Young people get advice on careers from all parts of life. Our parents tell us what they want us to become. Society gives us a glimpse of what the cool and professional jobs are and what is not so cool. Schools tell us what is smart and what is stupid. But who tells our life stories? Who is the one person that will be there throughout your life to tell your story? It is YOU, isn’t it?
Truth is our parents, the school and, society won’t be there to hold our hands forever and therefore it is crucial that we rather take our own advice. Listen to others – it might make a huge difference in your life to listen, however also make sure that you listen to your own advice. There is so much truth in the saying “Actively mastering what you have passively suffered”.
When people tell others about themselves, they kind of must do it in a narrative way—that’s just how humans communicate. But when people think about their lives to themselves, is it always in a narrative way, with a plot that leads from one point to another? There’s an old saying that says: “Everyone has a book inside of them”
Each of us has a story to tell and sometimes our life themes lie within these stories. Dr. Cobus Marais has designed a Career Interest Questionnaire (CIP: Career Interest Profile) where we are encouraged to look at these life themes to identify and to enable us to self-construct our own careers. This makes so much more sense than taking numerous psychometric and other Aptitude tests which most often tell us what we already know. Career counselling should be aimed at empowering clients to reflect on their life stories to identify their main life themes based on which they can construct their careers. One should ideally listen to one voice and follow one person’s advice only because that is also the person that one can then blame if things do not turn out the way one would want them to be. Whose voice is that?
Make sure that when you are on the journey to discovering your career you find out who you truly are.
Do a mind map about your life or a collage – it is fun but it will also give you such a good idea of who you are.
Ask people everywhere you go about their careers. Research on careers takes time, the sooner you start the better.
Accept yourself – you don’t have to think, do and act like the others.
Read and read and read and read.
Ask yourself: What do I want? Then come up with a plan.