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Special Feature: Choosing a Career

Choosing a career is a matter of personal taste. It can be a strenous task since it implies making an important decision which will consequently affect one's future. Yet, making the right choice is not impossible. If your parents disapprove of your career choice, it is essential to stick to your own likes and beliefs. However, it is also good to give your parents' opinions some thought: if their objections are sound or not, if there is something in their logic that makes sense to you... If what they say makes no sense to you then you should follow your own path.

Many high school students are absolutely clueless about their future. In those cases, a career counsellor's expert advice may help a lot.

Youths face many usual doubts when making their career choice and the major problem is that they lack information about the different courses of study that are avaliable. Most high school students don't really know what courses there are to choose from, how long they last, what their content is or if there are different specialisations within them and the job opportunities they will have once they graduate. Besides personal likes, there are other factors that have to be taken into account when choosing a career. It is important to know if one is ready to prioritise money over personal likes or if, on the other hand, it is vital to keep up a certain standard of living. It must also be considered if the work one will have to do will be indoors or outdoors, whether it implies travelling or working alone or in a team...  

Many youths want to follow courses of study that aren't economically rewarding, like artistic or scientific careers. Pursuing an unconventional career is a noble action, since the choice is only based on true vocation, and not stained by other factors such as money or speculation about getting a job. The key to self-fulfillment and satisfaction is doing what one likes and to be able to achieve excellence but it is also true it is hard to ignore prejudice and warnings. There are many misconceptions about certain careers since artistic or scientific jobs seldom appear in the classified ads section. Scientific or artistic people, however, usually find jobs in independent projects which are not usually advertised in the paper. If there is a real concern about money, however, diversifying is the best option. There is always a chance to still pursue the career one likes while studying something else to get some degree which can offer more profitable job opportunities.

If, even after attending counselling, one is absolutely clueless about what to choose, it is always a good option to take a year off. Taking a gap year to to go on thinking, to start working, to learn a language and computer skills (which are essential for most modern jobs), to travel, to so something useful is indeed a smart choice. Choosing a career is not a life-determining choice. It is just another step towards adulthood and it must be remembered there is always time for a change.