At a very young age I remember playing different roles (teacher, business woman, dentist, and housewife) with my school friends, and although each of us played a different role every time we met, I really believe that the roles we held during playtime are a significant element in highlighting our dream jobs or career aspirations. We may have found ourselves acting as the doctor treating pretend sick playmates or the school teacher controlling the class of mischievous children in the past but the values held during play time show a great deal about what was important for us in a career during childhood. A career for us at that time was more of a dream that resembled the lives of those who we knew and admired.
As we grew up the definition of a career became more and more related to academic subjects. We may have found that we enjoyed chemistry as a subject in school and hence sought out a career path that incorporated chemistry e.g. pharmaceutical studies. Whether we enjoyed chemistry because we were good at it or because we liked the teacher has little relevance as the end result would still be that a field related to chemistry would determine our career path.
For some people however, a career path was chosen for them by their parents, family or society. They may have become doctors because their fathers had that dream for them or engineers because of their mothers’ wishes. They may have chosen a business major so that they may join their family business when their hearts were truly in art and architecture. Gradually they may have found a passion hidden in what was chosen for them or they would have discovered what would be their true passion along the way. Whether or not they take action on pursuing this new passion requires courage and strength. This is very true when so many barriers are put in place against such decision such as a family member, money, prestige, society expectations etc. Therefore not many end up taking that courageous step of stepping into the unknown and following their passion. Only those who find the strength to take that step may find fulfillment at work.
The main thing to point out is that whichever way a career path is chosen; it could change at any given time during our lives as our priorities change or as our interests change. There is nothing wrong with wanting this change if it will serve our life purpose and will place us more in line with our passions but it is necessary to be in a place of no regrets before embarking into anything new. It is necessary to take the learning from every decision we take and the experience it gives us. It is also necessary to hold on to a chosen career path if it fulfills us and helps us grow. It is necessary to be brave and fight for what we want and it starts now regardless of our age.
To sum up, careers are chosen because of:
1. Passion –knowing the impact we want to have on this world and choosing a career that will honor that.
2. Inspiration – looking at a role model (e.g. father, sibling, famous artist) and deciding to replicate their lives into ours.
3. Experience – picking a career based on the accumulated experiences we gain during our early lives.
These choices shape up a major part of our lives and who we are. How did you choose your career path?
Coactive coach (in training)