The Cross Roads in Our Career Development

Choosing a career is still one of the most juggled processes amongst young people, and more so those who have just finished high school. The puzzle is interconnected with many influences ranging from economic factors, the teacher’s advice , job opportunities, acquired grades, curriculum, peer pressure, what’s trending, parents decision, family lineage, personal desires, just to mention but a few.
The youth need early coaching and mentoring in their career development.

This is a process if not closely monitored, the youth end up doing what they don’t love. I urge the youth to get certified with reputable institutions which will increase their chances of getting a slot for job interviews, whilst not forgetting to work on developing their competences. We need to embrace an infinite process of innovation and creativity in all industries. Many people today have the right certification for the job as advertised, but the question is how many are competent for that same job is the tricky part that is difficult to capture in the interview process.

Many things that boost or build our competencies were not taught in our schooling lifetime and this why we should have an infinite learning curve towards innovation, creativities and technical application to our career choices. I thank Amani Institute in Nairobi, Kenya and the Do school in Hamburg, Germany for instilling new approaches to my learning curve as a social entrepreneur., I loved the personal coaching, the fun, the teamwork and their entire philosophy towards addressing the gaps in the education sector and promoting a new generation of leaders and social change makers.

So the question is how do I build on my competence for my career choice? This a good question that every young person needs to ask themselves. My take is that work experience can be acquired through being employed, intern-ship, personal projects, freelancing, paid small assignments, volunteering, pro-bono assignments, working on a team project etc. The goal is to acquire skills and experiences while building a portfolio (Tell and Show Rule).

Ok, lets come back to our main topic of career choices, cross roads and development. Lets us compare and contrast a few quotes which sometimes might be misleading in the career development process if not followed with an open mind.
Nobody is perfect versus practice makes perfect. If no one is perfect why practice? Mmh! This is the misleading thought towards the two quotes.
Jack of all trades master of none versus you need to wear more than one hat to survive.

You get want I mean now? And, there are many more from people telling you don’t do this and that. My advice is, love what you do and do what you love. There are many possibilities of learning many things in the same career of your choice and specialization comes later in the process after learning the fundamentals in your field of choice.

Here is my example: I’m a web /graphic designer, web developer, Blogger, social entrepreneur and IT trainer plus many others things that I love doing. You need a mastery of your own timelines and wish all, and do what you love to do, just a word of caution don’t spread yourself too thin in almost everything as you will be overwhelmed and get a burn-out. Mastery is key and it is a process which requires patience in learning about yourself (inner voice, power, strength, discovery etc).

In the society we have, for example, Web masters and creative directors who are people with a good grasp and mastery of the field of operation which they have gained after accumulated experiences over a period of time. I believe in learning multiple subjects while you develop your road map towards specialization, even though some career combination is suicidal. Like for example.

I don’t think you can combine being a doctor and film producer at the same time, but a film producer can still operate cameras, create story boards, edit and actually manage the entire process and this is what I’m talking about mastery of a subject which increases your efficiencies, a chance for employment and starting your own business.

Ok, back to my real life example of how I developed or am still developing my career to emphasize my pointers. My career choice is interlinked or interwoven; I have to learn more than one subject, and each subject is deeply rooted to other small sub links, and links to the products that I seek to develop with the acquired skills and knowledge.

toolbox toolbox_shaped

A T-shaped person: The concept of T-shaped skills, or T-shaped persons is a metaphor used in job recruitment to describe the abilities of persons in the workforce. The vertical bar on the T represents the depth of related skills and expertise in a single field, whereas the horizontal bar is the ability to collaborate across disciplines with experts in other areas and to apply knowledge in areas of expertise other than one’s own. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-shaped_skills

I just finished this website www.wilsen-initiative.org and www.kilimanjarofilm.org/blog
Please check them out; to finish the projects a lot of time, knowledge and skills went into the following;

  • Graphic design ( color scheme, layouts, Info graphic and slices).
  • Web development ( CSS, HTML, JQuery, Forms, Joomla and Structure).
  • Photography ( Shooting, retouching, cropping, storytelling and selecting)
  • Copy writing (Content production).
  • Project management ( communication, follow ups, timelines)

Check out more about my work at www.wilsenx.com and www.behance.net/wilsenx . I wish you all the best in your career mapping process (development).

Quick tips: Join learning networks, personal learning, and research, follow your interests and passion, keep it real and have the ME time, do a project, create time and learn from other people’s work etc.

Written by; Wilson Masaka
Wilsen Initiative (Wi) Founder

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