By Emsie Martin
The lockdown has caused considerable disruption in everyone’s lives as well as those of children. However, it is important that our children realise that life goes on. After the lockdown they have to continue their studies and their work. Their career choices will be of cardinal importance in a changed world.
Factors when choosing a career
Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you will ever make and will have an enormous impact on your life. To choose a career therefore is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are important factors that should be taken into account.
Dr ST Potgieter, psychologist, briefly discusses these factors:
It is important to determine if your personality is suited to the nature of a certain career. If you are reserved, a career as a tour guide might not suit you. Conversely, this career would probably be more suited to an extrovert.
Children’s interests in early childhood fluctuate considerably. In the older child, roundabout 18 years, interest become relatively more constant and can be applied more effectively to choosing a career. You may be interested in becoming a medical doctor, but your scholastic marks are too low for this. Get to know the world of work.
There are many aptitudes that cannot be measured with psychometric testing, for example dexterity, a flair for art or sport. Usually subject performance already gives an indication of some talents, for example a learner’s achievement in languages could be an indication of his or her verbal aptitude, or maths of a numerical aptitude. Usually learners already know to a large extent what their stronger aptitudes are.
Certain careers require a stronger intellectual ability. Mental capability could therefore be determinant in the choice of further academic studies and career choice. Intellectual ability is an important factor, but is not the only factor for success. Hard work and perseverance play a great role in being successful in your career.
This aspect is often underestimated when choosing a career. To a great extent motivation determines a student’s perseverance, diligence, self-confidence and staying focused on goals. A student with an average scholastic performance can achieve great success with hard work and conscientiousness. On the other hand, a lack of motivation can prevent an intelligent student from reaching his or her potential.
Finances often play an important role. Training at universities and colleges is expensive and a lack of financial support can be an obstacle in the path to further studies. So, begin to apply for bursaries and loans early. Contact training institutions and make sure of the costs, payment methods, bursaries etc.
This is an important aspect when choosing a career. When a learner comes into contact with a career, sometimes by chance, it could stimulate interest in that career field. This is why it is necessary to from a young age expose a child to the world of work through visits, reading, discussions and work shadowing.
Reality of demand
The reality of demand in a certain career is important. This aspect needs to be taken into consideration when choosing a career. The demand may be saturated in some careers, while others have a shortage. Technological and scientific progress also creates new careers – one only has to consider the numerous new careers that have come into being since the advent of computers, the internet and cell phones. And of course there are a lot of careers that no longer have a right to existence and have disappeared from the market. Therefore, study the trends and tendencies in the world of work.
The above-mentioned aspects are important when considering the choice of a career. It happens that a person chooses the first work available, makes it his or her career and remain in that career for years, unhappy and frustrated. By investigating the above-mentioned factors and consulting a career guide or psychologist, a learner can make a meaningful choice that could lead to a happy and satisfying career.
With the current situation in our schools, parents have to remember that children are also going through a difficult time during this lockdown – show understanding and give them your support.
Dr ST Potgieter, psychologist