If I had gotten this information when I was 18, surely I wouldn’t have wasted a decade of my life doing things I didn’t really enjoy doing. During our high school days, career guidance was a rare opportunity and if there, it provided very limited information on how to be a doctor or an accountant or something of that sort. But what about being an entrepreneur? Was it because those who conducted career guidance also didn’t know much about it?
That’s why I decided to write this article, to help someone who is coming from high school and is confused about which career to choose. My advice is, choose a career that you are passionate about. Considering that we spend a greater part of our adult life at work, I cannot advise otherwise.
What society tells us
There is this notion that society puts upon us when growing up that there are certain degrees that are more important than others. Whilst it’s a hype for us to believe it in our teenage and 20s age, but as we grow up further, that notion ceases to hold water.
Every degree is important. It’s not about the title of the degree that matters anyway but how you apply the knowledge gained into the real world. This is what will make the real difference.
That is why a lot of times, people feel the need to change careers later on in life. Because whilst we go with the hype in our 20s, as we grow up life gets real. We start viewing the picture of life from a higher perspective. That all professions are equally important and they deserve equal respect.
I remember when we were in high school and college, those who were doing science subjects and had taken the medical profession route were so highly regarded.
Doctors, lawyers, accounting and engineering professions are regarded as a symbol of wealth. However, remember, there is more to life than being wealth. Growing up we were always told that if we don’t study we will end up as house helpers or selling tomatoes by the roadside. Even careers in arts, they were considered a waste of time and were said to be pursued by people who were not serious about their lives. People who pursued professions such as acting, music and other arts were lowly regarded.
Now that I am grown and I know better, I think that mentality needs to change. We need to have a mindset shift regarding the choice of professions. We need to respect all professions. Doctor, lawyer, accountant, and engineer may be key professions that sustain life, but so are street cleaners, cooks and soccer players.
Have you ever imagined how life would be if we didn’t have house helpers or actors, musicians or soccer players? Or people who work in arts industries? Every profession is important.
How should one choose a career path?
My advice to those who are still in the process of making career choices is, therefore; Do what you have a passion for. Choose a career that you will wake up happy every day of your life to go to. When we try to go with society’s notion of important careers, we end up pursuing careers we have no passion for. We pursue careers all because they can earn us some good money. Ever been sick and gone to a clinic then met a nurse who is the devil’s incarnate himself/herself? Or met a teacher who has no passion for teaching whatsoever?
I took a career path vouched for by society and became an Accountant, It wasn’t bad at all but after a decade of being in that career, I wasn’t happy. I still felt I needed to do something more, something different with my life. It’s not about choosing the most prestigious job that will impress people when they ask you but choosing a career that gives you purpose and makes you happy. Do not let money be your drive, a lot of people have it but they are not happy. Rather choose a career that is in line with your purpose and passion.
Understand that we are all on this planet to serve a purpose and live in peace and harmony. Everyone is providing a service that we need. If they are fulfilling their passion then they will even give it their best go. Whilst people dis art, music, and other sporting careers but they pay good money to listen to music, watch movies and go to soccer games.
How to do this
Do not be afraid to take the road that has been less traveled. Although it may be risky and fearful it will definitely yield great results. If you want to be different then do things differently. Being on a road that is well-traveled is safe than being on a less traveled road but scary is not always bad.
Find out about your passion or if you don’t really know much about your passion. In this era, the internet has information on almost anything that you may need. Research about your passion, find and learn about it and motivate yourself. Just in case you are wondering, your passion is that career path that you will be willing to pursue, even if you are not paid for it. Don’t be afraid to say no to career paths you know you will not enjoy. Life is too short to be stuck in a career that makes you miserable.
Connect with others of like passions. Find a mentor, a good mentor will be able to inspire and encourage you to move forward. There are people who are more than eager to assist you if you just look around. Don’t let your fears hold you back!
What to avoid
A lot of people fall into the, ‘I just want a job’ trap. Please don’t be one of them. It won’t get you anywhere. It may feel great and awesome when starting but sooner or later you will burn out.
Try and fail and try again and again until you make it. It’s better to push yourself at this point in time through your passion than to have someone push you in a career that you don’t like. It’s better to spend a lot of time trying to build on your interests and passions than getting the next available job. Do something that gives you a sense of purpose and you will always be motivated to get out of bed every day.
Think big but start small. Even those who are big industry players right now, they did not start like that. Even if you have chosen a career you are passionate about, you will still need to work hard. There is no substitute for that. It may take months or years but with persistence and hard work, you will get there so be patient.
Make a difference
They say there is nothing new under the sun. but as I always say, the world always reserves a place for the best. Make a difference and you will be recognized, be it in your own business or as an employee. Stand out from the rest if you want to be recognized. If you are an employee, set your mark and make yourself indispensable, be somebody who is very hard to replace.
In anything that you do, make your presence felt and needed so that your absence can be noticed. I am gonna share with you my story. On my last job, I made my mark and became irreplaceable. I would take vacations for 2 months away from my job and still, my manager would follow up with me as to when I was going back to work. Now, isn’t that a wonderful thing? You tell me?
Start building your brand and you will get noticed.
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