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The Young Professional’s Guide: Finding Your Perfect Career, by Lerato

Hi everyone. It’s Lerato here, with another piece to get your brain wheels turning. This year has been so busy; I’ve been focusing on school work and planning my next steps towards my career. I’m sure you are too!

And that’s what we’re talking about today: finding the right career path.

So, you’re in high school, and everyone keeps asking what you’re going to be doing or studying. Sound familiar?

You’re just trying to get through the week and people are asking you about career choices? It’s overwhelming, to say the least. I might seem like I have it all together, but I can definitely relate.

It’s like you know you have to start planning, but there’s so many choices, so many things to consider, and let’s not talk about the pressure. Decisions, decisions, decisions. How do you start? How do you find the perfect career? Well, here are my tips:

What are you good at?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is what you’re good at. Which subjects, sports or activities are you doing well in, and are there are any possible career options within these areas? For example, if you’re good at sports and biology, you might find a thriving career in sports science.

What are your dreams?

Ever heard the saying, “only dreamers can dream?” Its special to have dreams, and sometimes we need to dig in to find our careers or our passions. Think about your dreams and if they relate to a possible career choice.

Have you job shadowed?

You’ve found things that you’re good at and made a list of possible careers. Now it’s time to do some job shadowing. Find people in careers you’ve listed, and ask them if you can join them for a day or two, simply watching them work. Write down questions and ask them about anything you’re unsure of. This way, you get practical insight into the profession or career.

What can you see yourself doing for years to come?

You’ve seen what it’s like on the job. Now you need to see whether you can be in the career for years to come. You need to ask yourself: will I be happy doing this every day? If yes, you may have found your perfect career. If no, then don’t stress. You just need to dig a little deeper.

Your career may not be your purpose or passion

For some, finding a career means finding their purpose. For others, not so much. You might be extremely good at something, but feel like your purpose — your reason for being — could be different. You could also have passions for other things in life, but what matters is your happiness and fulfilment. 

Your choices might change

You could be absolutely certain of your career choice, and then later change your mind. For example, you could study a certain profession, but find your career in a completely different field. Yes, you heard right! One of my neighbours, Boipelo, always had a love for writing. She’s extremely intelligent and did well in all her subjects, even writing blogs and tutoring in her spare time. She studied to be an accountant but eventually found herself in copywriting when someone noticed how talented a writer she was. She has a passion for the English language and offers some tutoring on the weekends to kids in the community. So she went from accounting to writing ads for companies, and has a passion for teaching English. Interesting, right!

Growing up in Alexandra has made me resilient in pursuing my dreams to get a better life for me and my family, like many other inspiring people from my neighbourhood. There are no magic beans, and no blue pill or read pill — just hard work. And I’m ready to put in the hours at making my dreams come true through my future career. Are you?

I can’t wait to see where my path takes me, and I’m so excited to be a part of your journey too. I hope I’ve inspired you to find your perfect career choice!


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