(By Francis O. Nmeribe)
What we choose to do with our lives, the careers we pursue, whether imposed upon us by patronizing parents and senior siblings or chosen by ourselves also defines what we would get from life.  Our careers would bear heavily on whether we end up happy or frustrated with our lives.

SOMEyears ago, nobody asked a young person which career he or she would like to pursue.  Parents and senior siblings most of whom had no inkling about the passion and drive of the youngster whose life was being decided upon made career decisions.  These decisions were made based on the supposedly monetarily lucrative careers or careers that connoted honor such as in medicine, law and engineering to mention but a few.  Even to this date, many parents, including the educated elite still brazenly or covertly try to choose careers for the children.

One of my lecturers in the university recounted how his father nearly disowned him when he learned that he had gained admission to read philosophy.  The old man lamented that his son was ending to no good given that he had never heard of anybody find food to eat as a philosopher.  Well, philosophy was the course of study that suited my lecturer.  He loved teaching.  He is very good at it and all of us who passed through him loved his ability to deliver in class and in research and presentations.  He has since gained several degrees in philosophy, is now a professor and travels round the world lecturing and writing books. As a person, my lecturer is highly fulfilled.

What we choose to do with our lives, the careers we pursue, whether imposed upon us by patronizing parents and senior siblings or chosen by ourselves also defines what we would get from life.  Our careers would bear heavily on whether we end up happy or frustrated with our lives.

Because of the important role our career choices play in our lives, it has become critical that these issues be well considered by all and sundry, especially the youth who have the burden of the future on their shoulders.

Here are major considerations for career choice, which every youth should factor: Purpose, Passion and Service.

The purpose of life

A purpose also means the reason for.  Generally speaking, the purpose of life is to learn to be happy.  On a personal note, the purpose of your life in the material sense is your perceived reasons for your life, which becomes meaningful only when you can align your perceived reason for your material life with your innate desire to be happy.  Everyone must discover his or her personal purpose in life to be able to be successful in achieving it. There are strategies for discovering your life’s purpose.  It is recommended that as you consider or plan your career path or change your present career, you first work to understand the purpose of life and your personal place in it.

When people engage in careers outside their personal angle of the purpose of life, they end up unsatisfied with life and may end up with mental and physical health challenges that take away the joy and peace they would have had in their lives.

Your passion

The most positive synonyms of passion are fervor, excitement, enthusiasm, ardor and zeal.  Passion is also connected to love.  If while choosing a career you look inwards and find out those activities of life you are excited about or things we love to do, you would be making very wise and empowering career decisions.  When people pursue a career on a subject area to which the only connection they have with it is that it makes lots of money or has social status, one is headed for a life of misery.  We are all endowed with some innate passion connections to all that we can do while on earth.  The key to success is to find that linkage between what we want to be and what we love to do.  There are strategies for finding one’s passion in life and for connecting same to the choice of career we pursue.  You may engage coaches to hold you accountable in your efforts to discover and follow your passion.  On the other hand, you can research for these strategies yourself, study and practise them with equal or reasonable hope of success.

Those at the crossroads of finding their purpose and passion or deciding which career path they would like to follow to achieve the true enrichment of their lives are highly encouraged to engage coaches.  A good coach would do better for you than you could do for yourself in discovering, pursuing and really living your purpose and using your passion to identify the career path that would lead you to successful living.

Service as key to power

Often, we fall into the trap of looking for lucrative career paths.  We focus on careers that are known to have made lots of money for those who were in it.  This is one of the most common mistakes of those seeking a career path or a change in their careers.

The real key to choosing the right career either as a young start up person or those planning to change their careers is to focus on serving the people.  Seek out what people need and find ways within your passion and purpose to provide it for them and they would pay you handsomely for it.

When you serve people, they depend on you.  When you serve people well, they wait for you.  When people wait for you to guide them, you have power to guide them in such ways that would put money into your bank account.

One popular dictum with service is that if you give 20 people something for free, you have actually set out to have 100 people pay you for the same service.  What if you give that same thing free to 100 people?

All the multi-millionaires and successful people you admire got their power, success and money by providing other people with what they want and getting paid for it.

Therefore, as you consider a career path, think about what you can do well with your bare hands and intellect.  Identify them clearly by writing them down on a paper or journal or notebook or in your computer.  Then look around your neighbourhood for those who might use the idea or skill or service you have created or developed.  Take it to them and offer it for free and you would be surprised with what would happen in just a matter of months that you started.

All who must come to success and power must be servants first.  Succeeding as a servant is the sources of obtaining the stewardship of power, success and money.

In the next edition, we would be discussing how to know and establish your purpose in life and make it a tool in your success kit.

• Francis O. Nmeribe is an industrial security practitioner, personal transformation coach and author, lives in Lagos.

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”