It was close to 14:00hours on Friday when I saw one of the University of Zambia (UNZA) youthful students carrying a huge greenish book while walking towards Natural Sciences’ Biology Building.
The light complexioned young man appeared sorrowful and humble. ‘Is that a laptop bag you are carrying in your hands?’ being impressed with the huge size of that textbook, I asked him to initiate a discussion with him.
Such a big book reminded me of my good days at Chadiza Secondary School because it made me recollect the Physics textbook by Abbot which used to intimidate those who weren’t takin Physical Sciences as only those in Form 4A and Form VA took such sciences.
The soft spoken young man looked at the book he was carrying in his left hand. He now carried it in both his palms while showing surprise on his humble face; wondering whether it looked like a laptop bag or just a textbook.
‘Biology’ he said with his soft voice while, with his right hand, pointing at the white letters ‘Biology’ on the greenish cover of the book.
‘What major topics do you study in this Biology course? Do you include animal and plant life?’ I asked to learn more about this Biology he was studying while trying to compare the Botany and Zoology studies I did at Zambia College of Agriculture (ZCA) in Monze district of Southern province almost three decades ago.
‘This one involves Molecular Biology and …’ he continued while I was lost in what he cataloguing because it was the Biology I have never studied in my life before.
Then, he continued telling me that he was studying that course after not writing examinations in some courses; including in Biology because his mother suffered a stroke; and later passed on. He explained that he was so disturbed with the loss of his mother that he was unable to write examinations in other courses after such an incident.
The young man who I didn’t ask for his name asked me what I was studying myself at UNZA. I told him that although I was studying something somewhere, I was at UNZA main campus at that time because I was facilitating in some courses in Journalism and Mass Communication and Public Relations programmes’ related courses during Information and Communication University(ICU)’s residential school.
I went on saying that I admired young men and women like him studying sciences like Biology, Physics and Mathematics which can be too tough for me and some other people.
‘You know, Sir, just as people differ in their faces, even the way their personal brains are inclined to certain things also differ. God created some people in such a way that he or she is able to understand certain things better than other things and than other people;’ he explained in his soft voice on his humble face.
He said those who study sciences like him depend on those who study or studied other programmes in other fields such as Marketing, Accounting, Mass Communication, Geography, History, Engineering, etc for various information needs and services.
‘If we were all scientists without those who did different programmes in other fields, the world wasn’t going to be balanced;’ he said in his soft voice.
Learning about such intellectual explanation, I said to myself: ‘I am receiving a lecture from a young student.’ But because I have been explaining the same concept in some other ways to some people, I quickly thanked the young man for his well thought out spontaneous explanation to my observation and perception.
I then consoled him; and asked him to put aside the sad experience about the loss of his mother; and wished him God’s guidance for him to pass well in his Biology and other courses he said he would be writing examinations in next Monday.
Reaching UNZA’s Natural Sciences Biology Building, we parted company with this young man.
While looking down; and cogitating what this young man reminded me of, I said to myself: ‘Does everyone enjoy studying courses in his or her career choice the way that young man explained that each one’s brain is inclined to understand certain things better than other things? Does everyone, therefore, enjoy working in the career field he or she chose?’
Then, I remembered how we used to choose careers in those days. I also reflected on how career choices are done nowadays.
Guessingly, I concluded that, in the past, most people enjoyed studying their career choices; and therefore working in their careers more than most people do these days.
Such a conclusion came because most young men and women these days, study the field in which they have been accepted; and not necessarily what they like most as their career choice.
Some people choose careers where they are certain of getting employment upon graduating in that field.
This is why one finds that many young men and women like choosing teaching, nursing and other government related careers because they know that government will employ them upon graduation.
But the question still remains: ‘Does everyone enjoy studying or working in his or her career choice?’
Many experts on careers advise that one should choose a career where one has natural interests in. With passion for that career, one will have high self-motivation; and will be highly productive in that career when one is an employee for an organization or even when one is in self-employment.
If this is the case, why then do we have poor work culture in most people these days? The answer might still point to my guess that most people seem to be in wrong careers nowadays. It appears many people have no passion for their career choices.
Working in a field where you have passion is enjoyable. When one is working in a career where he or she has passion for, one cannot come late or develop poor work culture.
When you are late in a field where you have passion for, you will uncomfortable in your body. This is why one finds that some people go to their work places even over the weekends. If their workplaces restrict such people from working on holidays and weekends, some people with passion for their careers even start their own personal businesses to ensure that at all times in their lives, they are doing what they enjoy most: their career choice.
Unless otherwise, it’s too difficult to develop poor work culture or to be unprofessional in any way when you work in a field where you are naturally inclined and groomed.
For instance, at UZA Ridgeway Campus under Department of Adult Education and Extension Studies, we have one workmate, Abraham Mwanamainda whose passion for his work impresses every workmate and every student who he serves.
Mr Mwanamainda’s mood and work culture doesn’t fluctuate like we see in many other workers in this world. Each working day that comes, Mr Mwanamainda’s mood is always jovial and willing to serve anyone who needs his services at any time of the day.
As a result, his supervisors use him as a multi-purpose worker because he does whatever official assignment his supervisors gives him for they know that, as expected, good results will come out from Mr Mwanamainda on that assignment.
What is interesting in some people is that they can be in any career; but still do very well as if that is what God created then for. In short, some people naturally fit in many careers; and give an impression of having passion in whatever they do.
Therefore, in some cases, contrary to what that young man at UNZA’s Natural Science Biology Building told me and also repugnant to what I have also being saying to some people before, some people have argued that anyone can study anything as long as that person creates interest in that field or subject. It has also been argued that putting in more effort to understand what one is studying or to know one’s career can help one make wonders despite not being naturally inclined to that career field.
However, we have also seen some people who have tried to be interested in something they do; and have tried hard for many times to understand something; but have ended up failing altogether in that course or field. Such people have changed career choices and training in several fields. Are you one of such people? Do you know any person in such a boat?
Despite other arguments some people have raised, studying in a career where you have passion for increases your productivity and good work culture in employment. As a result, in the past; and even now with some supervisors and some employers, when some supervisors or an employer sees that you seem to be biased to certain functions, they would transfer you to that field where you seem to have great interest in; and sometimes such employers might even sponsor you for further training in the field where you demonstrate passion for.
Therefore, are you studying or working in the right career for you and the community to benefit more from your career?
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