In our ongoing series on non-MBA careers, we cover yet another interesting field – Diet and Nutrition. The best part about a nutritionist’s career – even if you don’t end up wealthy, you’ll at least be healthy. Ah, so poetic!
If Surabhi Rao looks familiar to you, it’s because she participated in the Miss India 2011 pageant and has worked on several modeling assignments.
She is a highly diet conscious nutritionist and has previously engaged as a dietitian & nutrition counsellor with VLCC. She recently moved into corporate life and is now a Director in her family business.
Though she whole heartedly enjoys dancing and reading, she confesses that she doesn’t quite enjoy working out.
‘A moment on your lips, forever on your hips‘
Have you ever been criticized for your binge eating habits by your mother? Or by your grandmother for your love for junk food? Or maybe, by a friend with the intentions of either being a bully or a ‘frenemy’?
How would it be if you got the opportunity to do the same for a whole load of people and be paid for it too.
Brilliant, right? This opens up an entire new fraternity of health sciences. The options are plenty – Nutritionist and Dietitian in a commercial set up, the umpteen brands sprouting up like toadstools in every corner of the country. Many hospitals also hire nutritionists for the sick, ailing and the recuperating.
Today all fitness centres mandatorily have acquired diet counsellors to boost up their images because you have to agree that ‘being on a diet’ is the in-thing today.
It’s chic and glamorous like any other accessory in your wardrobe. Celebrities constantly tweet about it. Be it the cabbage soup diet, Atkins diet or the weirdest possible -the tapeworm diet, people are always ready for the quickest solution towards good health, er, or at least be in trend. Diets are the hot topics of any student conversation or kitty parties. They are major concerns of huge corporates, to an extent which GM motors even charted for their employees, a certified dieting plan.
Preparation for entering into such an opportunistic field, surprisingly, is not as tedious or competitive. There are numerous Diploma and short term courses that even housewives can take up and if not practise later as a dietitian they can always utilize the skills for kitchen management and meal planning. Whoever has even heard of housewives requiring training? But, I guess it’s very essential for even home makers to train themselves for the unrealistic demands the newer generation comes up with.
As far as nutritionist careers are concerned, students must have keen interest in science and specifically areas like physiology, biochemistry and a little bit of medicine. It might be beneficial if you are a good listener too because people with weight issues are most likely to have image issues and low self-esteem. So you can add on psychology also, as an inherent part of nutrition and dietetics. It is believed to be a female dominated career but the unexplored scope in nutrition is attracting men too, although fewer.
Last but not the least, in simple words – the money is good. If you are associated with a good high profile company, you may end up with a bountiful just out of graduation. If you get a chance to be your own boss and end up freelancing as a nutritionist, you may earn as much as a general practitioner does.
As a nutritionist, the salary package depends on the company you work with, but typically it could be around 2 to 3 lakhs per year to start with. Both service industries and hospitals pay well. If you prefer being a free-lancer, the income would depend on how well you can market yourself. Word of mouth plays a major role.
If you are a little more ambitious, you could set up a business. It means that you will have to look in for ventures you can associate with along with selling of your diet plans. For example – Complete weight loss package, slimming package, beauty enhancing etc etc marketing these kind of gimmicks which may or may not work.
Vacancies are plenty, the growth is indefinite. And if nothing in the end, you will be a much healthier person compared to your peers!
– Surabhi Rao
Surabhi hopes to manufacture and sell completely fat free and sugar free chocolates someday. Till that happens, you’d be better off keeping a tab on your diet and your nutrition.