Everyone has that one question about life? Should I leave my job which does not fulfill me but which pays my bills, for the sake of pursuing something I am passionate about? Ever had that thought?
The whole world is on survival mode. Right now, millions of people have been laid off work all over the world because of the pandemic. Yet, I am here contemplating whether I am happy at my current job or not? I know it sounds unfair, I should be grateful to have any form of employment,but please hear me out…
I remember all through school being taught how to have a plan to get a job after school; A job which pays well and is stable and full time. I also recall envying the American system of education and other systems in the world which encourage talents and offer children the opportunity to explore their passions without bias. The system in most African schools encourages students to choose a career that makes money sense; they need to first check to see whether their choice is a hot cake in the job market, or else they are advised to drop it. This has totally messed up people’s lives.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with investing in something that is guaranteed to bring returns in the form of a stable job, but it is absolutely life-threatening to tell a student to take up a course they have no interest in for the sake of a non-existent job, in a country with dangerous rates of ever-increasing unemployment. This causes many of us to stay home with our degrees and certificates in engineering or other expensive courses which took away at least five years of our lives which we cannot reclaim!
It is therefore, very important, especially right now, to change what we tell students at school. Curriculum must also change to include practical skills and talents. There are a bunch of time-wasting subjects which have no real application in life after school. Those need to be done away with. I do not need to learn about the periodic table in high school if my passion and talent is singing. I do not need to go through hours of ridiculous lessons about bones if my interest is in drama. That same time can be used to strengthen the skills the student already shows interest in. At least, 10 years later, when that degree certificate does not land them a job, they can still be entrepreneurs in their area of interest.
My experience taught me a tough lesson. If I could go back in time to change my course I would. I spent 5 years of my life and lots of money pursuing law, a course I found myself taking for every other reason, except for the fact that I had passion in it. I went to class and I remember meeting people who knew they wanted to be lawyers since they were in kindergarten. Others, like me, found themselves taking law. And there was always a clear distinction between these two groups. The result was heartbreaking, I was not looking forward to learning at all. I also fell in depression at some point, and my anxiety only doubled. On the brighter side, I learnt critical thinking skills from my time as a law student, but would it not have been more fun to study let us say, creative writing instead?
I will tell anyone today, to take their time when deciding which course to pursue.Spending your life simply surviving or enjoying it while thriving are two parallel choices both of which are available for you. Like a donkey who carries heavy loads each day so it can eat and survive, we have been made to think that way. However, that same donkey can let go of its burdens and choose to run wild and free, if only it would decide to unburden itself.My dear reader, please heed my advice, if you or anyone you know is at that point in their life, contemplating their career, tell them to pursue what brings them joy and fulfillment. Tell them it does not matter what the whole world says about the choice they have made. Success lies in doing what we love. I repeat, success lies in doing what we love. And I will come back here in several years, to show you how realizing my passion and following it, can indeed bring me guaranteed success and fulfillment!