Why choosing your own career is important

When I was asked in Primary School what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always confidently answered; “I want to be a doctor!”. My parents would always be pleased with my answer. Because it would make them so proud to have a daughter who is a doctor. And it would be an achievement for them as parents as the community would view them as great parents for raising one of their children to be a doctor.

So imagine my dismay when I was in grade 10 and realized how much a hated science. And I was not too fond of mathematics either – these are the 2 key subjects that are required if you want to study medicine. To make matters worse, I always felt nauseated at the site of blood. So I came to the realization that maybe medicine was not for me.

I found myself wondering why I wanted to be a doctor in the first place. And asked myself where had that idea come from? It then dawned on me that my parents had actually chosen medicine for me because they always glamourized the idea of one of their children being a doctor. Sure, they didn’t force medicine down my throat. But I wanted to make them proud. And I knew being a doctor would certainly achieve that.

I eventually chose to study law for 3 reasons. Firstly, because my brother was studying law so he inspired me to go the same route. Secondly I was in matric and had to start applying to universities before I missed the deadlines. And lastly I didn’t have to struggle with mathematics and science in university (yay!). However, I never had a passion for law. The truth is my career choices were always limited to what I was exposed to. Although I’ve grown to love law, I often wonder whether I would’ve chosen a different route if I was exposed to more career choices.

For this reason, I’ve decided to start a career guidance website that contains careers as experienced by young adults (it’s a work in progress and I will share the details soon). So instead of googling what career paths a certain tertiary course will lead you to. I have decided to ask the particular individuals where their chosen career paths have lead them. I personally think this is a more meaningful way of getting an idea of the type of opportunities available when choosing a career. Especially as it is something that can affect the rest of your life. I believe choosing a career is one of life’s most important decisions, and should be done wisely. After all, there is nothing worse than waking up one day and realizing you hate what you do.

What do you think about it? Share your thoughts!

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