The question of our future career paths is one of the most daunting dilemmas of our age.
You can probably remember telling your parents and educators and peers, with the utmost certainty and delight: I want to be a policeman! I want to be a teacher! I want to be an acrobat in a Russian circus! (Some of us have rather more eccentric dreams than others).
Where does that certainty go when we’re in high school? Being forced to pick and choose between subjects as if it’s as easy as picking between apples or oranges. Or when you pursue tertiary studies, where you often suffer the harshest disillusionment? What happens to that childlike delight when we’re drudging through the 9-5 job that we chose for its salary or its security and status?
When did we stop knowing what we want to be, now that we’re all grown up?
In South Africa, many matriculants leave school with no clear sense of direction. They pursue tertiary studies or enter the workforce ill-equipped causing them to become disheartened when they fail courses or struggle to settle into a job. This leaves them with festering feelings of inadequacy and discontentment. There are a number of reasons why most adults are unhappy in their careers. A meagre salary, a toxic environment, a bad boss – but often, it can simply be put down to a lack of compatibility between the person and job fit.
It’s a pretty bleak picture, right?
But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be this way! There is a way to make sure that your future stays bright and that you are able to make wise and informed decisions about your studies and your career. The solution? Career Guidance.
Career Guidance is a comprehensive intervention to help you make the best possible career choice. It involves a combination of psychometric tests that assess cognitive ability, personality and interests.
Making use of instruments such as interest questionnaires and aptitude tests, an experienced career guidance counsellor will engage with you on an in-depth holistic level. This will enhance your awareness of your skills, values and interests. as well as make professional, realistic recommendations regarding your future career path.
It is a highly personalised, supportive process with a view to helping you understand yourself better and to restore the promise of passion and purpose to your life. The benefits of seeking out Career Guidance are numerous. We’ve summed them up for you:
It’s a big world out there, and oftentimes, we are completely unaware of what exactly is available to us. Without adequate knowledge of yourself or of the careers at large, you are likely to fall into the rut of choosing qualifications of little personal value and pursuing work that drains rather than enriches.
Career Guidance helps you to gain greater insight into the factors that will influence your personal career development. We map out your personality, interests and capabilities. A career guidance counsellor will reveal the scope of careers that you may be suited to and offer support in determining what tools and training you will need to achieve your goals.
In this way, Career Guidance helps to demystify the process of picking the right subjects. Choosing the right tertiary studies and applying for the right job. Being better informed and more self-aware, you will be able to take responsibility for these important, impactful decisions without confusion or fear.
What’s better than being able to make an informed decision? Knowing that you don’t have to make that decision alone.
A good career guidance counsellor has the ability to re-focus your mindset. Our counsellors encourage you to cultivate positivity, self-confidence and resilience when setting career goals. Your counsellor will offer valuable insights and help you broaden your horizons. Gives you the opportunity to establish a personalised, long-term perspective toward your studies and work.
Through Career Guidance, you will be able to strategise with a professional to identify useful resources and jobs that interest you. You will also figure out how to best utilise the tools currently at your disposal and set realistic expectations for yourself and your future.
As with anything, the best way to ensure the best possible outcome is to research thoroughly. Career Guidance gives you the opportunity to start things off on the right foot. Choosing subjects with confidence and being motivated to achieve at school. However, it need not only be high school students who reap the rewards of Career Guidance.
Even university students and established adults stand to benefit from the insights gained from sessions with a career counsellor. From the young sapling in the throes of their university application to the hardened professional just looking for a change. Knowing yourself and where to apply your skills will open doors to a world where you can thrive. Where you can say to that little child who wanted to be a policeman, or a teacher, or an acrobat in a Russian circus, We made it!
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The future depends on what you do today”. Wherever we may be, in whatever stage of our lives, let us heed that advice and make the best decisions possible for our future selves. Talk to Learn to Link today to find out more about Career Guidance and what it can offer you.
This article was originally published on 20 May 2022
Natasha Ferreira is a PhD student at Stellenbosch University who has a passion for teaching and guiding young minds. She is a self-professed bibliophile whose special power is deciphering messy handwriting. She believes that any student can be taught to analyse given information and to communicate their thoughts in writing.
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