AS a teen, I knew many of my fellow students who had no plans for their career beyond gaining admission to study a randomly chosen course (or one selected by their parents), graduating, and getting a “good job”. Others, like me, were “given” a course by the University we applied to because our original departments of choice were filled up. I remember being upset that someone with a lower JAMB score than mine was admitted while I was sent to a different faculty!
Still, regardless of where you find yourself, it’s important to make the most of it and be deliberate about charting your career path. One way to do this is to sit down and start writing out a career plan.
A career plan is a lifelong process which includes getting the right education, choosing an occupation, getting a job, and growing in the job.
You may ask, “How do I start developing a career plan?”
- You must assess yourself.
Who are you? What do you want to be known for? What kind of contribution do you want to make in the world? Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? Ten years?
- Identify your:
i.) Skills: This encompasses expertise, dexterity, talent, the ability to do something.
ii.) Interests: Interest here refers to a subject you are concerned or enthusiastic about.
iii.) Goals: A goal is an aim or a desired result, i.e. an ambition, a target, an objective.
iv.) Values: What principles of life do you hold dear? What do you consider to be important in life?
v.) Personality: The totality of one’s attitude, interests, behavioural patterns, emotional responses, social roles, and other individual traits that endure over long periods of time, and often for a lifetime.
It’s good to do something you love; work is work, so passion makes it sustainable during the tough times. How do your skills tie up with your interests? How can you combine them with your personality, goals and values, to make an impact in the world? When you’re providing solutions, you won’t have to chase money; money will come.
You’re not too young to know what you want to do with your life. Yes, life can be unpredictable and you can never tell where it leads, but this doesn’t mean you should be adrift at sea. With a plan in hand and commitment to working hard at your studies and your job, you can eliminate distractions and keep moving in the direction of your dreams.
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