I knew John as a worker in one of the primary schools my children attended a long time ago. He was always actively involved with musical events in that school. He was the one who was always in charge of the musical equipment and public address system. The radiance and fulfilment on his face each time he worked with the children was what attracted me to him.
He told me that he was also performing that role in two other schools. He was working on a musical album with some children and had other albums in the pipeline which he was very passionate about. He said that his love and talent for music manifested in all that he did from his childhood days. His regret was that he could not be employed by any of the schools as a music teacher because he had no academic qualification in Music. He said that he had a university degree in Engineering.
I told him that I was surprised that his talent for music and passion for teaching it to children were not given consideration in his choice of the course he studied in the university.He said that it was difficult to convince people around him when he made his career choice that music was a lucrative career. When I asked him this one question I always ask people with such talent/passion versus academic qualification inconsistency, I got the same answer I always get.
“If it were possible to turn back time so that you can have another opportunity to make your choice of a university course, which one will you choose engineering or music?” I asked.
“I will choose to study music” was his solemn and resolute reply.
Optimal career choices are made if people are developed along career paths that they are cut out for. Every career has unique opportunities, challenges and rewards. Without passion, unnecessary emphasis is placed on reward to the detriment of career fulfilment. For a person whose career is properly blended with his/her talent and passion,
- Career opportunities are easily identified and harnessed.
- Passion and competence provide the inner strength to cope with every career challenge.
- Financial reward is achieved in addition to the higher reward of innate satisfaction for accomplishing the essence of life.
Parents should therefore be properly guided when providing support to their children in the area of career choices.
-Uchenna N. nduka