What is often a fun question and a game when we are young, becomes such an important focal point in our lives as we grow older. Slowly the happy children’s voices shouting “I want to be a fireman!” and “I want to be a doctor!” fade away and instead you hear panicked whispers “What should I study?” and “What do I want to do with my life?”.
While a very normal transition into adulthood, in South Africa we also hear “Will I get a job?”
This is the reality of our graduates today. It is no longer just a game we play about the ideal job we want one day, it is just as much a consideration of whether we will be able to find a job one day. Even more so, will that job still exist by the time you are finished and ready to enter the job market? We don’t know. This is a defining characteristic of our modern society – it is often not just the future that is unclear, even the present has no certainty. Steady jobs are becoming more and more outdated as automation takes over, and new job opportunities require skillsets that we often don’t fully understand.
This is the reality for our graduates. Yet, we often want them to be independent and grow up, be adults and fend for themselves like we did. If one just looks at home ownership as one benchmark for financial security and stability, it is clear that times have most definitely changed. Not only in South Africa, but worldwide. It is very much a global observation, attributed to increasing house prices as well as increasing student debts with poorer salaries.
It means that you have to be smart about your future. You should always be smart about your future, but it is even more pertinent now to make choices that will benefit you in the future and not hinder your career or personal growth. Gradlinc has some tips and advice on making the right choices for your studies which will ultimately affect your career one day.
So here are a couple of things to think of when you either have to make a choice for study, decide whether you want to continue with what you are already studying, or pivot your career into a new field.
Remember it is never too late to start over. And also remember that a seemingly ‘wrong’ career choice doesn’t have to be your fate for the rest of your life. It also doesn’t mean it was necessarily a mistake. Every encounter you have in life has the opportunity to teach you something. Learn from all your opportunities because it can both help you avoid mistakes in future as well as provide you with a uniqie skillset in your career. Education is never a waste unless you make it one.