Hashtac: The Journey of a Career Coach

Like Shahrukh Khan said in Dear Zindagi, finding the right ‘Kursi’ and making sure you’re comfortable is an absolute necessity before you settle down. Hashba tried to find the right ‘Kursi’ and didn’t settle for one until she was absolutely sure she had found her perfect match. In her case it wasn’t the search for a life partner but for the perfect career. Hashba Hamza is a Career Coach that has had her own fair share of experiences with different careers. In conversation with the lovely lady, she tells us of her journey and her thoughts on the career choices available to the students of today.

Tell us a little about yourself

Hello! I’m Hashba Hamza. A Civil Engineer turned Trainer and now a Career Coach. I hail from Malappuram. You can call me a “Mulitpotentialite”, because I am just too curious about everything around me and try to learn almost everything that catches my attention. I am married to an amazing husband and have a cute little naughty son.

What lead you to become a Career Coach? Is there a story behind your selecting this profession?

Being a Career Coach was a journey; of self exploration. Since I got good grades for maths in 10th, I simply assumed that I shall be an Engineer. Even though I had interest in language and social sciences more, I pretended to love science and went on with it. Honestly I didn’t enjoy learning science at all. It just wasn’t my thing. But anyways I took up engineering only because I took science!

It was after my B.Tech that I realized that I had too many interests and decided to explore all of it. One thing I was sure of was that I was the least happy being a Civil Engineer. It just wasn’t my call. In the next 5 years, I went on to become a Skill development trainer, HR professional, Content writer, Professional Host, Civil Engineer, Quantity Surveyor, Lecturer and so on. All of this because I didn’t want to settle with one before knowing about it all.

At this point in life, I learned a very big lesson, lack of Career Clarity can affect our future very badly.  I knew that I took a wrong turn and chose the wrong course in 12th. And if I had a chance to correct it, I would. There was no one to guide me and tell me Science isn’t  everything and ask me to follow my skills and interest. This made me realize that the students need someone to guide them and ta-da, 2 years of research and here I am, a Career Coach.

Do you think people should take Career counseling more seriously?

Of course, yes! Career Coaching is not just for school students. It is for everyone. For the ones trying to find their purpose, for the ones who gave up on their dreams, for the ones who have no idea about themselves, for the ones who need the courage to give up their job that takes away their happiness, for the ones who want to start afresh.

Career coaching is for all age groups; be it students, graduates, professionals, home makers, retirees or anyone. It helps them understand themselves in depth and build their personal and professional confidence. But the harsh fact is no one is ready to address their confusions and are not aware that there are professionals like me and many others who will help them get the clarity they are looking for.

In your opinion, will integrating Career counseling to the school curriculum enhance students’ chance of selecting their most suitable career in the first go?

Definitely yes! In fact Career coaching must be made compulsory in schools from 9th grade; the age when students begin having a dream and start exploring themselves. If they are properly guided, their concerns being addressed without judgement and their skills and interests directed in the right channel, there is a huge chance of them choosing the right career in the first go.

Schools must provide career coaching as part of their academics too so that when a students pass their 12th grade, they will be well equipped with the idea of the course they need to pursue without any confusion or societal pressures, the campus they need to attend and are ready to face the world.

Hashba Hamza

There are numerous careers out there, do you think students are not exposed to enough of the options they have?

Not at all. There are more than 5000 courses in our country. And how much do we know? If we take an example of the commerce stream, how many courses do we know? CA, B.com, BBA, CMA and…?? These are the commonly known courses. But that’s not it. There are 100s of other courses for commerce students.

Same is the case of science. Medicine, Engineering, Para-Medical Courses and what else? So is Humanities. Our students are not aware of the different variety of courses and colleges around them and this leads them to follow the drill and opt for what everyone around them is opting. This again leads them to the same loop of career misjudgment, dissatisfaction and so on.

How do Career Coaches evaluate what is best for a person? Could you give us a small brief about how it works?

Every Career Coach has their own unique style. In my case, I take my client through 4 stages.

  1. Self exploring session: Where they talk, I listen to every single concern they have and we get to know each other.
  2. Career Assessment: They take my assessment test which takes around an hour and is completely online.
  3. The Counselling and Report: They will receive a 30-40 page report followed by a 2 hour counselling where we analyze in detail about their personality, interests, strengths, motivating factors, skills, abilities, emotional Intelligence, learning style and the best fit career for them.
  4. Road map: Here we make the perfect road map for their perfect career.

Where do you offer your services? Do you use online platforms or arrange meetings with your clients?

Both. I offer online and offline counselling. For clients who are nearby, we schedule our sessions in my office which is in Manjeri, Malappuram. For the rest of them, I give the whole service online.

If you weren’t a Career Coach, what do you think you would be doing?

If not a Career Coach, I’d still be a Skills enhancement trainer or Life Skills Coach. I always love working with students and bringing a positive change in their lives.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What are your goals?

In this time of uncertainty, a 5 year goal seems uncertain too. But I can say one thing with assurance that I see myself guiding atleast 1000 students to choose the right career they won’t have to regret in their life.

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