Dear Mentor:

How should I change my career to counseling?

I am a chartered accountant by qualification, but I need information on counseling as a career option. Information on courses available in Mumbai would be helpful. Awaiting an early reply.

Mister Counselor, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

Dear Mister Counselor:

Counseling for what? For whom? Why? How? These are some of the basic questions you must address. Keeping the endgame in mind - what you want to accomplish when you get done - is very important. Actions have consequences, and thus should have a purpose.

Practicing some forms of counseling, such as psychological or psychiatric counseling, requires professional and/or legally-mandated qualifications which may consist of both academic and on-the-job qualifications. Other forms of counseling may not have any mandatory requirements, but you do need superior knowledge and experience in the chosen field. After all, you want to counsel others, and thus it is only reasonable to expect that you have the knowledge and experience that others do not. There must be some perceived valuable differentiator in what you offer.

We write this weekly Dear Mentor: column in which we offer advice and guidance - effectively we "counsel" students and young professional - but we do not have any particular academic qualifications in "counseling." We do however have extensive knowledge and experience in the topics in which we offer our counsel. The core-group 4 individuals, who prepare the Dear Mentor: column, has among them 3 PhD and 8 Master's degrees and 75+ years of work experience in academia and business. All live in the US. Two have lived in Canada. Three have lived in India. One has lived in all the countries of focus at iMahal; that is, the US, UK, India, and Canada. In addition, we leverage a panel of experts, with equal or better expertise, to prepare our responses. Given our experience and knowledge, we do believe that we offer an extra-ordinary value through our "counseling."

Of course, you did not mention the field in which you want to pursue counseling. Regardless, we can not conduct narrow personal research for individuals. We get hundreds of emails every week. Our purpose in writing this column is to offer advice and guidance on topics of interest to a wide audience, and not to conduct personal research for individuals.

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