KAMPALA – “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from non-successful ones is pure perseverance. “STEVE JOBS
Careers are the dominant activities that the person spends most of his working life in. Because of lack of career guidance early enough, most people find themselves in careers which they had not thought about and at times which they do not even want. The education system in Uganda starts sending people into careers as they complete their O levels. One will branch out to science or arts on competing O levels and this generally determines their destiny.
Some people who fail to go to A level go into other institutions of higher learning not because that is what they want but because that is what is available. Completing their courses, they take up careers which they had not thought about before and possibly would not even have liked but circumstances take them there. As they proceed with their University degree for those who are fortunate enough to enter university, the courses they pursue tend to feed into their career paths.
Different professions require people to sit exams. These include; accountants, doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers among others. These professions are essential or an added advantage in pursuit of a career. Once in a career, it is important one excels in it so that one makes a contribution by pursuing it.
Unfortunately, now and again people are distracted from their careers. At times people feel that in their specific careers, renumeration is not sufficient and may want to change. In some cases, people leave to go for further studies and this distorts their careers. There is a tendency for some people talking about the new psychological contract.
This is where people do not stick in specific jobs and careers. They move from one organization to another and from one career to another even as they maintain their professions. Still their careers tend to be affected. There are also cases for instance when women get married and have children or when people must physically move away from one location to another, all this disrupts peoples’ careers. This calls for career resilience.
Resilience comes from knowing the long term benefits of hanging in there. The impact one makes in a career, the skills one develops create excellence and builds unmatched performance but what does it take to build career resilience?
Career resilience is driven by numerous factors but probably the most important is passion. We have seen people who love a specific profession for instance engineering, medicine, sports. For people to be in these careers and hang in there, they must be extremely passionate.
For instance, there are individuals whose parents are sports people and the entire family goes into sports. You may find that a specific individual lives, dreams and practices football. Such a person will forever belong to a football career. It is common practice that when they retire, they become football coaches, this is career resilience. Another driver for career resilience is purposefulness. Life without a purpose has no meaning. Steve Jobs, the man who tremendously created impact in the world was at the realm of innovation. He always wanted to bring out something new. He lived a purposeful life. Purpose gives people direction and motivates them to keep undertaking a specific activity. The ability to adopt to changing circumstances is one of the key drivers of career resilience.
Information Technology has created numerous changes in different professions. Some jobs have disappeared. Doctors are adopting to new technologies so are engineers, sales and marketers, teachers and so many other professions which technology is affecting. To be resilient in a career, the ability to adapt is very important.
Self confidence is another factor in career resilience. Self confidence is knowing your strengthens and weaknesses and relating them to your career. Knowing ones strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with them gives you that ability to be resilient. It is also important that your social network is good.
Having excellent relationship with people in the profession is quite imperative. Social and professional support and of course institutional support where you work greatly contributes to career resilience. Working in a hostile environment deters career growth. It also puts off people and in the process demotivates them. There are other factors for instance commitment to changes in the profession, mastery in the profession among others are some of the so many drivers of career resilience.
At times people chase money and in the process change careers. This may definitely give you more money but may not improve your performance and make you standout. As an outstanding individual in a profession for instance may turn into a mercenary for money and lose out on the statesmanship which is created by the service given to a country. Many individuals in Uganda have left their professions to join politics where they serve for a short time and are discarded by the voters.
Their attraction to politics for some people is money rather than serve. Hanging in a specific career has its benefits. It develops the individual and the individual develops the profession. This is mutually beneficial to both the individual and profession. Hanging in there will finally bring money which at times attracts individuals to abandon their specific career. Lets hang in there, enjoy our careers and be the best that there is.
Author; Maureen Tweyongyere is the
Director Career and Skills Development Centre, MUBS