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I am posting this message with great reluctance(i dont know why)...

I am an engineering student(in india), in my fourth year..

Campus placements have started in our college..

I am a chemical engineering student and well, that was my first treason with myself - I took the course not cause i was interested in it but because it was the best option available in terms of aquiring jobs...

I was too small then to understand then.. i was introduced to ayn rand only in my third year..

I attended two INTERVIEWS recently.. both in SOFTWARE companies.. and was rejected by both..

The reason - i could not speak at the interviews..

the interviewrs were HR(human relations) ppl.. and I was expected to speak, speak anything, lie but convince them that i can decieve ppl..

I go blank at the interviews..

This is my first attempt to reach out...

I am expected to have a decent earning JOB, i come from a middle class family and cannot afoard to follow my own convictions(i am not sure i hold any, now).. at the same time I have to find some economic means to support myself...

I desperately want a way out, or a way in to a place where i can maintain my self esteem, integrity and start out from scratch..

This all may seem immature rambling to you.. but i am facing a situation, a real tough one...

another company comes on tuesday and i am afraid of the same thing happening again and again.

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Why couldn't you speak at the interviews - is it because you don't really want the job? If you don't want the job then you shouldn't go to the interview because it wastes everyone's time - the company's time as well as your own. If it is just because you had stage fright then just listen carefully to what the person says and answer their questions - no need to lie.

Remember even Howard Roark went to work for Keating when he needed the money. Even Ayn Rand herself worked as a waitress I believe (what a waste). The key thing is to hold on to your dreams - savings are important here. If you want a fresh start to try a different career then just save up your money from your job until you have enough to go back to school and learn what you really wanted to do in the first place.

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... Even Ayn Rand herself worked as a waitress I believe (what a waste). The key thing is to hold on to your dreams - ...

It's even more dramatic than that. Although by that time she had been published and had earned some money from her writing, she really couldn't support herself from her writing until she had been in this country for over 15 years - with the publication of The Fountainhead. If anyone had reason to be discouraged, she did. Look at the cultural milieu in which she was writing - and with her ideas which went entirely against it. And then The Fountainhead proceeded to be rejected by I believe 15 publishers.

We tend to take her for granted in this respect, like she was some "force of nature" which just happened. Well, maybe she was a "force of nature" but she made it all happen with tremendous perserverance and hard work - and the exceptional courage of her convictions.

Fred Weiss

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(It was not that I could not speak at the interview, I could not speak as they wanted me to.. and I did feel that it was better I did not get the job cause I would not have been happier doing it...I had to give it a try)

I know that i should start working at something and build up from there...which i have to, someday or the other

I am not being practical now, but still : Show me that such an achievement is possible, that such a life can be led and such a workplace does exist - in the absolute sense - and I would be happy to start out as worker, a labourer, a mason or anything there..

and I am talking about a real place or person in India...Give me promise enough...

I wanted to do so much when I was a kid, but I lost the will somewhere along..Since then I could not permit myself to be single mindedly devoted to anything..I did try but the will was not there...

It may seem that I used her work as means to be an escapist...I dont know... I have never seen a person who has realised such a life in the absolute sense.... but I do want to...

Dont ask me to hang on..give me a name, an address..

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I wanted to do so much when I was a kid, but I lost the will somewhere along..Since then I could not permit myself to be single mindedly devoted to anything..I did try but the will was not there...

It may seem that I used her work as means to be an escapist...I dont know... I have never seen a person who has realised such a life in the absolute sense.... but I do want to...

Dont ask me to hang on..give me a name, an address..

I don't know his address, but the name is ROHAN. He is the world's most knowledgeable authority on YOU and what you ought to be doing.

Get in touch with Rohan and ask him what he really likes to do. If he doesn't know, ask him what he liked as a kid. Urge him to try things that seem interesting, throw his whole self into it, and see what happens. It might be a while before Rohan figures out what the right choice of a goal for you is -- sometimes it can take years -- but if you keep after him, he'll eventually come up with the answer. Once Rohan figures out what your purpose in life ought to be, everything else will fall into place and make sense.

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I don't know his address, but the name is ROHAN. He is the world's most knowledgeable authority on YOU and what you ought to be doing.

Betsy, that is a brilliant answer. It was a total surprize but it would have been nice for someone to have told me that when I was going through a similar situation.

