Teachers often ask their pupils about their career of interest or, what they would like to become when they grow up and their answer is usually influenced either by who is asking or what those around them do. Growing up initially I wanted to be like my teacher, then I wanted to be like my dad who is a pilot, and later like my brother who is an architect. I kept on changing until now I am a photographer because I love to take pictures. So what then is a career? And what is a profession?
A career is an occupation which I assume in life based on: what is important for me, what I care about, what I am good at, salary, because it is an opportunity I have come across, or as a hobby I am passionate about and developing. A profession is an occupation which requires proper and prolonged training often times in an Institute, University, or from an expert. They also have a code of conduct which they follow, like for Doctors and Nurses, they take an oath to protect lives at all costs for this is the field in which they are professionals. With a career, success which leads to promotions, salary increment or the happiness and satisfaction of having accomplished something is important and yet for a profession, service delivery is very important and Professionals cannot take advantage of people because of the service provided and knowledge shared, that is part of their professional ethics.
I might decide to be trained to become a Professional Pilot, and yet I may also be interested in writing Novels or photography even farming, so these hobbies fall among my career options which I may use as side jobs. Meaning that it is possible to be trained in a particular professional field and have others careers as side jobs. But how then do I begin this journey of discovering and pursuing the profession of my choice and career?
Career and profession search begins with self-knowledge. This means having the capability to know my values, gifts, talents, interests, and things I am naturally good at and are appealing to me. Then I will take some time to research and see what is required of me to venture into that field, the training, expenses and my performance and conduct. I should then remain focused on what I am pursuing, I might ask other people already in that field for enlightenment and clarity, and having finished my training I may work as an intern in a particular company in order to be conversant with that profession or career.
When searching for career and professional opportunities there are resources on the internet which act as a link between prospective employees and future employers. Such sites are like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor among many others available online and for some which are country specific.
In order to discover and pursue the profession and career that is suitable for me, I will;
- Seek to get a clear understanding of the profession or career of my role model.
- Do some personal research to understand what it entails to become a professional in that field.
- Focus my studies and training to be properly oriented in this field.
- Use creativity and make productive initiatives leading to best service delivery and growth.
- Observe and keep the code of conduct that my profession expects of me.
- Apply to work as an intern or volunteer in order to gain more knowledge and experience in the field.
- Assess myself to see if I am capable of being a professional and having other side jobs.