Ask any young person, they have an idea of what they would want to become when they grow old. Many times, the aspired career is informed by the people around us. When you are growing up, you see the teachers smart, wearing clean clothes which many of the people only put on during big days like Christmas or Eid. Many young people at one time, fall in love with the teaching profession. As they grow, however, they change… Yet, over 80% of children do not become what they aspired to become while growing up. Why?
With more information, better choices. To win, empower your children with more information and options, and not limited information and options.
When young people see the self-employed like carpenters and mechanics, always have a motorcycle parked nearby and are always making things, busy with their hands and legs—go-to professionals, are always amiable. You admire their ability to be busy. To stay fit. And then the Doctors. Those folks everyone listens to and does as they ask. I could go on and on.
Many children tend to first love the career choices of their parents. Because that is what they know. Whether the parents succeeded or not, the children find comfort in following in Dad’s shoes or Mummy’s ways.
In Uganda, a career in politics is paying good compared to any other profession, people are now aspiring to become politicians. The already qualified experts are joining politics. The few who seem to want to become specialists – Engineers, Accountants, Lawyers, Doctors, etc…are doing so because they want to easily join politics as successful professionals. You are just a better “Politician” who is an Engineer or Lawyer or Accountant. These classifications are not being used merely for steppingstone. Many certificate holders are now embracing politics, no matter than the law sets the qualification for the elective office so low, not to discriminate based on classroom academic firepower.
Now many children of politicians, after seeing in full color, how it is easy to make money in politics, are fighting hard to win a Parliamentary seat. These are some of the people making politics bloody. They have tasted the good life of a career politician. As their parents grow old, they cannot imagine throwing away such a great life, given the connections and opportunities already available if only they could make it to Parliament! It is good when you see young people embracing politics. The question is whether they promise something new. Is it politics of ideas or the politics of parentage? It is a big problem when many people aspire to become politicians to access national coffers other than distributing the national coffers evenly for national transformation.
Career choices remain a challenge. Which career does offer personal success and fulfillment in a country like Uganda? Do you need to pursue a specific career anyway?
Even with the Coronavirus pandemic that has heightened the criticality of the medical profession, our Doctors are paid peanuts compared to the Politicians. Almost all other professionals recorded a significant loss of revenue except the Politicians. How do we sustain an economy like that?
Passion aside (for I know not all politicians are passionate about politics), which career should one advise their young ones to pursue?
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.