Career guidance

Every human being needs a career to:  Earn a living, fulfill a demand for skilled labor, enhance his skills, Propagate knowledge and skills, Create wealth, Keep fit and healthy, make personal contribution to society and fulfill your purpose in life.

As a focused person you need to chase your dream careers by shutting out all distractions. You need to:

  • Have a specific goal-do not waste time, efforts and resources.


  • Visualize your goals-Create a mental picture of what you want to be and embrace what it takes to be there. You need to seek support from others and avoid short cuts of life. Vision is more than sight. See yourself in 5 years to come.


  • Be Determined-With this you can overcome challenges, obstacles your career path.



  • Have a good mentor. A mentor refers to a person who has succeeded in the field you want to pursue. He will influence you positively towards your goals.
  • Think positively-Never give in to discouragements thus attracting positive results…thoughts manufacture your future.
  • We must be visionary. Vision is more than sight.
  • Some people see things as they are and ask why? Others see as things as they could be and ask why not!  Robert F. Kenned


Five important questions everyone should ask of themselves

  1. Whom am I?………………..identity
  2. Where am I coming from?…………….belonging
  3. What do I have?……………..potential
  4. Why am I here?……………………purpose
  5. Where am I heading to?…………………destiny

Career Plan

Part 1:  Knowing Yourself

The first step in planning your career is evaluating and understanding your aspirations; strengths; interests; drivers and other influences.  Please indicate which aspects of the planning process you have evaluated:

  • My Key Strengths
  • My Technical Skills
  • My Work Values
  • My key fields of interest

Briefly record these here if you wish (optional)

_____________________________________________________________________________________For an objective assessment, seek guidance from others as well.  A discussion regarding your career aspirations, strengths and development needs during a performance review is regarded as a minimum.  Informal discussions throughout the year with various people are encouraged.

Who have you discussed your career with?

  • mentor
  • Professional Leader
  • Professional/clinical Supervisor
  • Educator
  • Tutor (at tertiary institution)
  • Mentor
  • Career Development professional
  • Other (please state) ___________________


Through your self-assessment you may have identified particular skills or areas of knowledge you wish to develop.  What are these?

Development Opportunities:


Part 2:  Explore Possibilities

Research the development possibilities and career pathways that are open and attractive to you.  Consider your  self- assessment outcomes and future health workforce needs.

Pathway Option 1: ______________________________________________________________

Prerequisites and requirements to achieve this option:


Pathway Option 2: ______________________________________________________________

Prerequisites and requirements to achieve this option:

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Pathway Option 3: ______________________________________________________________

Prerequisites and requirements to achieve this option:

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Part 3: Making Choices

Consider the suitability of each option and decide (with the assistance of the person you report to) which one is the best match to your aspirations and workforce needs.  Before making the decision, consider also:

  • What are the perceived barriers/obstacles and how can they be overcome
  • Outside of work commitments
  • The level of involvement required
  • Which of my options responds best to my employer and workforce needs?


Based on the choices you have made, and the development opportunities you have identified now write your goal(s).  Aim to make each goal as specific as you can.


Goal 1 _____________________________________________________________________________________Required to achieve goal 1: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Goal 2


Required to achieve goal 2: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Goal 3 _____________________________________________________________________________________Required to achieve goal 3: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Part 4: Make it happen

Who is your mentor?

In order to achieve your goals you need to have an agreed course of action.  You and your mentor need to have a clear understanding of what steps you will be taking, the commitment needed by both you and your manager and relevant timeframes.

You are now ready to detail who has to do what to make things happen.

Thinking about your strengths

Part One

This exercise will help you to build a picture about your life and professional preferences by reflecting about current and recent roles and responsibilities at work.

You may find it helpful to makes notes about the following.  (You may find it particularly useful to create you picture by using the mind mapping technique.  You can explore this technique by following the following web links and references):

If you have an up to date job descrption, role profile or completed appraisal, use them to explore the following:-

  1. From your point of view, what have you:
  • done well consistently?
  • particularly enjoyed doing ? (Often this is because you were doing it well)
  • innovated or initiated on your intiative or via encouragement from a colleague?
  • changed for the better?
  • designed or developed from scratch?
  • improved?


  • Shadowing

Generally speaking, shadowing entails observation of someone doing a job and watching what they do.  Time constraints mean that it is often for a relatively short period.  Best practice necessitates that individuals carries out some of the work of the  person they are shadowing. As well as being a good development tool it can also help networking and can facilitate the breaking down of barriers within and across organisation. As with most development the clearer you can be about want to get out of shadowing, the better.


  • Acting up

This occurs when a post is vacant for a short time and employees are given an opportunity to “act up in the post”.

  • Mentoring

A mentor is a person, usually in a more senior post, who will help to, advise, encourage and act as a role model for an employee. The mentor does not have to work in the same organisation and does not have to be in a more senior position. It is sometime possible to find a person to act as an informal mentor.

