This post was originally published on ciibroadcasting.com
By Fatima Haffejee
Having spent almost 10 years of my life teaching, I can safely say that even without intending to, I made the right choice. I never (EVER) thought I would one day be the sort who would teach, but in retrospect I realize how my career had, in its own way, ‘chosen’ me.
In all this time though, I never once looked back wishing I had chosen a different part. These 10 years have been a trudge in the mud, but whilst I was shaken and stirred, I was also establishing myself as someone who knew how to do her job.
Since then I’ve dabbled in several other career options (namely, Journalism) but none can contend with the passion I have for teaching. Every time I’ve tried to set myself apart from it, I keep coming back to it and it took me a few years to realize that I can’t detach myself from something that is an extension of who I am.
Choosing a career is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make in your adult life, and for that reason, I don’t deem it appropriate to be left for the last minute.
Many students who are indecisive make use of career guidance via a counsellor. Whilst this may prove beneficial in helping you ascertain whether you decision is best suitable to your personality, the ultimate decision maker is you.
Here are some guidelines to help you in your selection process.
1. Keep to your strengths
I was fortunate (and somewhat insane) to be able to dabble in a few careers, whilst committing to one. Not everyone is afforded that opportunity.
Rather commit to being a master at one trade, than a Jack of a few. If you’ve fond of animals, see whether you’d be interested in pursuing a career as a Veterinarian for example. Look at your strong points and work from there.
More often than not, we perform better at something that we naturally enjoy as opposed to something that we have to make an effort to do. The better we perform our job, the better the position we will be in to benefit the Ummah advises productivemuslim.com
2. Remember the acronym I.I.M.S
Is it Muslim suitable?
While some may have dreams of becoming a world renowned rap artist, a footballer like Ronaldo, or a scientist of note, it is vital to ensure that your chosen option is Shariah approved.
‘The effort to earn a living is not only not against spirituality, it is a religious obligation!’
The most part of your life (especially for Males) will be spent in earning an income. It is imperative to ensure that the income received is of halaal means and to avoid any sort of contamination.
IbnMas’ood (R.A) narrates that Rasulullah (S.A.W) said, “A slave (of Allah) who acquires haraam wealth and gives charity from it, it is not accepted from him. If he spends from it, he does not have any blessing (barakah) in it. If he leaves it behind him (i.e. he dies) it will be a means of taking him to the fire (of Hell). Verily, Allah does not wipe out evil deed with evil deed; instead, He wipes out evil deed with good deed. Indeed, the repulsive does not wipe out the repulsive.” (Musnad Ahmad, Sharh As-sunnah; MishkaatulMasaabih pg. 242, Qadeemi)
3. Get some ‘real life’ experience
It’s so easy to be fooled by the media’s impression of specific careers. Television programs depict a point of view that is one-sided and we can often be beguiled by their interpretation of the ‘real world’.
Job shadows, internships and temporary assignments give you a realistic view of a day in the life of a profession.
As a result you’d be able to make a decision having already experienced being in the industry. Although it is important to remember that one week, or a couple of days, in your selected field isn’t the same like working there for the most part of a lifetime.
4. Don’t disregard the opinion of those who matter
Mainly, your parents.
When it comes down to it, nobody knows you better than they do.So you might be strong minded, assured of your decision but regardless of this, make it a point to discuss your choices with them and ask them whether they deem it suitable for you.Parents can sometimes reject your decision based on their own subjective fears. Give them a listen, try to understand where they’re coming from and decide whether you’re able to break through fears.Since you’ll be the one working towards that career, you’re the ultimate decision maker. But it is worthwhile lending an ear to those who have your best interest at heart.