Fill in the blank: (answer at the bottom)
Doctor, Lawyer, ________. If you were able to finish the sentence, you’ve probably heard a lecture or two from an older person in your life that was trying to steer you in “the right direction”. When presented in an orthodox African household, straying from a traditional career path tends to be met with a request for what Plans A-Z are in case you do not immediately land an amazing job in the field. In some cases, there would never even be an option to go a different way. A lot of the time, young people lack the motivation and courage to pursue their passions because they never received any encouragement from their parents or whoever they looked to for professional guidance. I have had the opportunity to meet dozens of people in my life that have been in this situation or something similar to it. Many, if not all of them, feel as if their story will never get told, but they know that while this is true, the story is somehow still relatable to a number of people. A conversation like this where we are discussing people’s future, pride, and happiness, should be approached from all angles. Students, young adults, student-athletes, and parents.
Here’s what they have to say:
Looking at the way young people are viewing their current professions and career paths should raise concern. Why is it that so many of them feel some form of resentment? As much as the world needs doctors, lawyers, and engineers, imagine if the world was filled with doctors that had no real passion for helping their patients, or lawyers who don’t truly care about their cases. Wouldn’t we love to see more workers that love what they do so much that they feel rewarded for it? Less obligation, more inclination. This type of future could be possible for the next generation of workers, so long as our perception that what is worthwhile is equal to what is traditionally lucrative, shifts. With the right education and unbiased information given to young people discovering their interests, we could see a positive transition for young adults that have a passion for arts, entertainment, sports, and even more things that we don’t give them a real opportunity to do now. A higher self-esteem and productivity rate, and fewer cases of imposter syndrome, are all within our reach with one change. The future is what we make it, let’s make it worth our while.
The answer: Engineer