In the next two to three years what do you aspire to be? Are you planning to be a teacher, an accountant, an assessor, a banker, an entrepreneur, a lawyer, an air hostess, a nurse, a midwife, a social worker, a nutritionist, a scientist, a doctor, or a caterer etc.? If you are in College/ University and you don’t know what career you want to embark upon, then am afraid you need to rethink why you are in College/ University in the first place. Why? Because as the adage goes, “A journey of a thousand (1000) miles begins with a step”. Therefore, if you don’t know what career option you aspire to be and you are in College/ University then you need to support to be on track.
What at all is career development? According to McKay (2018) is the process that forms a person work identity and forms a significant part of our human development which spans one’s lifetime. In addition, the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (CCCD) (2018) defines “Career Development” as “The lifelong process of managing learning, work and transitions in order to move toward your preferred future” Indeed all of us have plans for a preferred future especially we want to be in a career that enables us to be employable either being employed or be an employer (entrepreneur).
In our current dispensation and trends in an uncertain global market, one has to be careful in selecting a career option and managing this option, why? If you leave your career planning and development to chance then it is likely that you may finish College/ University and become part of the growing level of youth unemployed, being dissatisfied with the job you may end up doing to make a living or be underemployed. Some of us may start at an early age to decide which career we want to be part in the future – in our childhood days you may fancy been an athlete, a footballer, a cricket player, a basketball player, a rugby player, a musician, an actress, an actor, a magician, a doctor etc. due to our exposure either personally or visually (via TV) to some of them, others may also be indifferent in taking a decision as to which career to pursue until when they graduate from Secondary School or even College/ University. In all these two scenarios, the question still remains – what career do you want to pursue to earn a living in the future?Here are some few steps/tips to help you plan and probably take a decisionon your preferred career option/ choice.
- The first step/ tip in deciding your future career is employability opportunities. Is it possible to get employed after completing your course of study? Are jobs generally available in the career you want to pursue in College/ University? If the answer is YES, then I encourage you to move to the next step.If the answer is NO, then please re-think about your choice of career. However, if you are talented in a particular craft e.g. music, poetry, writing, a particular sport, painting and dancing etc. and you feel you can earn a living through that, then you are encouraged to pursue it with the support of the right management team.
- The second step/ tip is to undertake a thorough self-appraisal and self-assessment of your interests and values. You need to do this to be sure that whatever career you embark upon is what you desire to do and love to be part of that professional group. For instance, if you lack human empathy and compassion but because you think being a Medical Doctor is prestigious, you will end up being disenchanted in that profession because in the medical and health profession one needs to have empathy and compassion for the service users.According to Confucius “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”If you love what you do to earn a living then you will have a successful career for a lifetime but if you grumble and detest what you do to earn a living, then you will have a miserable career. Is as simple as that!
- The third step/ tip after satisfying the first and second steps/ tips is to find out the cost of undertaking a course of study either academic or vocational to be qualified to embark on your preferred career option. The cost of education and training nowadays is quite substantial and one needs to find out how much it will cost and how such costs will be funded. If you are not sure how your education or training will be funded, it is better not to enroll or register on such courses. Luckily, there are various options for genuine and ambitious students to be supported with information on how to get financial support at London School of Management Education (LSME) so kindly speak to an authorized officer for support.
- The fourth step/ tip is to ensure that you are focused, dedicated, determined and motivated to the course of study that will give you the competencies and qualification you need to be considered by employers for an opportunity to work and apply your knowledge and skills in your preferred career/ profession.
- The fifth and final step/ tip is to attend events such as career workshops, job fairs and training sessions that can enhance and sharpen your skills in your desired career. We strongly urge you to visit https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/career-development/ to get vital information on how to get work experience, volunteering and apprenticeships etc. Luckily for students at London School of Management Education (LSME), there are lots of opportunities in house to enhance your skills and prepare you for the job market with numerous events where experts from various industries visit the College to offer you expert advice.
It is worthy to note that at London School of Management Education (LSME), we support all our students to have a Professional Development (PDP) to enable them know who they are, decide on the short term, medium, and long term goals, have a learning plan to achieve their career and professional goals and have a thorough understanding of the sector they wish to work in the future. All students are supported to develop their professional Curriculum Vitae and offered all vital information to enable them make an informed decision as to the choice of their career options in the future.
It is important to note that whilst some individuals may select their careers without any intervention from other people, other individuals may need a lot of intervention and support from resourced people to enable them select their careers for the future. Irrespective of the pathway leading to the choice of your career option, the significant factor is that your final decision should lead you towards a successful and satisfying career that will earn you a living and the one you are proud to be associated with.
Wishing you the best of week and remember to share this article with colleagues, friends and anyone deciding on which career path to embark.
See you again with another thought-provoking article next week. Stay blessed!