The famous American businessman and CEO of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs once said “The only way to do great work is to love what you do” and I think many would agree that he was right. Most people do not put much time and effort researching on which career best suites their skills, personality, their interests and, of course, whether the job pays well. When choosing the right career, money does play a big role but that shouldn’t be the only reason that would make you choice career A instead of B. It all boils down to what you are passionate about, what you really love because even when the salary is not high, you go to bed knowing that you are fulfilling your God-given purpose. It can be helping people, helping improve the economy of your country or even coming up with new technology.
For the most part, “A” students are encouraged to take science and mathematics in high school. By doing this, a large number of them already narrow their career choice to engineering, medicine, chemistry, geology and all other science and mathematics related careers. Without even realizing it, they end up doing something they don’t fully understand. They never ask themselves questions like, how will my day-to-day responsibilities be like? Is this in line with what I am passionate about? My personality, will I be comfortable doing this everyday considering the kind of person I am? There are many careers to choose from and as to which one is best for you, the decision is entirely yours.
Schools only organize at most one career expo yearly, which is not enough for one to fully understand what the job entails. This is still your responsibility as a person, to go beyond the career expos that schools organize and find out what works for you. Some people only realize after spending 3 – 4 years at a tertiary institution obtaining a qualification and then working for at least 2 years that they chose something completely different to their personality, to what they love, to what they are good at and how they imagined they’d be helping make the world a better place. For example, most engineers spend most of their time outside either in a plant or a mine or a construction site. And in most cases the environment is not the cleanest of environments, so if you are a very neat person, who doesn’t enjoy being outdoors, then engineering might not be for you. You can be very good at mathematics but you are not passionate about it, as in, you do not see yourself working with numbers every day. Instead, you might prefer working with people, helping communities and changing lives, why not consider being a psychologist, a social worker or something where instead of sitting in a board room, you are out changing people’s lives.
Poor decision making can be a result of a number of things,, but mostly it is because of lack of knowledge. People don’t ask, they don’t read nor take an initiative to find out what careers are out there. Sometimes a career that’s in demand today might not be in demand tomorrow, so choosing to be a Doctor simply because the world needs doctors is also not good. Yes, you can get good grades and get into medical school but if that is not what you genuinely love, a few years down the line you will dread walking into those hospitals. If from a young age you are already thinking about your future, what interests you and what steps you need to take in order to achieve those goals, no one can influence which stream you follow, either science or commercial.
Considering the fact that you will spend most of your life doing this job, I suggest you start making smart career choices because you don’t want to spend at least 25 years, going to a job you hate. Parents and teachers are there to guide you, don’t let them decide for you. Someone once said “Do not base your decisions on the advice of those who don’t have to deal with the results” Take your time, get exposure and choose well. Take a gap year if you have to, this is one of those decisions that influence the direction of your life mightily.
Make the right choice!