Young people make wrong career choices for a lot of reasons. The educational system we have hasn’t placed a lot of emphasis on self-awareness and self-discovery as it has on getting a certificate or degree. In the education value chain, Career Guidance and Counseling isn’t paid a lot of attention to but it’s very crucial.
People send their children to school to get a certificate not build a life. We don’t ask our children what their aspirations are and create educational systems that harness these aspirations into something that will change our society.
This is the foundational problem. It is why a graduate leaves university very confused about what he wants from life after spending over 20 years in school. It’s the reason why we have mismatched employees in companies without a single passion for what they do and we expect such individuals to give their best to work that’s uncertain.
READ: Top 5 Advice I Would Give My Teenage Self- Omozino Eguh | The Opinion
Another is; society predefined courses for success. I grew up in a time with a lot of stereotypes, if you were in science class you were either going for medical sciences or engineering. It never occurred to me that psychology was a science course and I could study that.
This is still the case today, many students are not aware of the various career pathways and specializations areas available. One of my favorite times working with students are when they say “Ah I never knew I could study this course or career exist”. “So I can do XYZ in the future if I settle for this course”. “Wow my career assessment is spot on, before I thought accounting was my only ticket to the future never knew I could explore all these areas”.
Parental fear and Influence is also another reason. This is something every young person who wants to reach for a dream will have to struggle with.
In working with parents I have come to understand their inner fears and concerns which boil down to one thing “ What are the chances that my child will make it in the future with this course?” This is concern because many parents don’t know the world of possibilities out there.
There was an interesting case related to me, a student connected with a mentor at one of the career development programs we had put together for a summer camp and maintained the relationship. At the time she was ready to move to university her parents were not buying her idea of going for Fashion at all in their mind. [To her parents,] Fashion was just tailoring and nothing more. So she set up a meeting with her mum and her career mentor and just the evidence that someone was already succeeding at what their child aspired to do made her parents give their consent.
Parental fear and Influence, society predefined courses for success, no emphasis on self-awareness and self-discovery are some of the reasons why young people make wrong career choices.
Omozino Eguh is a Bsc. Estate Management degree holder turned Career Coach and Social Innovator. A believer in the endless possibilities of the human mind: lover of good cuisine, life and an intriguing TV series. www.zedtells.wordpress.com
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