CAREER GUIDE Saturday, March 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India

Time for a career change?
Umesh Ghrera
o you find your job fulfilling? Do you think that your skills are being used to the optimum level? Do you think that your job reflects your values or is there a conflict? If not, it may be time for you to change your career.

I want to be a DJ. Please advise




Time for a career change?
Umesh Ghrera

Do you find your job fulfilling? Do you think that your skills are being used to the optimum level? Do you think that your job reflects your values or is there a conflict? If not, it may be time for you to change your career.

A large number of professionals, who are dragging on with their jobs, still hesitate to go in for a change because of various factors, the important one being that they are caught in a dilemma as to whether or not they need a career change. However, there are examples galore of people who have reached the pinnacle in their respective fields through a change in career and ultimately landing a job they were best suited for.

Interestingly, comfort seems too high on the mind of most professionals. In Chandigarh, for instance, people are generally not too ambitious and would ideally not think of relocating themselves, says Mr Sandeep Mann, Managing Director, Ekadhiken, a coaching centre. "City professionals don’t want to go to Delhi, Mumbai or other mega cities and a large number of them prefer working at places near to their residences," he adds.

A majority of those who do consider shifting jobs do so only if the hike in salary is 25 per cent or more. Take the case of Mr Rajesha Adiya of Bangalore who was working with I2 Technologies India Private Ltd and shifted as a team leader with the enterprise resource planning (ERP) wing of Baan, Hyderabad, at Rs 33,000 per month. Similarly, Ms Nidhi Raina, a site engineer with an architectural firm in Jammu, hopped to Tristar International, Delhi, as a civil engineer for a fatter pay-packet and better growth opportunities. Earlier, she had also worked as a lab demonstrator with the Institute of Engineering and Computer Sciences, Jammu.

However, some professionals would even shift jobs and settle down for a lesser amount if the profile of the next employer is good. "Only 30 per cent of the employers can be branded as good", says Mr Mann, adding that there have been many cases where professionals have switched jobs for a lower pay-packet to work in a multi-national company, since the future prospects in such firms are bright. Though the number of fresh job-seekers looking for guidance is pretty high, only one in a thousand would seek counselling while shifting jobs.

What are the important factors which need to be considered during a job change? Ask yourself the following questions.

* Is my job personally satisfying?

* Is there ample room for advancement?

*Are my skills/interests/attitude being used properly in the present job?

* Am I dissatisfied with the job or the field I am working in?

* Will a change in environment, motivation or attitude make me more satisfied in this field?

* Is my job offering me enough challenges?

* Am I proud of my work?

* Am I being amply rewarded financially for the efforts I am putting in?

These questions will be able to give you a fair idea about your job satisfaction and whether or not you need a job change. However, choosing a new career is no child’s play. You need to mull over the following points carefully.

* How marketable am I in other fields?

* Will I need more education or training for the new field and whether I have the time and money for it?

* Do I have talents/interests which I don't get to use and which I would like to use in another field?

* Can I advance quickly?

* Can I afford to take a risk?

Having done this, in order to give your career search focus, find out your strengths and weaknesses, and also what is important to you in a career. Self-assessment is no easy task, but it is essential in preparing for a rewarding career change.

You may pursue your search independently or with the help of a professional career-counselling centre. Most experts advise you to use more than one source to ensure a successful switch. Best of luck!


I want to be a DJ. Please advise

I would like to become a disc jockey. Could you tell me what the job entails?

— Simran Gill

A A DJ is a performing artiste who re-mixes various kinds of music at discotheques, clubs, parties live shows, etc building an ambience, moving the crowd, taking the audience on a musical journey. The art lies in assessing the mood of the audience, putting the music seamlessly together in a perfect blend — the right track at the right time. Although no formal academic qualifications are required to become a successful DJ, it definitely helps to have some technical knowledge of mixing and handling the console along with stage presence. Working with a senior DJ is the best way to learn the ropes.

To master the art of blending mood with passion, you must really enjoy all kinds of music. And be innovative enough to experiment with sound effects and invent something different and interesting each time. Keeping up with new trends and sound tracks released internationally is part of the job. Personality, attitude, grooming, hard work and technical savvy are the qualities needed to be a successful DJ. Above all, you must be passionate about music and love interacting with the crowd. You’ve got to be something of a showman - flamboyant, energetic.

Despite being a popular career option, there are hardly any professional institutes providing specific training. However, some veteran DJs have opened their own schools to give hands-on training to students to handle all that expensive hi-tech equipment. It certainly helps to be familiar with computer re-mixing, scratching, stutter effects, sampling, set-ups, multi-track recording, audio and light installation equalising and maintenance.

You would typically work in discos, clubs, music stores, musical and entertainment events and parties — outdoors or in hotels. Be prepared to work odd hours against your body clock — starting in the late evenings and often running into the wee hours of the morning.

The money? Not bad at all. Starting out at a club for Rs 5000-10,000, you can fetch a lot more with some experience — anywhere between Rs 60,000 -70,000 p.m. if you’re good. The celebrity DJs earn in lakhs. And if you start young, your career could span over 15-20 years!


I am very good at art and have always dreamt of being a painter. But my father, who runs a large auditing firm, wants me to be a CA like him. I am doing B. Com but have no interest in it. However, If I go against him there will be too much unpleasantness to face. Should I assert myself or go along with what he says. Is it the practical thing to do? I am an adopted child and have been brought up with a lot of love and affection. 

Manwinder Singh

A But what about you? Your future? Your dreams? Your longing for creativity and meaning in your life?

