“If you asked me for my new year resolution, it would be to find out who I am” Cyril Cusack.
KAMPALA – Every end of year is seen with a lot of happiness because of the festive seasons. As the new year comes knocking, most people talk about what they will do. People make all kinds of new year resolutions to make money, build a new home, get married, have children and many other personal objectives. It is very rare that we make resolutions to re- affirm our careers. Though of course some people make resolutions about which careers to pursue.
There is a difference between a profession and a career. A profession is an area where you acquire knowledge and practice it usually with some regulation while a career is that course or progress through life. For instance, one may be a lawyer by profession but chooses to pursue a career in financial markets or as a corporation secretary, As the year ends, where am I in my career? An accountant by profession who decides to pursue a career as a teacher must annually reflect on where he or she is in their career path. If you pursue your career as a lecturer, you want to get to the top as a professor so every year, you need to think through what it takes you to get you to the top.
As one of your new year resolutions is to reaffirm that that is the career of your interest. It is common to see people defect from their career paths as they leave what they are doing to go and start something new elsewhere. Moving from one career to another has its advantages. It gives people experience; it may enable people perform better in a different location or industry. It may bring out the best in a person but this may also work against rise in career. These decisions should be made with a lot of care. Evaluating where you are, your performance, achievements and prospects of better performance should you move on. Whatever the decision one makes, it is important to continuously improve and strengthen one’s career through management and leadership trainings. This will be an advantage for whoever wants to make career movements. It also enables one to identify gaps in their current profession and career lives. For instance one may have decided to be a lecturer goes up to position of senior lecturer and then defect say to politics. Somebody who makes this kind of resolution has definitely seen better prospects in the ew area he or she wants to pursue.
Thousands of people leave their jobs to go into politics because they see themselves having capacity to serve in the new area. It is true that some of them do but majority don’t. They go into an area where they have no knowledge and are not tested. When you change without adequate preparation, chances of failure are high. You need to be grounded in a profession to be able to pursue a career successfully. This is why every new year one should make a resolution reaffirming their careers. As a result, they will not make quick decisions to move into another career without giving it a thought and adequate preparations.
As the year ends, and the new one begins, reflecting on your career will enable you set your targets well and do those things that bring career success and resilience. People need to be recognised and appreciated in their careers. This can only happen if people perform well in those careers and are recognised as major contributors both to the profession and the career, we should therefore add career reaffirmation to enable us make new year resolutions; focus, improve where necessary and excel in our profession and careers.
The author, Maureen Tweyongyere, Director, MUBS Career and Skills Development Centre.