“It is incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busyness of life, work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover that its leaning against a wrong wall” Steve Covey.
As we commence school right away from childhood, every body ideally thinks that must journey from primary school to secondary school then to an institution of higher learning and thereafter get a job and start living life. Majority of the parents have to spend almost all their incomes at times sell some pieces of land all to ensure the child’s future is secured through education. They all anticipate that after graduation their children must find a job, make a contribution to society and earn a living. But what exactly happens after graduation?
This question never goes away because every year we have new people who complete and they only realize that they must answer this question when they are the victims. The word “victims” mean that they are the ones who must find a solution “to what next” after the university.
To answer this question, many ways are available to do so. First and foremost, who do you know to find you a job. Indeed a small section of people ride on this social network to be able to find jobs and this of course is for those who have relatives, parents who are well placed, who can easily get you into a job. However, this is a very small number.
There are those who struggle to look for jobs genuinely. They make applications possibly one hundred of them and of course some of them seek and get jobs that way. At times it is surprising to meet somebody and ask what are you doing now and they say I am in Stanbic Bank and you ask how did you get there and the persons says it was an interview. There are that type of people who really get their jobs after they have worked very hard on interviews, done applications and walked the street.
There are those who never find a job. They continue to lament year in year out and they start getting worried and demotivated that they have nothing to do. This group is increasing becoming bigger and becoming more desperate.
Then there are those who you meet ask a similar question and they will say they are doing nothing but an accountant in a small business somewhere as I wait for a job of my choice
Then there are those who straight away go and find money and do certain things. After the university people have many ways in which they want to satisfy their dreams but is that the right dream that one wanted. We normally assume that your career will depend on your abilities, knowledge and skills in that particular area that one wishes to pursue. But is this your passion? Did you get into that degree of your choice or you got into that degree because you were simply given the degree or your parents, friends, former teachers influenced you into getting it.
This is not an easy thing because there are lots of things that people must think about before they actually get into employment. Some people say follow your passion. Yes you may get a degree, maybe in accounting, medicine, law but you want to do something different. You may want to go into Diplomacy, in the army or to trade, these kinds of thoughts exist. What does the public think about you, they may think you are crazy; how you can be a medical doctor and go to trade. Many may think you are wasting your time.
Hence after University, people take many decisions and of course what is very important immediately is get a job especially for those who come from poor families, they are the bread winners and yet they have to struggle to study and also find the bread that their family members will eat. They also have a burden possibly of educating their own siblings who have no school fees.
But, what is the ideal? The ideal is as we grow up, parents should be able to expose their children to various professions if possible so that they can monitor and find out if these children are interested in a certain career. Is the child oriented to Mathematics, literature, music, engineering? Let us establish this early, encourage the child to get into to study that, get to understand the profession better. As a parent you must harness the child’s talents to ensure that the child is able to build skills in that area.
Related to this is passion; you may have talent in singing or debating but you may not have the passion for it. The combination of talent and passion is going to be the most ideal career one is going to pursue. As parents, we need to support our children in enabling them to focus on their careers and we should be able to enable them harness and become good at what they want to do and build passion in them by telling them how good their profession of choice is. If we do not do that, we will have a very big challenge that our children may end up in careers which they did not like, very desperate just because they had to find something to do and earn a living.
As we think about this, you are already fixed because you have a degree so to a great extent, you career path is formed. However, is that your passion, if it is not what are you passionate about? I would wish to encourage you to rethink and purse a career that you are most passionate about. But then is there money to do that? These are some of the challenges one goes through after university; career or survival. Remember life is a race against disappearing time.
This author, Maureen Tweyongyere, is the Director MUBS Career and Skills Development Centre and Member, National Task Force on Enhancement of Labour Productivity