Firstly, you need to take stock of what you’re afraid of: not wanting to face the risks if he said no. That he may not love you anymore. That he may think you are ungrateful and not a dutiful son. Or that you’d be letting the family down.

You are going along with something you don’t want, then putting the blame on them for doing it. That way, you don’t have to take responsibility.

Except that when it comes to your career, you do have a choice. It’s up to you to shape your life and your career the way you want to.

We are all born with a free will — and nothing can change that fact. Our free will and our understanding of it are perhaps our greatest resources.

Unfortunately, one of our favourite pastimes is to blame others, so as to avoid the responsibility. By saying ‘I had no choice’ (and meaning it), we are simply betraying our human nature.

For one thing, with freedom, comes accountability, with accountability comes guilt and with guilt comes anxiety. Since freedom leads to anxiety, it is easier to repress it than to bear it proudly. The alternative might be unpleasant. But to think free will is always pleasurable is naive.

Not taking time out to reflect about the choices before you is a costly mistake.

I’m sure in time your father will understand. Perhaps he will even encourage you. Have you tried talking things over - explaining your aspirations and your point of view? Just try it.


I am keenly interested in doing MCA preferably from BITS, Pilani. Please let me know the admission procedure, whether approved by the AICTE and details about merit and payment seats. Does BITS offer this course in any other part of the country?

Amit Kumar

A BITS, Pilani only offers an M Sc. Tech (4-yrs) in Information Systems for which the eligibility is B Sc. in the relevant field.

However, BIT, Mesra, Ranchi, offers MCA F/T (3-yrs) and P/T (41/2-yrs). It is a fully recognised university. Notification typically appears in January. There are 45 seats in the F/T course and 30 in the P/T course. Besides the regular SC/ST quota (221/2 %), 10% seats are reserved for NRIs.

Eligibility for admission is a Bachelor’s degree with 50% agg. with Maths/Stats at class 12/graduation level plus 3-yrs work experience in a reputed organisation after graduation for P/T students. Selection is based on merit in the entrance test conducted at various centres in the country. The P/T (9 sem) MCA course is offered at BIT, Mesra and its extension centres


I want to be a CA, but I have heard that it is very difficult to manage it along with graduation. Please suggest what I should do.

— Anju Kanwal

A You can start training for Chartered Accountancy immediately after 10+2 by enrolling for the 10-month Foundation Course (now PE-I). According to the new course pattern, you must clear your Inter (now PE-II) exams before you can do your ‘articleship’. This way you will save some time.

Although BA/BCom (P) is relatively easy, BCom (H) is more demanding. But as a commerce student, you get an added advantage: the BCom syllabus is similar to that of Intermediate and Final CA papers (although the latter is more advanced).

However, if you find it impossible to balance the CA preparation together with your college studies, you can defer pursuing the CA course till you have completed your graduation.

With the requisite 50% marks at the Bachelor’s level, you can directly enrol for the PE-II followed by the ‘Articleship’. While this may take somewhat longer, it will be less stressful.

On the other hand, the advantage of going the Foundation Course route is that you get a first-hand feel of what is involved. If you decide that finance and number crunching are not exactly your cup of chai, nothing is lost. You can opt for any other profess course at the postgraduate level.

As for the second part of you query, yes the CA course is tough - going by the large number of students who enrol as compared to the minuscule number that pass out each year (barely 3-4%). But then it’s not very different with many of the other top-of-the-line professional courses either. While some like engineering, medicine or civil services, MBA are difficult to enter, others like CA, CS, CFA etc. are difficult to clear. So it all balances out in the end!

— Pervin Malhotra, Director, CARING



1. Who was recently elected President of China?

2. Name the missiles that Iraq has been recently destroying in line with the UN disarmament demands.

3. Name the world’s oldest oil refinery in Assam that was recently attacked by militants.

4. Who was recently elected Cuba’s President for the sixth term, making him the world’s longest ruling head of government?

5. Which country has the distinction of having the largest number of Everest climbers?

6. Name the world’s two top diamond polishing countries.

7. Name the two Indian Americans who were recently inducted into the prestigious Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame.

8. Where is India’s first skin bank coming up?

9. Which state of India has the highest number of job seekers as per the live register of employment exchanges in the country?

10. Expand NDDB.

11. Name the coach of Kenya’s cricket team.

12. Who has been appointed South Africa’s new cricket captain?

13. Which country has become the first non-Test playing nation to have entered the cricket World Cup semi finals?

14. Who is the only Australian bowler to have claimed hat-trick in the cricket World Cup history?

15. Who recently became the quickest Indian to claim 100 wickets in one-day international cricket?


School address..........................

Winners of quiz 177: The first prize by draw of lots goes to Chirag Kansal, XII, Arya Sen Sec School, near Shivpuri Mohalla, Dhuri-148024.

Second: Amit Kumar Birlan, XI-C, Sainik School Kunjpura, Karnal-132023.

Third: Gaurav, VIII, St Soldier Divine Public School, Sector 16, Panchkula.

Answers to quiz 177: Wasim Akram; Chaminda Vaas; Shoaib Akhtar; Canada; John Davison; Sachin Tendulkar; Sachin Tendulkar; Shane Warne; Ashish Nehra; Glenn McGrath; Sachin Tendulkar; Australia; Darren Lehmann; Namibia; Bangladesh.

Cash awards of Rs 400, 300 and 200 are given to the first, second and third prize winners, respectively. These are sent at the school address.

Tarun Sharma