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How important is Career Orientation and why you should be taking it serious

By Walson

Many a young man or woman goes through school and receives the highest certificate they can, only to realize at the end of their studies that a mistake was made at the level of choosing what to study and that the mistake could cause an even greater problem when it comes to choosing a career. Such people even wonder why they did not figure it out throughout the many years they were in school. Since making the right choices as far as career orientation is concerned begins at the level of choosing what one has to study in school, it is important that we begin looking at the matter from this area.

Career guidance is one of those issues in life that are very important but hardly thought of until one comes to a difficult stop and is forced to revisit the issue. Then suddenly you remember there is such a thing as a guidance counselor. You will scarcely find students or even workers who have gone through a career guidance program though career counseling for students is of utmost importance. Though in recent times it has become increasingly popular and many colleges and universities oblige their students to take career guidance courses or at least see a guidance counselor, there is yet a lot of effort that needs to be put in in order to get the desired result.  For example, so many students choose what course they want to read at college or the university based on what is trendy or what their friends are doing. Others make that choice on the foundation of what has the potential of bringing in the most amount of money. Of course they could hardly be more mistaken.

Don’t reverse the order

When the order of things like this is reversed, it is inevitable that the person or people involved would have to come back to it sometime in the future out of frustration. Instead of making a choice on what you want to read in college, you should first go further to figure out what you want to do when you are out of school. And that is smart because, come to think of it, you spent a few years in school studying, but the rest of your life is spent building a career. It is therefore only reasonable that your envisioned career guides you into choosing what to study and not the other way round.

If you are in the university for example and you have already gone through three years of intense studies and research in a particular field without ever seeing a guidance counselor, you may be wondering what this means for you since you may have already gone too far into making wrong choices. Well, there is good news. The educational system of today and the availability of information has made it very easy for our generation to make changes with regards to fields of study and even choosing a career. You can always take career guidance courses at whatever level of education you have already attained which will guide you back to the right track by making necessary changes or decisions. In any case, let us go back to the main issue which is the importance of career orientation.

Why Career Orientation or a career guidance program?

But I am certain about what career path I want to follow and I am quite passionate about it, you may protest. Surely there could not be any other reason why I have to see a career counselor. In a way these two are the main foundation and reasons for which career counseling is carried out. However, if you happen to be one of those who enquire about what other need there may be to go through career counseling, be rest assured there are a host of reasons why you should. Let’s look into some of those reasons and I believe these will help you understand in a broader scope the importance of career guidance and counseling.

-          A career guidance program helps you discover the different options available in the field of study and career you are passionate about.

I remember when I mentioned to my parents that I wanted to enroll at the department of Journalism and Mass Communication at my former university. You could tell they were surprised and confused by the look on their faces. That particular reaction was for one principal reason; they did not understand just how broad that particular field of study is, and truly, neither did I. I had not even thought of taking career guidance courses so things were really out of perspective. For most students at this stage of their education, it is more like gambling with your future. They get involved in studies with just the hope that someday, after schooling, they will be able to make something out of it. More than half of them never consider career counseling for students.

That is the point I am driving at. Several universities offer courses and programs which sound narrow in their structures and curriculum, but in actuality are very broad with regards to the scope to which they can be applied. Choosing a career with such educational background must therefore be taken seriously and it only highlights the need for career orientation.

Reading Journalism and mass communication for example seemed at the time of my enrolment into the university to be all about developing the skills to become a journalist, radio or TV presenter or other such options that had to do with working for a radio or TV station or writing for a newspaper. However, as I discovered the limitless opportunities connected to this field of study I had chosen, I came to see and strongly believe I had actually made a wonderful choice. I love writing and looking back, I see how this line of study helped me discover and develop that skill. You may never know just how broad the area of study you have chosen is until you take out time to get career counseling and advice.

-          Helps to ensure right decision making

If perhaps you have not made the decision on what to study yet, going through a career guidance program is a sure way to clear any doubt or uncertainty you may have about the choices available to you. you will make better choices with regards to your major and minors of studies by going through career counseling for students. You may also come to realize that you do not need to take a minor in school anyways. Many students in universities and colleges where minors are offered do take one just for precautionary measures. They do judge that a minor could give you something to fall back on if you cannot find something to do with your major area of study after graduation. That could be the case but not for everyone. Some people may not need a minor and taking one will only provide an avenue for their focus to be divided.

-          To know where your passion can meet with financial reward

In today’s fast paced world where how one can make more money as fast as possible is the main point of focus, so many people abandon their passion for what promises to bring more money. The effect is that sooner or later, they become fed up with the job and with life and want to quite so badly they can’t understand it. Well, let me say that though career orientation is not a whole remedy for this shortcoming, it is sure one way to go about solving the problem.

Others make the mistake of switching from something they are passionate about to that from which they can earn more money because they just could not find how the services they were passionate to offer will earn them a living. However, career guidance helps you understand where and how your passion can meet with financial reward. It goes beyond choosing a career to giving you an understanding of how you can get the most out of it financially as you put the most you can into it.

-          It prepares you to more easily beat competition when the time comes

Whatever career you plan to get involved in, you have to understand that there is going to be competition, especially if you are really good at what you do. On the other hand, you must be warned that competition could be very challenging and has the potential to make you quit far too early in that career. Well, how then does career orientation come in, you may ask. The truth is, if you are guided into the right field through career guidance, you will definitely go through the right training which will fortify you for the challenges that lie ahead.

There are few things more difficult to deal with than finding out that though you went through years of studies and probably have more degrees than a thermometer, you still did not acquire the right skills to enable you face the challenges of competition. Let’s say you are passionate about graphic communication for example and want to build a career as a graphic communicator. It will be more appropriate to pursue a degree or masters in graphic communication rather than just pursuing a degree in Mass communication.

