“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” (Confucius)
Do you know anyone who falls in the above category? More importantly, do we ensure that we, our children, or our students are given the space to select a future job in line with our moral values, exciting interests, or natural aptitudes?
Amusingly, for most working individuals, Monday is a Doomsday. Right from the President of the company down to the janitor, nobody loves their employment. For years we have witnessed the workforce drag their feet to work and return home battered, not ready to engage with any human in sight. Yet, we insist that this pattern should be repeated generation after generation.
As Muslims, we believe in Qadr (destiny). Our spiritual guidance (Hidayat) and the material sustenance (Rizq) has been penned down by Allah’s (swt) command. So how do we decide on a career? Spiritually, our task is to recognize and obey Allah (swt) and follow Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) golden path of principles. Intellectually, we need to observe and discover our untapped abilities and reach our best potential.
For some, the capabilities are quite evident and lead to obvious future profession – for example, a child with exceptional kinesthetic energy can be a future sportsman; a child with a sensitive soul, keen observation skills and strong sense of justice can become an activist.
For the late bloomers, life can be an adventurous unfolding mystery. If they are blessed with patient and trusting parents and facilitating mentors that introduce them to different flavours of life, we might just have a star in the making. But in absence of this, the child can be savagely branded as a worthless loser or aimless failure.
“Career counselling is a process that will help you to know and understand yourself and the world of work in order to make career, educational, and life decisions.” (Boise State University)
What may not work so well today are dynasty professions: doctors insisting on their children becoming doctors, lawyers persuading their kin to adopt a legal career, and so on.
Likewise, these are times of self-learning. A multitude of tutorials is available online to teach anyone who has the passion, patience and skill waiting to be explored. This is also an age of integration. Professions are no longer cut out in molds; rather, one gels into another comfortably.
Passion driven skills have found a new life. One does not require a formal degree from any institution to prove their worth. Natural talent combined with basic entrepreneurship training is sufficient for establishing a small home-based business.
As for Pakistan, our top emerging career opportunities for 2021 are in the fields of medicine (cardiology and neurology), engineering (mechanical and computer), finance and accounts, information technology, and creative design. Chartered accountants are paid the highest remuneration. Other industries, such as media science, journalism, law, psychology, sports or culinary arts, are equally thriving and show great opportunities of growth.
The following areas should be developed in the next thirty years: space sciences, high-tech agriculture, robotics, and education. Pakistan should focus on encouraging entrepreneurship and new industries.
Lastly, no matter which career we opt for, our prayer to our Lord, the Ultimate and the only Provider should be: “I ask you for knowledge that is of benefit, a good provision and deeds that will be accepted.” (Ibn Majah)
This prayer has a beautiful sequence to it. Our education, our earning, and our conduct all should be Halal.