  • Secondments

A secondment is where an opportunity arises to work in another part of the organisation, or sometimes another organisation. It can be used where there is gap before a post is filled permanently or where there is need for someone to work on a project or in a department for a specified time. It is may be set up for relatively long periods, for example for six months.

Five questions you need to ask yourself

  1. Who am I? IDENTITY
  2. Where am I coming from? BELONGING
  3. What do I have? POTENTIALS
  4. Why am I here ?PURPOSE
  5. Where am I going? DESTINY

Career Types and Personalities

There are six broad career types in which different people fit. These are:

1.Realistic careers

These are the skills and technical-oriented jobs. Work here involves tangible and practical skills where people work with tools, machines, plants and animals. The people in these jobs are highly practical and physically strong. They often enjoy dealing with things rather than people. They are good in technical subjects such as:

Agriculture, Metalwork, Woodwork, Home science, Technical Drawing, Drawing and Design among others.

They excel in:

  • All kinds of engineering such as electrical mechanical and Agricultural engineering.
  • Wildlife management
  • Wood science and technology
  • Armed forces and related careers
  1. Investigative careers

The professionals here are scientific and laboratory-oriented. They have a high curiosity, intellectual input and empirical approach to issues. Their work involves analyzing facts, solving puzzles, dealing with charts, numbers, formulae, graphs and data processing. These people enjoy observing, studying, analyzing, interpreting and solving complex challenges.

They do well in leadership positions, social gatherings and activities.

They are good in:

  • Mathematics and the sciences
  • Business studies

They excel in:

  • Medicine
  • Architecture
  • Microbiology and related courses
  • Criminal investigations
  • Accounting, statistician analysis, money, financial and related fields
  • Veterinary, zoology and related fields
  • Computer science and information communication technology
  1. Artistic careers

Those who excel in these careers are arts-oriented, creative, expressive and aesthetically conscious. Their jobs involve a lot of imagination. Consequently, those who excel here are highly original, emotional, nonconforming, unconventional, independent, idealist and introspective. They take risks and like producing distinct products.

They are good in:

  • Languages
  • Literature
  • Drawing and design
  • Music

They excel in:

  • Drama and theatre arts
  • Graphic designing
  • Literary studies
  • Writing, painting and poetry
  • Acting
  • Home decorating, fabric designing
  • Photography, singing, drawing cartoons
  1. Social careers

These involve working with people. Those who excel here have an inner urge for helping others. They like training, informing, enlightening, arbitrating and organizing other people.

They are sociable, friendly, understanding, empathetic, generous, helpful, cooperative, responsible and hard working. Often, they are sober, welfare – minded and articulate.


They are good in:

  • Languages
  • Literature
  • Humanities

They can also be good in the sciences if they put more interest and effort in them.

They excel in:

  • Administration
  • Education
  • Law
  • Theology
  • Journalism and mass communication
  • Human and public relations
  • Political science and related fields
  • Counseling
  1. Enterprising careers

These careers involve influencing and persuading other people. There is a lot of goal and profit orientation in these jobs. Those who excel are enterprising, ambitious, talkative, argumentative and domineering people. They are also energetic, self-confident, optimistic, sociable, competitive, impulsive and persuasive. They enjoy chairing meet meetings and committees. Often they run for elected offices, head important functions and motivate others.

They are good in:

  • Mathematics
  • Business studies
  • Science

They excel in:

  • Business management
  • Sales and marketing
  • Hotel management
  • Politics
  • Industrial consultancy and related fields
  1. Conventional careers

The careers here involve highly orderly, routine and practical jobs. Often, there are some inflexible activities. Those who excel have a common denominator of being obedient, practical, calm and orderly. They are also efficient and conforming.

They are good in:

  • Business studies
  • Computer and office practice
  • Home science
  • Sciences

They excel in:

  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Auditing
  • Statistics
  • Inventory control
  • Store keeping
  • Secretarial
  • Office management and
  • Computer operations

Steps to follow when choosing a career

  1. Consider your interests, abilities and preferences.
  2. Seek information about the area you think you are interested in. The sources of information could be library, clubs, professional groups, and internet.
  3. c) Prepare for your career-choose the right subjects at secondary school that institutions of higher education require to train you in a particular career. The subjects that you take in school

form an important basis for your career choices.

  1. d) Develop universal skills-Irrespective of the career you choose, there are universal skills and qualities that you need. These include:
  • Computer literacy
  • Presentation skills (written & oral)
  • English language skills
  • Basic mathematics and numeracy skills
  • Intelligence
  • Self confidence
  • Willingness to accept responsibility
  • Innovation- be able to bring new ideas and suggestions.
  • Inter-personal skills- you need to be a team player.
  • Ability to handle conflict.
  • Honesty
  • Organization
  • Career ambition
  • Persuasiveness
  1. e) Keep updated on changes relating to the career of choice.

The persons as parents, teachers, and professionals in the field and university admissions persons can be of much help as well as internet. As a result, make the necessary adjustments.

There are numerous career opportunities in the various social-economic fields.

Students are advised to choose a career from the field they are interested in. They should also ensure they are good in the subjects relevant to the field. The following are the categories of careers;