What We Were Not Taught on Campus About Career Planning

Happy New Year.!

The Long awaited 2021 is here with so much high hopes and positivity for the year. Towards the end of 2020, I encouraged you to plan 2021 regardless of what we all experienced in 2020 and I shared the 5 important things I consider important each time I plan for the year.

As we were ushered into the new year, I reflected on the importance of Career planning and found myself asking, Which university in Nigeria teaches students how to plan for their career? Are there courses in the Nigerian tertiary curriculum on how to plan for a career as an undergraduate?

When I was a student at Delta State University, I can’t recall any course or scenario where we were taught how to plan for our careers. We weren’t even taught how to plan for success. 

A lot of us in this part of the world don’t go to school with a plan for the future in mind. We simply have been immersed into the routine of getting a degree that would enable you COMPETE for “any job’’ when you graduate.

We hardly ask ourselves questions such as why do you want to study that course? Why are you in that department? What do you want to make out of your life? What do you want to contribute to society? Why are gunning for a second degree? etc.

Most young people in Africa live a disjointed life that we try to patch up much later because we fail to live our lives in question mode. Only a few of us were taught to ask questions growing up. We were taught the reason we go to school is to get any degree from any university and get a HIGH PAYING JOB from any TOP PAYING COMPANY doing anything as long as you earn a salary.

Yes, I grew up in that same environment and ideology. I went to that same university where we were prepared to just get a degree. But now I realize there is more to life beyond schooling. I was made for more. We were made for more. More than just to earn a salary doing any job for any company. WE ARE MADE OF MORE and until we come to terms with that, our lives will remain insignificant and small.

Before you graduate, it is important for you to answer such questions as: What does WORK mean to me? What does school mean to you? What is the purpose of a Job, Money, a New Year?

People who start a new year with a different orientation about school and work, young people who go to school with a career plan start the race with an advantage. It helps you become strategic and to confidently navigate critical choices on campus.

What i want to do with this article is share three fundamental ideas you should know about Career Planning but are mostly missing from your university curriculum, So from wherever stage you are in your university or tertiary education you can have an idea to navigate through.

1. Career planning is not an idea for only working professionals. Career planning does not begin after you graduate. It actually begins from the point where you know what you want for a career. It begins where you are NOW.

It is possible you are currently studying a course you have no business studying in the first place, Career planning begins with acknowledging where you are rerouting your journey to where you want to go.

It begins with asking yourself: What do i want? Who am i? 

Invest quality time time and resources to learn about yourself and define what’s 

2. Career Planning works with exploration. Once you’ve taken the time to understand what you want to create, take that decision to the marketplace to check realities. Every career happens within industries, so you must know what is at stake in the industry both now and in the future. Use the internet, ask professionals within the field and talk to them and have robust knowledge.

3. The next fundamental idea on Career planning is writing down specifically what your next steps are. You can draw if drawing comes natural to you but ensure to put pen to paper. Begin that thoughtful process of navigating your journey. You don’t need a perfect plan, you just need a plan for the next few steps of your journey from where you are, because you cannot know everything about the journey. Create a sheet of opportunities and potential opportunities that shows how you link where you are to where you want to go using questions.

That’s it. These are my fundamental ideas. What are your specific career plans for 2021?

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