I am addressing this article to students who are in their final year of secondary school and who may be feeling a little anxious about their futures at this time. People thinking about choosing another career can also benefit.
Choosing a career can be a daunting task. You may be in the career that you choose for the next 40 years of your life, so you should not choose carelessly. Allow me to suggest the following selection method.
1. Identify your Aptitudes First, I would suggest that you identify your aptitudes. They may be several things. Identifying your aptitudes can be challenging since you must give each subject a fair chance. Please do not judge your aptitude by the grades that you have received at school; they can be poor aptitude indicators. A few examples may suffice here.1. You may not think that you like music if you were only taught music theory, but you may excel if you learnt to play an instrument “by ear’.
2. Similarly, you may not think that you like foreign languages, like Spanish, but you may excel if you learnt conversational Spanish.
3. You may find science subjects challenging; however, try reading your science texts from the first chapter until the end and you may be surprised at how easy the subject really is.
2. Identify your Motives
After you have identified your aptitudes, identify some jobs that you think that you would find attractive. Write them down and then ask your self, “Why do I want to do this job”. i.e. try to identify your motives. If your motive is principally to make money, then you may have identified the wrong job for you. If your motive is principally care, then you may have identified the right job for you. You must care about what you do rather than simply doing a good job and getting paid for your services.
3. Get some Experience
It may be useful if you worked for a company (it can be a company of one) who offered the service that you found attractive. If they are not hiring, then offer to work for them for one month for free, explaining to them that you see it as an investment (and it is). If you have made that agreement, then DO NOT QUIT! If you do quit, then that decision may follow you for the rest of your life. If you do not think that you can last one month without pay, then agree to work for one or two week without pay. Remember to explain that you are trying to choose a career, and therefore, you want to work in an environment that will help you to decide.
4. Ask God to Guide You
Our national anthem states: “The Lord has been the people’s guide …”. You are one of those people and therefore have the right to ask God for guidance. However, while God provides the direction, you must provide the thrust and momentum. The thrust, or the initial movement, is accomplished in the first three steps until you can secure any type of job. The momentum is provided by you working with conscientious dedication to achieve the highest standards of competence at that job, even if it is one that you do not like.
When you are ready, God will guide you into the responsibilities that He has for you. Therefore do not hold on too tightly to any one position of responsibility. If someone else wants your job, then let them have it. God will take care of you if you let Him.