Disclaimer: All the information in this series is published in good faith and is for general information only. This information should not substitute professional advice from a qualified career guidance coach. Please do read the disclaimer section of this site before you continue and only continue if you agree with the terms and conditions.
When I heard of this term for the first time I imagined a tall, slender lady who would speak to us in a hypnotizing voice and make us do all sorts of weird things like stare at rocks or eat bread and water – that kinda stuff. I eventually realized that career guidance teachers are nothing like that. They are big, boring people who complain about how little money they get and how annoying we students are. I then realized that I was going to spend the rest of my school years without any proper career guidance.
Welcome back maputi eater (I call myself maputiatota and I create content that you consume. I know. It’s a bad joke). I would like to welcome you to the second series. In this series, we will talk about career guidance, why it’s a joke and why nobody finds it funny. Keep reading and I will give you a bit of career guidance and a lot of bad jokes.
Career guidance is all about teaching kids stuff that is important. It is not about going on the internet, plagiarising statistics from foreign countries and making a shoddy PowerPoint presentation. It is about telling kids what is relevant to them and what they can actually do using their talents. It is about identifying the unique talents that each kid has and making sure that he or she reaches his or her potential. I believe that the education system is divided into three segments: primary school, high school and university. In this article, I will focus on career guidance in primary schools, and in the next installments, I will focus on the other two.
I was born at a very young age. I remember my first day at school – primary school. The classroom looked rather big to me and there were so many students. I remember that we were given our very first agricultural assignment. To take a few beans, take some cotton wool, place the cotton wool in a small plastic dish and place the beans on the cotton wool. We then added a chemical – I think it was water. It was a very simple task. Take beans, put them on cotton wool, add the chemical and watch them grow. I was super excited. I naturally like natural sciences [pun intended] so this practical session was nothing but gold. I remember that it was a Friday. I followed the simple instruction and went home.
Monday had arrived. People really hate Mondays. I don’t. I remember really being excited about going to school. I went to school and after singing the national anthem, I dashed to the place where my beans were. Yep. You guessed it right. They were all dead. Other people had tiny seedlings and I had nothing. Just a plastic dish with really smelly beans. That sucked.
You see, careers are like seeds. You get passionate about something when you are a tiny kid. If that seed gets the right conditions, it turns into a seedling. This is the time when you get to daydream about the stuff you are passionate about and this leads to your interests growing to become tiny plants. If you keep adding water, they end up growing…until they get to a point where water alone won’t pull it off. You will need to have good soil, nutrients, sunlight… and most importantly, a good farmer.
The purpose of career guidance is to be a farmer. A farmer studies the seeds present, and all he or she does is makes the environment conducive for the seed to not only survive but thrive. I was fortunate that my parents were like farmers – they identified the seeds within me and did their best to make those seeds grow as much as they could. Not everyone has that luxury and that is why I’m here. I’m going to share the little that I know and I hope it will change somebody’s life.
The word career basically means stuff you like doing that you will do in the absence of a guy with a very big whip (grownups call those guys bosses). There aren’t fixed careers. I remember when I was growing up I thought you could only be a scientist, a doctor, a teacher, a pilot, a policeman, a musician and a guard. There are so many careers out there. I will divide the types of careers into three:
What-the-hell-is-that Careers a.k.a. Freelancing
These are careers in which you use your talents to gain a monetary remuneration i.e. you do stuff you are naturally good at to get money. People then say “I’m not talented” Nonsense! I say. Everyone is talented. Are you someone who is good at gossip? You could become an influencer or a marketer.
You could easily market products as people will know that you know the latest and hottest product that is on the market. Are you good at drawing? You can become an artist and draw stuff and sell the art on major holidays. Good at digital art? There are sites online where you can get hired for that. There’s fiverr,.. and more. Just google and you will be amazed.
Do you love playing video games? There are online platforms where you can play games and have people watch your videos. These platforms include twitch and YouTube.
Do you love talking to yourself? Congratulations! You’re a YouTuber! Do you like writing? Well then you can be a freelance writer. People will give you stuff they need to get written and you can write it for them and they pay you – based on the quality and number of words.
Are you someone who can deal with people (everyone – including clients and family) screaming at you, ready to deal with financial emergencies everyday for at least 5 years and be able to give a very big fake smile to the world when you feel like just home and spending the whole week crying? If the answer is yes then....drumroll... you are an entrepreneur.
These are the careers that you are used to. These are broken into three which are arts, commercials and sciences. In the arts sector you can become a movie director, (news) editor, news anchor, news reader, teacher, lecturer, lawyer, copywriter and more. In the commercials you can become an accountant, financial analyst, teacher, consultant and more. In the sciences you can become an engineer, scientist, technician, safety inspector, project manager and more.
New and funky Careers
These are the careers that you probably have not heard of. These are relatively new and are “hot.” These are Cloud Engineers, Cloud Architects, Data Analysts, Machine Learning Engineers, Social Media Managers, YouTube thumbnail creators & video editors, online course creators and more.
There is so much that you can do. You can be so much more than a builder, a teacher or an engineer. Now that I’ve planted this seed in you, we will get into these careers a bit, and explain what is needed to make that seed grow.
Well, that's all folks. See you next week!
I hope you liked this article. If you did, then follow me on twitter @maputiatota