During my school and college days, in the 80’s and 90’s, the only criteria to choose a career was based on our academic performance. Like myself, most of us must have pondered over the fact whether marks actually help us to choose the right group after our 10th grade and is it an indicator of our professional success or failure?
Then in later years during my professional voyage as a counselor in different educational institutions and working in the HR –helped me to interact with students, parents, job applicants, people from different levels of management .These interactions made me realize that our education alone is not enough to ,make the right career choice nor does it guarantee a successful professional life. The need for a deeper understanding or knowledge of our abilities, our talents and our career inclination is required even before we choose our career. So that these abilities can be utilized in our chosen profession, thereby, helping us to go up the professional ladder smoothly and successfully. On discussion with the St,Mary’s Group, I found out their thoughts were in sync with mine, that the students must have knowledge and understanding of their inborn abilities that is, those Aptitudes, that are necessary to choose their career and to perform well in their chosen profession. And thus the spark in my eyes grew wings and eventually Mindscape took shape in the year 2001.
With my experience in the field of HR, I realized that 70%of world companies use aptitude assessment as a part of their recruitment process, to learn about their candidate’s personality and abilities. Employers wish to be certain that they are going to recruit the right candidate. An inappropriate worker could probably add to the cost of firm, in terms of money, time and effort spent on training him/her. And unlike the earlier days where the conventional covering letter or CV or recommendation are not enough to select right candidate. There are hundreds of job applications for every job vacancy. So, psychological and aptitude test are cost effective and simplest way to select right individual. So dear students and parents before hand knowledge of one’s aptitude is essential.
Knowing yourself will certainly help you to turn your weak points into strong points. Aptitude assessments examine Verbal Ability, Numerical Ability, Closure Ability, Spatial Ability, Mechanical Ability, Clerical Ability, Reasoning Ability and Psycho-motor Ability.
When Mindscape started off, it was not with any conscious planning, but, a burning desire to give a helping hand to children, equip them to face the world with a deeper understanding of their strength and weakness. Since 2001 mindscape has come a long way .I was lucky to work hand in hand with a panel of educationalists, psychologists, consultants with similar dreams under the guidance of Mr. Sarosh P Abraham,son of the late Dr.P.T.Abraham, at present the Executive Director of St.Marys Group.
Our services began with Aptitude testing career guidance, individual counseling, and psychometric testing; today we cover the entire spectrum of services with regard to mental health. Today our clients range from individuals, students, educational institutions, corporate, hospitality sectors, MNCs and so on.
There were many challenges enroute with every passing year. The biggest challenge being, taking a different route from our age old system of choosing and guiding our children in selecting a group after their 10th then a career based on their marks, which finally ends up in a profession which may have completely strayed away from the initial dream or interest which the student had initially. During the earlier days as students, we got labeled as a good or bad student not only based on our academic performance but also on our all around behavior with elders, teachers, parents, family and society, and his or her personal qualities were considered. Marriages during those days were solemnized, where in, the girl with cooking skill and good behavior were the primary qualities that were needed for getting a good groom and being educated, was only, a secondary quality. Lack of cooking skills was considered as a shame. And for a man, coming from a good family, taking care of his parents and ability to look after his wife was sufficient to get a marriage proposal. We were bold enough to take decisions on anything and everything pertaining to life.
But today the scenario is so different both in the society and in our education system. If the child is an A grade in all subjects, then he is considered to be a role model or the perfect child. He can or may have bad behaviourial qualities, but if he does well in school then we all turn a blind eye. Sadly a child’s success or failure in life depends on his marks. This dependence has invariably led to the alarming scenario among children to commit suicide as they lose courage to face the society, parents, peers; the teacher’s accusing and pitying eyes on getting low grades. They lose confidence in themselves and feel there is no point in living, no options in front of them and no support, only a bleak future ahead, full of criticism. I don’t believe, doing away with exams, compulsory 100% pass for students or making children attend stress management classes is the answer or solution to get rid of this evil scenario. The solution is through Self Awareness.
Each of us are born with a purpose and gifted with certain innate abilities (Aptitudes), and there is a career or profession that requires these abilities. Understanding of these innate abilities termed Aptitudes is a must. And this leads to Self Awareness. Self Awareness is attained with the help of scientific assessments of the student’s Aptitude, Interest and Personality along with the academic abilities. This knowledge of oneself will help the student to become self motivated, an inner understanding of the importance of education, belief and trust in one’s own ability. It also helps them to set career goals and move towards it with more self confidence, determination and most importantly with self motivation. Hence the need to seek external or outside motivation will no more be needed. Students will be in a position to trust their decision and parents too will have trust in their child decision as it is based on scientific assessment of their innate abilities. Our Indian education system is arguably the best. As mentioned earlier we cannot do away with the grading system that is needed to measure our academic performance, but, we can provide our children with an opportunity that we never had to equip them with the knowledge of their abilities, interest and personality before they take the plunge into their chosen career. Let’s join hands in helping our children to make a wise decision and therefore happier children will always lead to better citizens.