Being a youth in South Africa is nothing short of an adventure with a few ups and downs here and there. And love, happiness, and regret.
As a young person you go through so many things. This includes realising your talents and interests. Through your journeys you may quickly realise that you are not sure if the path you selected is what you really want for yourself and your future.
Many young people have made many wrong decisions in their lives, including choosing the wrong career paths because of a lack of knowledge. Some of the few reasons this happens is the fact that many of our youth don’t know themselves. As the youth we tend to lack self-awareness, so this contributes in us making uninformed or erroneous decisions sometimes.
Social pressure is another reason why youth end up in career paths that might not make them very happy. Asking for advice and looking up to someone is not a bad idea but we need to realise that our decision for choosing a career path shouldn’t be based on what someone else said. We should take into consideration if the decision matches our personality, strengths and interests.
Peer pressure also plays a huge role in the youth not choosing the right career path. Just because a friend might have made it in a certain career does not necessarily mean it will work for you also as the youth, we tend to rush into things just to follow a certain style or trend.
These are only a few reasons out of very many.
The good news is that there are so many things can help the youth realise their potential and calling.
Career guidance is the process to help individuals acquire information, skills and experience necessary to identify career options and narrow these down to make a career decision. The process starts with a career assessment and extends to career counselling and support from a career expert. Career guidance is offered from grade 9 to 12, in addition to individuals searching for profession change.
Support from our elders
Support from our elders can play a very huge role in what we choose and how that turns out for us. If, for example, your parent will not allow you to choose a career path that you love, that might affect you in the future as you may hate your job one day.
Job shadowing can be used to help the youth explore career paths. It is an on-the-job way of learning, and an individual can quickly see what their future job might look like.
Mentoring from field pioneers
Offering mentorship is a great way for a young person to learn and develop themselves. Someone’s time and knowledge can do a lot for a young person who is hungry for knowledge. Quality mentoring relationships have positive effects.
With having support from all the necessary sources, it will bring peace of mind to the youth and probably pave their way for even bigger opportunities.
As we celebrate youth month let us think of all that can be done to uplift the youth of South Africa. No matter how small you think your contribution might be, you never know what a difference it can make in someone’s life.