It takes courage to be brave, sometimes. Lots of it!

It's extremely difficult to be moral and practical. Don't give up, Rohan. I'm working a meaningless manual labour job myself right now. I don't notice it.

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Rohan,

With the limited information available via a forum, any advice you get here

is likely to lack depth. (End of Disclaimer)

Sounds as though you do not know for sure what you want to do.

Most college kids do not. Sometimes it can take many, many years to

figure it out. Cannot add much to Betsy's advice in this regard.

Meanwhile, it is perfectly reasonable to do something to "earn a living".

Ideally, you could choose an area you like (even if you do not love it),

and earn a living in that area. Is it software?

If you do not even *like* any particular field, then I suppose you should

choose one that you do not *dislike* and in which you can earn as

much money as possible. Money makes life, and options, that much easier.

It is not surprizing that you would not want to enter a field where one

of the job requirements is that you lie to people. What I *do* find surprizing is

that software is such a field. If you had been applying for sales or marketing jobs,

I wiuld have understood. Many people incorrectly assume that sales and marketing

is all about lying. With software, the ssumption would typically be the opposite.

I know there are many software professionals on this forum. If you explain the

type of lying etc., someone here may be able to help you.

From what you have written, I understand that you are not saying that lying is

what you need to do during the interview, you are suggesting thatb lying is a

requirement for the job. Am I assuming correctly? Can you explain what type of

software job is? What do the interviewers say? Do they want to "beef up" your resume and contract your services? Are they telling you to lie to their clients regarding your experience and qualifications? or is it something else?

There are many software companies out there? Are there other more honest ones that offer lower salaries, but allow you to start as an honest beginner? What about companies hiring for in-house software work, rather than for placement elsewhere?

Tuesday has come and gone, so I have to ask: how did the Tuesday interviews go?

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I'd say take a smaller scale job related to what you have studied, but that leaves you free enough to decide what you really want to do. (The smaller scale job should leave you freer to speak at the interviews as they will be more lax, and you won't care as much. And all you have to do is convey that you can do the work. As long as you can do it, no problem.)

And you really, really have to be patient with yourself. Let me relate.

I've been a cook for 19 years now. I started when I was 15, the same year I stopped going to school. At 18, I dropped what I had been pursuing (music). At 22 discovered Objectivism, decided to write as I had been doing as a child. At 27, decided to get practical, and went for an engineering degree. Dropped out after a year and a half with a 3.9 because I simply did not want to do it although I didn't realize it at the time. Drank for a year straight (never do this one!). That was 4 and half years ago. I am writing again...slowly. The whole time I've been serving food, and taking out garbage, blah, blah, blah because I refuse to consign the rest of my life to something I do not want to do. You want a career, an all consuming fire of passion, a single course, if I can gather from your posts.

Decide what it is.

Don't stop until you are there.

BTW, the first part can be the hardest sometimes.

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Something that used to work for me when I had stage fright was to imagine I was someone else. Sounds weird, but it works. I think my starting point was a self image of myself as someone who was serious about life, not flippant, intelligent, and so on. Somewhere in the mix was the feeling that I was reliable and therefore I would not say something that was wrong. On the whole, it cramped my style into a boringly slow plodding seriousness.

One day a colleague told me that when he wants to change something about his outward persona telling himself to have more XYZ doesn't work. Instead, he tries to think of the best person he knows personally who has the traits he is looking for. Then, he visualizes and models that behaviour.

Example:

"Walter always seems certain of himself, sometimes too certain...I wish I could have his kind of confidence. With his style and my substance I could go places".

In the privacy of my apartment, I think of Walter and pretend to be him. I then think of how Walter would act in certain situations where I felt inadequate. I pretend to be in those situations and act like Walter. In my apartment, I *am* Walter.

I then choose some selected real life interactions. It could be something really simple. I am checking into a hotel today. I know how I would approach the conceirge to ask about a nearby restaurant. Not today; today, I am Walter. I play the role.

After a few times of doing this in incosequential sitations with strangers, I try decide to try it in ONE single more important situation. If I know some of the people involved, I have to decide if it is appropriate to display a radical change in approach. I am all ready for quiet thoughts, or even amused comments: "You're all perked up today, Knuckles!"

Try this once and see if it woreks for you.

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