Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Struggle Of Choosing A Career Path Never Ends

Starting the month on Career Development . . . How nice. Happy February, sweeties!

Choosing A Career Path


My struggle started in secondary school. I was one of those students that didn’t know exactly which career they should pick to build a successful future.

And my report cards didn't help matters. It showed that I was good at both science and art. It was confusing for me to decide which career I should choose.

Which do I go for? Which one do I like? 

To become a doctor? or to become a lawyer?

Seeing myself as a lawyer didn't work because I was a very quiet youngster at the time. I couldn't talk to save my life. So I dropped the idea. And thanks to my teachers. Look at me now holding a mic and screaming my voice out in the name of talking.

Seeing myself as a doctor didn't work too because I just couldn't imagine the sight of blood and the human skeleton. Lol. I hated hospitals and everything about injections. So I dropped the idea.

We had three classes - science, commercial and art. I joined the commercial class, and ended up studying accountancy in the university.

OK. I remember. What influenced my decision was my favourite uncle as at then, "Uncle Livingstone", who seemed as the richest in my little mind. When I heard that he became an accountant because he was a commercial student. I decided it wasn't a bad idea to be like him!

That thought shaped my belief. Get a job and become rich. 

That belief was also reinforced by the TV shows and movies I’d seen when I was growing up—where being a doctor, a lawyer, or an accountant were the coolest things.

It was all about the money.

I grew up believing that the reason why my parents wanted me to do well in school was so I could get good education, get a good job, make good money, and then use that money to experience a life better than theirs. I believed that, the more money I had, the better my life would be.

But that skewed belief changed over time between my 200level (A-ha! CASOR Infomedia) and after I left a very nice company. Working for that company made me feel like I hit the jackpot in the career lottery. But I ended up leaving because the lack of career growth slowly tortured my enthusiasm to work. Depression became the enemy I had to face every single day. Most people said leaving that job was a stupid decision. I didn’t care.

There is much more to life than making money.

I want(ed) more out of life. I pray(ed). I study(ed). And pray(ed) some more.

Discovering your unique profession is not an easy task. It requires a lot of time and self-reflection. You need patience too.

That is one of my current life-goals, to discover what I’m really passionate about. I will continue to learn and evolve as I continue on the career path I’m on right now.

Since it’s a continuous evolution of career, perhaps you"ll never find out what the real path is because it’s a never-ending journey. However, one thing is certain, making money is not a priority.

I believe we are all on a journey to choosing our career path.

At this point, you might have been rejected, insulted or down right embarrassed on the journey to your dream career. But it shouldn’t stop you. Failure isn’t a big deal; it is simply an inevitable part of living.

Find pride and confidence in whatever you do and wherever you are. 

Take time to discover who you are individually, without a career burdening you. Anything you do at this time, embrace it as part of your journey.

I don’t know all the answers to your questions about choosing a career path, but this might reduce the struggle of choosing a career: Rule Out What You Clearly Don't Want.

Even though you may have many interests, there are clearly things that do not catch your fancy. Take time to determine what really interests and bores you, but be sure not to rule out career interests you are still unsure of. Just make sure to strike out anything you have no absolute interest in.

"Half of knowing what you want is knowing what you don't want."
~ T. D Jakes

It gets a bit confusing sometimes. But (as for me) I know I can NEVER work in a bank. I don't even bother looking over a job advert that has "bank" or "financial xxx" on it. 

Making money is actually a part of the deal and may still be a priority, but my new mindset made me realize that the money will show up eventually. Money is not the end goal. Money will come simply as a ‘side effect’—a ‘by-product’ of my pursuit of continuous learning, growing and evolving . . .

Are you on the path you've always wanted? What do you love about where you are on your journey right now?



Written by Nwamaka Ajaegbu 
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