Careers
I’ll share three stories in today’s post…

My parents gave birth to 5 of us, with me coming first. When it was time for the first four to go to the university, there wasn’t so much fuss over the choice of course of study. Our last born created so much drama when it was his turn. It was during that time that my respect for my dad soared. My brother, Nonye, couldn’t come to grips with what he truly wanted to study.

Nonye would go out and come back to say he’d love to be a medical doctor. Perhaps, a few friends of his had convinced him that medicine was the noblest profession in the world. Nonye would see how beautifully dressed bankers were and come home proclaiming his love for banking.

 In my life growing up, I’d never seen a youngster who swung between options like my brother. At some point he even decided he’d become a priest of the Roman Catholic church. For the period that this swinging lasted, my dad had maintained a loving disposition without wielding a cane like most parents would.
In retrospect I may not be mistaken to say that my dad had a special bond with him because I watched him resort to using stones and bottle tops when my brother couldn’t keep up with the rigours of Mathematics. My dad kept his cool and calmly waited for my brother to finally quit holding the air. Eventually, he did, and today he’s a noble accountant.
Story number two : I studied Mechanical Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. I graduated in 2003, did my convocation in 2004, served my fatherland in 2005. After my youth service, I got a job as a field engineer in a leading oil servicing firm in Port Harcourt in 2006.

This company took me abroad for the first time in my life. I was trained on several occasions, but after working for 10 years, I resigned to focus intensely on the business of writing. I’m so happy today, free to exercise my creativity without restraints, a choice I don’t regret and will never regret.

 Story number 3 : I have several friends who are bankers. Just last week, one of them told me how one of his senior colleagues who was so beneficial to him during his wedding, lost his job at the bank. What pained him so much was that the man was paid N450,000 as a severance package, having worked for 15 years.

However, what comforted him was the fact that the man’s wife had started a business even while she was working and they had something to fall back on.

 I’ll draw parallels from these three stories as I share my thoughts on the choice of career paths and the trails of happiness in our lives.
Firstly, the story of my dad is a lesson to every parent. Parents ought not to impose their own choices on the careers of their children, but to guide them intelligently by exposing them to an array of multiple intelligences. By doing so, a child is stirred to the depths of his or her being, thereby catalysing them to connect with what truly resonates with their hearts.
This responsibility placed on parents throws up another challenge. How can parents ask the right questions that can truly bring to the fore what the heartbeat of a child is?
Secondly, my peers couldn’t understand why I had to leave engineering after 10 years to focus on my writing business. At such points when my career in writing was still in its infancy, I was laughed to scorn by a friend who told me I was crazy to have left the noble field of engineering for writing. That baseless postulation is founded on the misnomer that has been perpetrated over the ages in our nation. Students are grouped into professional and non-professional classes. In my secondary school, we were grouped into science and art classes.
Though this wasn’t bad because of its noble objective, but it turned out that most students couldn’t even decide for themselves, but became like sheep who just followed others onto the road. Further down the road, they found out they had been goofed all along. Making a U-turn becomes a fight of shame and ego, and so they decide to stay on, despite being so unhappy.
 Being happy was what I desired. That was exactly what I did when I left my job of 10 years and decided to focus on what truly made me happy.
 From the foregoing I can then attempt a redefinition in my own terms. Career is a pursuit of that course that makes you happy, focusing on it with all your efforts so that your success and profiting are tangibly evident to all.
The Scriptures support this with two quotations : Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your heart. See a man diligent in his business, he shall stand before kings and not before mean men.
 Thirdly, my dad never stops singing about the good old days when cars were sold for N3000 and milk was bought for 10 kobo. He’d so wish that those days when graduates would leave school and have jobs waiting for them at the gates on convocation day can come back.

 

Sadly, those days can never come back, but there’s a bright side to the precarious situation that our nation is in right now. No other time in the history of Nigeria have we produced more entrepreneurs than those fixated on getting jobs. The prevalent pain has caused a focus to be channelled within us to use the gifts of God within us to start businesses that outlast us.
 The internet has been a great ally and has helped people like me to work from the comfort of our homes and make legitimate income.
Career pursuit isn’t just about becoming doctors, lawyers, scientists, and engineers. In our times we are now making careers out of painting, comedy, farming, bead making, beauty make-up, tailoring and many others borne out of passion.
 If you’re currently considering making a career out of natural gifting, don’t feel guilty. You’re on a great path.

A confused soul wrestles with an answer. Even more traumatic is when there are so many answers. The challenge lies in selecting the one answer that provides us with a fruitful solution.

The issue of career choice is one that many souls are confused about. That confusion is real, but answers abound. Will you seek them today?