As we grow up, we start pointing to what we want to do or be in our future. Usually, we associate what we want to do with what we see as young people. The level of exposure that we have. If you are somebody born in the countryside where the bicycle owner is a hero, then you want to own a bicycle. If there is somebody who drives a truck on the village, you want to be a truck driver; when you hear about planes you want to be a pilot. But at that moment in time, you are not clear about what a career is. You do not know your destiny at that moment.
As you grow up, you react to the different exposures you get as your taught in school enables you to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. In the case of our country’s education system whether you study Arts or Sciences, this decision is made for you by your own results when you complete your A level. At this moment in time, there are career pointers. You now have an idea about what you will be in your life but you are still young to be able to take a firm decision on what your career will be.
However, there are some people who from childhood take that decision that they want to be Doctors, Lawyers or whose parents influence their decision in terms of what they are going to study in the universities. In a way they are determining the career of a person.
Till now, we have very little choice in what you do in your A level other than your own performance and therefore determining your career in later years. If you have no exposure at all to what the world is, chances are you will end up in a career that you are given. Depending on your results, the university will give you a degree programme that will lead you into that career. There is no much choice. The world depending on your performance leads you into a certain career.
Admittedly, there some very few people who have a purpose in life. This starts early. They have a calling. It is usually when we finish our university education, get employed that we start thinking about a career with a purpose. Out of desperation, many fresh graduates take on any job. They do not mind a career but just a job. For those with a purpose, that moment in time, as Professor Balunywa says; this calling is your mission in your life. This something that you want to do and be remembered for; that is a career with a purpose.
A career with a purpose is when you take that decision to get to study things that will enable you do those things that you love in your life. If you want to be able to contribute to solve health problems in society, you choose to be a doctor; if you want to be somebody who contributes to solving engineering problems, you choose to be an engineer. There many choices you may make to have a purposeful career. These decisions normally come late in people’s lives and what needs to be done is to enable them to have these decisions made earlier.
Purposes in life vary from individual to individual depending on their abilities, interests, and exposure. Therefore, people must a purpose to acquire the knowledge and sufficient interest to enable them pursue a career. But will you make an impact by your career choice? This is the big QUESTION!
There are some careers that impact on their own or some individuals who simply create impact while pursuing a career. Some Doctors do amazing surgeries. Some Architects may come up with outstanding buildings. Some Engineers may do some marvels. In such way, you make impact in society.
However, if you desire to purposely be impactful, it can be in any career. This needs to be planned. First of all the purpose must exist. Why are you pursuing a certain career, because you want do something to society? That something is an impact you want to create in society.
A career with impact is purposeful, planned and pursued deliberately in such a way that the results are impactful on the society. Those who discovered vaccines or who made a vehicle, phones have created an impact on the society. Without naming who they are, the benefit from these, bring impact.
As you make a career choice, find out a purpose, your mission in life, what you want to live for; this should be the benefits that people who you serve get from your service. You want to create that service beyond exceeding expectations of the people, it is delighting the service receiver.
A career will become impactful. If the person who is delivering it does a little more than the ordinary person, if you are a doctor, people will overwhelmingly look out for you. If you are interested in young children, you will deliberately lookout for them and find a way of adding value to them. People must plan their career in such a way that you want to create impact in the society. Society to recognize what you have done; as an Accountant, Physician, Lawyer, Astronaut to mention but a few. You must have deliberate purpose to give little more of what is expected from the service receivers.
“Being elected to the Hall of Fame is about your career pretty much but your impact on the game”. Cal Ripken Jr
This writer, Maureen Tweyongyere, is the Director Career and Skills Development Centre ,MUBS Member, Committee on Enhancement of Labour Productivity, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.