KAMPALA — “Do not follow where the path may lead instead, go where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
There are hundreds of professions and thousands if not millions of career types. To join a career in today’s world, you need to go to school. Of course there are those who do not or drop out but map out their careers successfully. In school, careers are determined by the subjects one offers. The range of subjects is not very big but from these subjects, hundreds of professions emerge. And thousands of careers flow. We make career visits and talk to young people about career choices.
Broadly, a career is about self-employment and being employed by others. There are thousands of choices on self-employment, this is similar even with paid employment. Though generally careers in paid employment are restricted. As young people graduate, they already have an indication on what they want to pursue as their careers. However, with the declining number of jobs and increasing population, many graduates take whatever comes their way simply because at that time they are not particularly pursuing careers.
They are looking for a source of earning. There are very few who never follow anybody. They go to school; graduate and their eyes are on something they want to do as a career. Somebody may be skilled at painting, some politicians and others artists who sing.
These people create their own path. A path that is an untraveled. They do not seek employment but pursue their passion irrespective of the bottlenecks. Globally, most of the world leading entrepreneurs and innovators did not follow anybody’s path.
Today, Bezos, one of the richest men in the world started amazon to be able to deliver goods to the customers online. He repeated what Walton the founder of Walmart did when he opened thousands of stores in the USA and around the world to avail low cost products to ordinary people.
Walmart was uncharted territory, so was amazon. These people went out to do something that nobody else had done. They pursued their careers in a non-traditional way. That is where their fame and wealth came from. So, in deciding a career, career success will come if you excel but it will be more pronounced of you follow a career path that nobody has charted before.
This decision is not done by all people and it is more difficult for those who first seek paid employment like us. Now and again people resign their jobs to go start business but this is not common because people fear uncharted territories and yet from all indications, this is one path that will bring utmost satisfaction and success too.
Every now and again we engage students, they are always keen at finding out how to succeed in their lives not how they can one chart out unique careers. Of course, the home environment is important in shaping the child’s career. Indeed, many wrestlers and sports personalities have their children ending up in their careers but now and again the children reject the careers of their parents.
Parents should therefore expose their children to different types of career choices so that the children can decide on their own career paths to follow. Like nomads, we must remain for life in love with distant and uncharted places because that is the only route to something new and uncontested.
Maureen Tweyongyere Director MUBS Career and Skills Development Centre