At BrilliantRead Media, our aim is to bring to our community some of the finest stories from the startup ecosystem. As part of this endeavour, we invited a passionate entrepreneur – Nithya Raghunath for an exclusive interview with us. She is an Entrepreneur, Coach, Mentor, Career Strategist, Counselor, Change Enabler and Trainer. Nithya is the Founder of Holistic Career Guidance. Let’s learn more about her exciting journey, her background and her advice for our growing community.
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with Nithya:
Talk us through your background and your journey, please;
I have done my PGDBM from MATS School of Business (An autonomous college belonging to Jain University).
I also have a certification in Advertising and Media Management and Digital Marketing.
I have worked as a Marketing professional for over a decade. However, I realized my calling lay elsewhere and that was when I discovered Career Counselling.
How did you discover your passion?
I have always wanted to pursue a career in Psychology. However, I never got the opportunity during my student days. It was during my job at an online education company that I was given a chance to work with children, creating lesson plans, understanding their requirements, comprehension etc.
I developed a deep interest in that field and wanted to explore more in the area of education and careers. That was when I saw an advertisement of Career Counselling Certification from the University.”
I did a lot of research on various institutions offering this course, the scope that it had, etc and decided this was where my future lay.”
‘Holistic Career Guidance’ is such a unique name; talk us through more about it, please. Our audience would also love to know what kind of problem you are solving?
Gone are the days when we had limited career options like engineering, medical or teaching. Today the opportunities are so vast, children are bound to get confused right from what subjects to choose in 11th and 12th.
Have you ever wondered why is today’s youth so stressed on the job front? Are they really enjoying what they’re doing? Each individual has a different personality. An introvert, for example, will not be comfortable working in an environment which requires a lot of interaction, like sales for example. He would be happier with a job that gives him time and space to prove himself. An extrovert on the other hand would end up feeling depressed if he had to work in an environment that doesn’t allow too much interaction.
A student who is highly creative might not enjoy a job which requires him to be logical, work with numbers etc.
At Holistic Career Guidance, we assess and analyze each student’s personality traits, his interests, his passion, his potential, financial status and everything that truly matters in order to get him a college/University that’s the best fit for him. His dream career will thereafter automatically fall into place. And so the name Holistic Career Guidance.
I suppose that also answers the question on what problems we solve. We solve the biggest question that every student and parent has – “What should I do?”
How do you manage to keep going despite the challenges? What drives you?
My ambition drives me to keep going. I want as many children as possible to realize their dreams and work towards it.
I would like the youth to pursue the career that is meant for them and not work towards something just because of some uncertainty or miscommunication. Giving children hope that their future is in their favour will make the world a happier place to live in.
Who do you believe has been the biggest source of motivation in your daily life?
My mother, Nalini who had a “Never Quit” attitude in life, my husband Raghu who is my biggest pillar of support, my daughter Anika who inspires me every single day and my dog Bruno who has taught me to keep life as simple as possible and love selflessly.
What are some of the strategies that you believe has helped you grow as a person?
(3) Helping others (What goes around comes around)
What has worked well for you so far?
Goodwill and strong relationships, my friendly attitude towards my stakeholders, my network and other people instrumental to my success, my optimism and my patience.
Please share with us a unique challenge you faced in your early career?
I married an officer in the Indian Navy immediately after college. Since we were often on the move, having a steady career was always a challenge. I was lost and confused myself. I had a dual specialization in college and wasn’t sure on what should I take on as my field of work.
I worked with startups, did freelancing and explored and experimented with a lot of things until I finally discovered my passion. It took time, yes but I should say it is completely worth it because the journey has rewarded me with so much knowledge that I wouldn’t have got otherwise.”
What are the business mantras you have embraced as you sought to establish your success story?
Networking works like a magic charm. The more people you come in contact with, and not just in your industry, the better you will be able to perform with assistance coming in from unexpected quarters.
Putting my best foot forward and striving for perfection.
Showing compassion towards all stakeholders.
You are always positive and motivated, what keeps you going?
My motivation comes from three people – my mother, my husband and my daughter.
My mother made me who I am today. She taught me by example that hard work and patience rewards well. My mother groomed my past so that I would be future-ready.
My husband who is my current motivation. His go-getter attitude, striving for perfection in whatever we do and not letting anything come in the way of his goals has inspired me to change my perspective in life.
And lastly, my daughter who has taught me that happiness lies in the simplest of things. She brings out the child in me and helps me relive my childhood, thus helping me realize what I should or more importantly should not do in order for her to have a great life. I must admit she is my greatest source of positivity. It’s like I am a solar panel and she is the sun. She energizes me.
In your opinion what are the keys to success?
I will say it straight that there are many factors but if you really have to have the key elements then to me these are the ones:
> Accepting & Loving myself.
> Responsibility for my actions
> Standing up for myself
> Positive Attitude
> Taking massive action (execution) with consistency and belief
What advice would you give students and young professionals who want to have a successful career?
Follow your dreams to the end of the world despite the challenges you would face. If you are confused or lost, reach out for help. There is no shame in asking for help.
Explore explore explore. Be curious. Experiment. Do all this when you have time at your side.
There is so much to be shared, but this conversation limits how much I can communicate on this platform. Students and young professionals regularly reach out to me on LinkedIn with their specific queries.