Whatever Happened To Careers?


In the past few days, I have had reasons to share thoughts with various audiences on the central theme of building an enviable career — either as students who need to plan ahead, or professionals who need to review their career path. Each time I seek to get the job done, I am always faced with the reality of the increasing absence of deliberately planned careers: most people are caught in the web of the syndrome we used to refer to as Anywhere Belle Face (ABF) (a rather descriptive way of saying that an individual literally lives based on responses to events and circumstances around him/her without any pre-determined plans, and without a sense of direction in life) while in high school. One major concern I have is the absence of deliberate career-grooming plans among many of today’s young Nigerians: whatever happened to careers?

A job is different from a career. While a job will pay your bills, a career will ensure that you are of evident benefit to your community (immediate, national or global), and will also connect you with a more enjoyable way of earning a living. I have come to learn that nothing excites (empowers, motivates and plants a permanent smile) like doing what you love (and are skilled) to do — and getting paid for it. When I started laying the foundation for a career in the application of ICTs for development, I had no idea that it would be this interesting! I just loved the feeling of inching closer to my planned career dreams, not knowing that the time would come when what I loved (and still very much love) will provide a platform for the development of individuals, organisations, nations and more.

In the next few years, there will be two categories of people across the Nigeria nation and African continent: those who make things happen, and others. Those who will make things happen tomorrow know themselves, they are presently building a career and not jumping at just any available job. I see a new Nigeria emerging, one that will be built on the labours of our heroes past, hewn out of the debris of the present waste and engineered by the strength of the future leaders: the youth. These young men and women will focus on career growth for the purpose of personal development, nation building, regional cooperation and global participation. They may be unknown today, but in the secrecy of their abode, they master the tool that will change their lives and that of their nation – and world! They’re building tomorrow today…

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