On Career Planning, Here are a Few Pointers to Consider in Making Successful Career Choices

By Teboho Polanka

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash
Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

So many things are discouraging in our day. I mean after years of schooling people find it hard to get any economic benefit from all that.

I remember seeing on Facebook an image that encapsulated our reality. Basically it was a graduate, having paid his university sponsor’s office a visit. The little guy had presented his certificate to them as a payment because he said he saw no value in having obtained it.

One thing is for sure, and we can’t be naïve about it, our job market demands something more than years of schooling. Worse yet, while schooling, individuals make choices on their specialty career paths but after graduation they know that to have been a grave mistake.

For one, occupations have and continue to change rapidly and society is becoming increasingly complex and multicultural. This forms basis for why people need to opt for diverging careers versus converging career paths.

What do I mean by diverging career paths? I mean we need career paths that are more generic and not limited to a specific sphere. Say teaching focused not only on two courses, rather teaching that has elements that can help in counselling as well as other areas of life.

It becomes obvious that converging careers paths would include most of what we have today, that has brought us to this economic state to begin with. If we don’t plan to do otherwise about our career paths, we’re bound to continue failing as we do.

A great majority of people continuously feel discouraged, despondent and hopeless about what the future holds for them. It has become imperative that all should, during their career planning think of career paths that will foster independence versus dependence on somebody’s willingness to hire them. After all, in the past years, jobs needed people while today people need jobs.

Following are a few pointers to consider in making career choices. Call them steps or processes if you want to. But these when closely looked into will render you much service with minimum time, energy and effort wasting on unproductive pursuits.

Know your motives

For any undertaking you need to very specific with what you want as the end goal. More so, you need to have a reason “why” to back up such a pursuit. Most people, in my opinion, go down career paths because of influences from other people or because that’s where they qualified. Ask college or university students, you’ll find that most don’t have a strong “why” behind the field of study.

Explore alternatives

Alternatives will help in deciding whether or not to go through with a chosen field.  Initially people will want something but after spotting the alternatives choices usually change, especially if alternatives offer much greater rewards.

However, unless one is willing to take time to compare their choices, regrets are inevitable. Say you want to serve your community, readily available choices could be: becoming a teacher, nurse and/or social worker. Exploring will help you make a much wiser and future-conscious career decision.

And if you think it’s game

For those who have graduated enrolling in short courses maybe the best thing you’ve ever opted for to expand your horizons. Be smart and invest in your careers. 


Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.