards your goal.

I am 26. I have completed an advanced diploma in tool and die making (4 years) and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, but instead of looking for a job in core companies, I am preparing for the Staff Selection Commission: Combined Graduate Level Examination. Please tell me if this is the right decision. — Yashudas

Dear Yashudas,

I really wouldn’t know if taking the SSC CGL is right or wrong as I have no idea of what you would like to do and what is it that you are passionate about. However, I look at the exams as a great opportunity for you, as you will have a few more options open up post the exams — various interesting postings across ministries, departments, and offices of the government.

In the meantime, I would greatly recommended that you take some time and introspect on what your core interest is — mechanical engineering/tool and die making or a government job. Happy soul searching!

I am 26 and preparing to get a suitable government job, but I am not interested in this. I am doing it only because of what my father wants for me. I am good at singing and passionate about it. But nobody in my family is supporting me; they only have demotivating things to say about a singing career. Please suggest what I could do. — Manish

Dear Manish,

I understand that you are completely disinterested in taking up a government job. You also feel that your family is pushing you to take it on and not motivating you to pursue your dream of becoming a singer.

What is the evidence of you being a good singer? Do you understand how difficult it is to get a break in the music industry? Are you a trained musician? Please equip yourself so that you have the credentials to grow —secure a decent job first that would provide you with the flexibility to further your passion. Enrol in music classes, get a good music teacher, start auditioning and get a reality check of where you stand among the zillion other talented struggling singers. This process can take forever, or, you can get lucky if you are at the right place at the right time. It will certainly help being stable and secure (both financially and socially) till you realise your dream!

Disclaimer: This column is not a substitute for long-term therapy. It is merely a guiding voice. Some issues may need medical intervention.

The author is a practising counsellor and a trainer. She has worked extensively with students and young adults across a range of issues. She will answer questions sent to The subject line should be: ‘Off the edge’.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 11:06:53 AM |

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