-          It is an opportunity for you to discover and prepare or plan for further studies

Believe it or not, many people are not aware of the different study areas and opportunities that relate to the career of their choosing. This is definitely another reason why having some form of career counselling even before you further your studies after elementary school is important. Some people discover what career they want to pursue much earlier on in life. Others only gain clarity about it when they are pursuing advanced studies or after seeing a guidance counselor. You should take advantage of career counseling for students if it is offered where you study.

It is never too late to discover where your passion lies and pursue it. However, the earlier you make that discovery, the better. You have to plan for your future and your career path is an important part of that planning. There are usually many twist and turns in the events that happen along the way. Hence there is a need to know exactly what to do when any situation arises. Further studies have to be planned for and taking career guidance courses could help you make the right plans. In this regard, you can make wiser choices concerning which school to attend and what courses to take if you go through career orientation early enough. It will spare you the confusion, mistakes and even regrets many have had to go through.

When is it necessary to start considering the issue of career orientation or going through a career guidance program?

Many people are trained to turn to a specialist when and only when trouble strikes. Hence the majority of people in today’s world are reactive rather than proactive in their way of going about the affaires of life. Career orientation like most other issues needs to be considered as a preventive rather than a curative measure to an issue which so many people face in society. Consequently, the issue of when career orientation is necessary is in some way subject to the individual.

One can always begin to seek career guidance as soon as they become conscious of the need. Immediately a person starts considering which career path they want to follow, it is time for them to start seeking guidance. There are also individuals who believe that career counseling and guidance is for those who are confused about what career path they want to follow and need help to make a decision. While that is true, it is only half true. Career guidance courses are for everyone who has become conscious of the fact that they have to follow a definite career path, whether or not they are confused or unaware of the choice to make.

Why career orientation is important

So the importance of career counseling cannot be overlooked or over emphasized. Haven seen what career orientation can help one accomplish or avoid, let us look specifically at some reasons why it is an important concept in society.

It sets one in the right track betimes

In life there are some mistakes that are not only time wasting but also come with effects which most people hardly recover from. So many people have gotten into the wrong jobs and spent years trying to build a career they were not even supposed to get into in the first place. We have so many companies out there with disgruntled workers and many of them weary of their jobs. Little wonder productivity keeps dropping in some of these companies despite all efforts made to remedy the situation. There are very few things more damaging to a company or business than the loss of passion for what one does. Funny thing is, most of these workers do not even realize what the real issue is until they have gone through a long time of struggles and failure.

There is a common saying that “find something you will do for free and you will be paid for having fun”. Though this statement may be a little bit of an overstatement for some people, it holds an idea which should form the basis for which we make our choices as to what career we want to engage in. surely there is something everyone is passionate about. Instead of choosing a career path based on how much money you can get from it and then trying to get the passion for what you are doing, it is more noble and will save you a ton of trouble to build a career around what you are passionate about and then find a way to monetize it. The truth is, career orientation helps you figure out the area where your passion can be of service and how it can bring monetary reward like any other thing you may want to get into as an alternative.

Career orientation is one of the best ways to give clarity to those who look forward to building a career

If you are not clear about what you are going to be doing, there is a high tendency that you will quite amidst the confusion that will ensue in the future. Clarity makes focus easy and focus ensures quality and progress. When it comes to deciding what one is going to study or dedicate the better part of his or her years to, career orientation has a great role to play.

Apart from knowing the possible areas you can engage in within your field of competence, you become clearly conscious of what will and what will not work for you. It is that important. You cannot stay at something for years or even invest the best of your abilities into it if you are not clear about it or at least why you are doing it. About the inherent potentials as well as your own ability to make the best out the opportunities and possibilities that will be presented before you. Consequently, whenever you decide to make use of career counseling, you inevitably get more clarity regarding your area of competence and the possibilities of expansion. Career orientation is simply that important.  

It reduces the frustration and dissatisfaction with jobs experienced amongst workers in any field

I recently read some post on Facebook which had something to say about the place of our jobs in our lives. As usual I went from comment to comment to see what people had to say about how they felt concerning their jobs and the level of satisfaction they had for it. Well, as you will suspect, many were very dissatisfied with what they were doing and you could tell from their comments that the only reason why they get up every morning to work is for the money. When passion is absent, only the need for money keeps people going and working under such a condition is seriously challenging.

Work is like an imprisonment if one cannot find the least fun or pleasure in doing it. While career orientation will not in any way give you passion for any particular job, it will sure guide and help you choose that one in which you will find the most pleasure and fulfilment of purpose. Getting up every morning will mean more than ensuring that you receive a pay check at the end of the month or having a means by which you can pay monthly bills. Summarily, you will find great satisfaction at what you do when you make the right choices with the help of career orientation.

Career Orientation sets the foundation upon which studies and hence a career can be built

Building a career is a critical thing and the success or failure thereof depends largely on the foundation on which it is started and built. It is not just about why you started on that career path but also what you hope to achieve doing it. Before we stretch on to the reason why a career path is chosen, we have to consider the issue of studies. Moving from one level of education to another is something that has to be considered closely at each level. With career orientation and the help of a guidance counselor, you have a better chance at making the right choices at every stage of your studies until you are done with studies.

Career counseling for students has become popular now more than ever because of the increasing awareness of the multiplier effects it has on the success of people in every field. It is important that in any way we can, we all do our part to encourage our children, friends, colleagues and mates to engage in career orientation. Even those who have never had any formal education would do much better in whatever field of work they intend to get involved in if they will simply decide to receive career counseling.

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