The importance of choosing a career carefully

The matriculates have obtained their examination results. It is time for them to make a decision about what field of study to enter and to choose a career.

Career choice would depend on a number of factors. These include your type of pass, strong subjects, personality, whether you prefer to work with people or alone, hobbies/interests, available finances, whether jobs are available and the salary attached to the career chosen, etc.

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The following tips are offered by author Marilyn Lindblad:

  • Evaluate your work style. Are you a self-starter who can work independently or do you need the discipline of a structured work environment and supervision? Your work style will guide you as to whether you can work alone or be a part of a team.
  • Know your talents. If you have a hobby or talent that you are good at, link that to a career. Then your work can be productive and enjoyable.
  • Set financial goals. Realistically determine what your financial needs are and will be. Choose a job that provides the finances to meet your financial goals.
  • Work out what your proposed field of study will cost and determine whether you can afford it. Explore opportunities for bursaries, scholarships and loans.
  • Assess your social needs. If you are introverted you may be comfortable to choose whether you work from home or alone. If you are out-going, you may choose a career that enables you to interact with many people.
  • Conduct informational interviews. Interview people who are established in their jobs and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of their work.
  • Use self-assessment tests and questionnaires to narrow down your preferences of a career. These may be available from psychologists/counsellors.
  • Consult a career coach who can guide you and counsel you as to the best suited career path.
  • Get real life experiences where possible. Get job shadows, internships, temporary assignments or volunteer your services in the job that you prefer. This experience will inform you if this is the type of work you would like to engage in for most of your life.
  • Be patient as choosing a career is a process and not an end.


Dr Guru Kistnasamy

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