TALK TO ME: Being pragmatic about life’s choices

Career dilemma:

After pursuing MBS from TU, I started to teach in some institutions and a 10+2 college in Kathmandu. After three months, I found that I was not interested in teaching and left the college. I searched for other jobs but to no avail. I left no stones unturned to find a steady job suitable for my qualification. However, all my efforts were in vain. It has been one-and-half-years since but I am still jobless spending a great deal of time looking for job vacancies in newspaper ads and applying for them. Most of the employers only want to appoint experienced candidates because they do not want to make further investments on training freshers. But I have no previous work experience in any organisation. Though I have the self-confidence to handle any job related to the management field, I am confused whether I should go back to teaching profession or continue my search. Please help me.

— Sanjiv Poudel

Dear Mr Poudel,

One has to be pragmatic about what life has to offer. It sounds like teaching may be a better option than continuing with your endless search for a job. A teaching profession may not pay well, but if undertaken with sincerity, you can build up contacts and get references which will help you find another job. Your work experience will pave the way to help you find other jobs. Remember that it always looks better if you are working when applying for a new job.

A-levels or undergraduate degree?

I am a 19-year-old intermediate student (+2 science) who arrived in UK recently. My parents are here and I intend to study Psychology. I missed my September session, so have to wait till next September. I came to know that Nepal’s +2 is not equivalent to A-levels here. The colleges have suggested that I do my A-level again from September 2007-2009. If I do this I will lose three years, but I will be able to study as a home student in universities, which becomes cheap (£750-900) yearly. Or else have to pay £7500-9000 yearly. Then a thought crossed my mind — what if I go to India for my undergraduate studies and come here for Masters as I have an indefinite residential visa in UK. However, I am unable to reach any decision — some say the education system in UK is more practical, while some say India’s is strong though not as practical. Someone told me that I should study wherever I want to build my career. I want to build my career in India because I believe it is going to be a really great country. But I think my parents would want me to work here if I study here. I had also planned that I would complete my Masters at the age of 25, build a career by 27-28. But if I spend my time doing A-levels I will be 28 by the time I complete my Masters, and over 30 by time I have a career. I’d like to know how I can be flexible. Should I stay in UK or go to India?

— AS

Dear AS,

You are asking very sensible and relevant questions. The fact is that after 9/11 it has become very difficult for foreigners to get a job in the UK. Though it is true that you are fortunate to have the opportunity to study in the UK, the fact that you will lose three years is disturbing. Added to this is the fact that you want to make your career in India. I would opt for India if I got admitted to a good university there. You can always return to UK for your Masters and hey... you can finish with academics when you are 25-years-old as per your game plan. This way you can have your cake and eat it too.

However, if you do not get admission into an Indian university you will have no choice but to study in the UK. So keep your options open. For all you know your preconceived notions of time and a work base may undergo a radical but beneficial change.

Chef dreams:

I have appeared for my SLC and am interested to begin a career in cookery or culinary management. Am I eligible to start my career in culinary arts? Can you also tell me the names of some reputed and recognised schools and institutes giving relevant training in Nepal.

— Kaushal

Dear Kaushal,

The study of culinary arts is an exiting field, especially in a country like ours where tourism is an important sector. Once you fine tune your skills, you can even travel abroad and work for an international hotel or restaurant where diligent and creative chefs are in demand. You are eligible to start a course after SLC. There are three institutes right here that you can look at — The Hotel Management and Tourism Training Center (HMTTC) which is in Rabi Bhawan, the Silver Mountain Training Institute in Lainchaur, and the Romai Man Power Training Center in Pokhara, which do provide culinary training. Make sure that you also source the internet for more information. Good luck!

Between friends:

A year ago I fell in love with my classmate. As I was about to propose, she proposed to my friend, who said no. I did not tell my best friend my feelings. From the time of the incident, I have felt very awkward and our relationship has changed. I have tried to break my relation with both of them, but then sometimes I feel everything is normal. She is friendly, and her frequent call and SMS keep me from doing so. However I cannot bear the thought of them together. What should I do? Trying to forget is out of my control.

— Troubled guy

Dear Troubled Guy,

Get a grip on reality and stop torturing yourself. Your best friend rejected your class friend’s offer, so what are you troubled about? Put away your pangs of jealousy and resentment and move on. The three of you still seem to be good friends. Have you figured out if you are really in love or is it just a case of infatuation? If you still want to propose to this girl, you must get to know her better. The SMS’s and friendly chats don’t mean much if the girl in question does not know what your real feelings are.

Nadir of depression :

I am 20 and I have a physical problem, which is incurable. So I will have to live with it my entire life. And due to this I am unable to do anything and my life is wasting away. I am much depressed and don’t like to meet people. I get irritated easily and do a lot of crazy things. I am also physically very weak and I can’t defend myself from other people’s humiliation and teasing. My height is 5’4” but I weigh just 40 kg. The only thing I think that I can do is commit suicide. Can you suggest how I can live with my physical problem? I want to live but my problem is making me think more of death.

— Saroj

Dear Saroj,

It is important that you come to terms with the fact that you are physically challenged. It is evident that your condition is causing you stress. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You need to channel your energies so that you feel spiritually and mentally better in order to rise above the situation that you are in. Suicide is not an option. Be brave and wise. Stop doing crazy things. No one will attack you if you are pleasant and cordial.

Got any problems regarding your personal life, career or academics and want answers to? Mail Sangeeta Thapa at