CHOOSING A CAREER
Although we are on earth to nourish the life-force, we also have our individual reasons for wanting to be alive and our existence is determined by what we are able to contribute to the society (life), either negatively or positively. How and what we can do to achieve such objectives have caused us (human beings), to develop professions that will enable working dynamics.
To function properly in any endeavor, CAREERS are fashioned as human classifications on how to go about our various activities for sustaining life.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word Career as “a person’s course or progress through life (or a distinct portion of life)”.
A career is an enclosure or an implement that is used for the purpose of easing the movement of a load or baggage. If this is related to a chosen profession or work, it can be said of a career to be the means through which we carry or ease the burdens of life!
According to Wikipedia, “a career is an individual’s journey through learning, work and other aspects of life”
Factors Determining The Choice Of A Career
There are many factors that determined the choice of a career, some of which include;
A. Family Background
A lot of people based their choice of what to do in life on their family background, “It is in the family!” sort of thing. It could be a girl wanting to be a nurse for no other reason than that her mother is one, or a girl studying accounting because all her brothers did it, even if it was a wrong choice!
B. Social Status
A lot of people have delved into certain professions in order to enhance their social status to the level of celebrities. This is common among actors and models.
C. Self Image
It is not uncommon for loud and argumentative individuals to imagine themselves as having the day, anytime, in a court. It is obvious for such types to want to pursue a career in law. A lot of career choices have been influenced by such backgrounds.
D. Peer Influence
Peer influence can sometimes determine a course of life for many individuals. It is common among close friends, classmates or cheerleaders. Often a person, mostly youths will want to follow the course of life taken by their close friends or the peers they admired.
E. Economic Conditions
This is one of the highest determinants in the choice of careers in most country’s. People tend to package themselves by studying or learning skills that will enable them to be employed in high paying jobs, like working in oil companies, communications, or in the medical professions etc.
F. Societal Influence
The general society can also influence the choice of a career. Often, if anything is in vogue or trending, people flock to it, as everyone will want to be carried along. Like if in a community, teachers are in vogue, everyone will want to have a teaching career, as it used to be in those days with our parents!
G. Parental Pressure
This is one of the worst influence in the choice of a career for a lot of youths. Some parents and guardians are often in the habit of choosing and even insisting on the choice of careers for their wards, which often leads to poor work performance eventually, or the wards rebelling! It sometimes gets bad enough that parents are known to have refused paying school fees of the rebellious child!
H. Spiritual Influence
This is usually a divine intervention common among those in ministering positions. Although there are fake instances, some men of God have genuine calling. Some received their calling while trying to acquire skills for a chosen profession, and for some, it is while actively engaged in another career. Saul of Tarsus who later became Paul, was a lawyer who became a powerful evangelist due to spiritual influence. It is possible though to receive divine instruction to practice a career outside of religious circles. If a person is a gifted healer and is trying to delve into a non medical career, God can influence such a one to do the needful.
I. Role Models
This type of career choice influence is not from the role models, but from the individuals that want to take after their role models who could be uncles, aunties, successful neighbours, film actors etc.
How To Choose A Career
Guidance and counseling is far from being what it used to be, that is why a lot of people have ended in the wrong professions. Children and youths need proper guidance before being allowed to chose a career and things like general inherent abilities that is noticed in an individual and stays in them as a constant, should not be overlooked in guiding an individual to choose a career. What is a child good at, his/her best abilities that they do with joy? Help them to develop such and thus fashion a career out of it. It could be a child that is always busy with the pen or pencil, or just with the hands, always wanting to make something, such a child should be an engineer, an artist or a writer.
Whenever a person wants to start a career in anything, he/she must learn the necessary skills for that profession.
To choose a skill that will determine what career one should embark on is highly important, cause most of us have ended up in the wrong professions to which we have to start all over again. Before making a career move, one must consider his/her natural talents, the work style expected to be involved in, social interactions, balance in the work life, whether one is willing to give back by doing his/her best on the job, will the person be comfortable in the public eye doing such a job? Can he/she deal with the stress that comes with the job e.g. banking? How much money does he/she hope to make, will it be worth it?
When choosing a career, we ought to chose a profession we love and be able to see it in the eyes of Khalil Gibran;
“And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things your fashion with a breath of your own spirit, and to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching”.
We ought to be naturally inclined towards any endeavor we chose for ourselves in order to find joy and fulfilment in doing it.
Disadvantages Of Wrong Career Choice
It is possible to be exceptionally good at what you do and still be in the wrong profession!
The disadvantages starts even from the skills acquisition period, usually in schools. Even if the performance of the individual is good, there is often no joy in the studies. Because the course of study is not natural, more effort has to be put in it and instead of loving what is being learnt, success in performance will be as a result of zeal that is spurred by the expected reward in form of fat remuneration or whatever!
After skills acquisition and an individual starts a career in unsuitable professions, there is every likelihood of such a person’s performance being poor. Where the person puts in his/her best, there will be no joy in execution of duties due to lack of fulfilment. Examples of such types are desperate musicians, models, actors that have forced their way in, dull newscasters, etc.
Waste of time and resources as change of career might be obvious!
Wrong career choice causes failures, or poor performance because it was for the wrong motives that such careers were sought. It is the reason why we have quack doctors or attorneys that can never present, not to talk of defending a case! There are doctors and nurses that are always wearing sullen faces but very good at what they do. If you take them to a football game, you will be surprised at the joy on their faces when they are playing, or if you see a registered nurse acting a play, you will be surprised at the ease and fulfilment in her as she acts! The quacks and the unfulfilled in their jobs went into it for the wrong purpose, “money or fame!”.
Those largely responsible for the underdevelopment of any community or nation, are people in the wrong positions or professions!
Maintaining A Career
Choosing and having a career is not all it takes, but being able to stay on and maintain it determines how truly fit one is, for it!
Due to technology and other life dynamics, it is becoming impossible to stay in a career throughout a person’s working life. A job for a lifetime has since became a thing of the past! In underdeveloped nations, and even the advanced ones, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stick to a single career, even if there is fulfilment in it, due to some factors. It is for this reason that you will see a Pastor owning a large farm or running a school alongside the pastoring, or a medical doctor involved in oil business etc.
(Sometimes parents are not to be blamed for insisting that their wards train for careers with employment potentials, it is just survival dynamics!).
When a career is determined, the individual should understand that some factors might cause him/her to change it, because it is almost impossible to maintain a one time job, during an individual’s working life, that is why it is important for youths to learn multiple skills in order to be able to survive, as it(multiple skills) will enable them to have other sources of income.
To have or pursue a career is a good thing to do, because it means working, being the first task that God assigned to man upon creation.
He who does not work will not eat!
No chosen career is better than the others, all are equally good and important! What matters is knowing who you are and putting in your best!
Always remember that the most successful careers are those of which an individual does with joy and fulfilment as the reward thereof!
Oxford English Dictionary
“The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran