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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Excelling in 2nd choice careers

Excelling in 2nd choice careers

Words by Francis Kahihu: kahihucareers@gmail.com

(The author is an Organisational Development Practitioner)

What did you want to become when you grow up? You could have wanted to become either a doctor, a teacher, an engineer or a policeman. You had reasons for desiring to become what you wanted as early as when you were in lower primary. I am sure that the majority of you did not become what you wanted to become and have ended up in varied careers. For those who had the careers mentioned above as their childhood dreams, you may sigh with relief saying that those were mere fantasies and that you had made your impressions based on insufficient information.

For those who actually went beyond the fantasies and studied in certain careers, it often appears like they are in surviving in their second choice careers. With the proliferation of educational institutions in this country, many people have attained all manner of certification having studied in varied courses. The challenge however has been the lack of relevant work opportunities for many. Since they have to survive, they find themselves having to pick on whatever opportunity is available in the marketplace.

These second choice careers are what make some people feel short changed in life. Many wonder why they had to spend so much of their time and money studying for certain careers that could not absorb them after graduation. Such people feel disillusioned even as they embark on their new jobs since they feel they did not land their dream opportunities.

The so called second choice careers are not lesser careers after all. Life has a way of balancing itself and people are balanced off in the process. What you could have chosen as your first choice may not have been the best choice for you. You could have been naturally settled in the career that currently best suits your capacities. It is common knowledge that many people make career choices with minimal information about the expectations and demands of the said careers. They then struggle to become what they are not wired of becoming.

However, there are people who are truly suited for certain careers which they have even studied for but for lack of adequate opportunities, they end up in different sectors and jobs. To such people, falling in their second choice careers is a temporal engagement. They work in their current careers hoping that one day they would find their paths to their dream careers. It is interesting to note that some of such people have found themselves fitting well in their initially ‘temporal’ engagements as they find their satisfaction in those careers as they waited their dreams to come true.

A close interaction with people indicate that many are doing relatively well in their second choice careers. It is indeed refreshing to note that most people are excelling in their second choices compared to people who indeed pursued their first choices. For those of you who might be struggling with the feelings of loss and failure to clinch their first choices in careers, you may just want to look around you to gain the motivation from the millions who are forever grateful that their first choice careers did not work out. They say this as they bask in the glory of successes in their second choices.

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