Careers with a Purpose!

Careers with a Purpose!

By: Manell Queen Aquino

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” This is a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, a political figure, diplomat and activist who served as the longest-serving first lady of the United States of America. In this life, we all strive to strike a balance and search for our purpose, the greater good, to which we can pattern our goals and ambitions in life. Whatever we do in life, it all boils down to doing something which caters to our interests, passions and advocacies, which will then give us a sense of fulfilment in the long run.

Programs and activities such as career exploration and mapping are really helpful, especially for students who are still trying to discover and acknowledge what they aspire to do for their careers. One program offered by Junior Achievement of the Philippines, Inc. (JA PH), together with Verizon, FactSet and SGV is JA Careers with a Purpose!, which helps Grade 11 and Grade 12 students in preparing for work and professional life by focusing on key aspects and subjects such as social studies, business, consumer economics, reading, writing and mathematics.

“You make your own decisions and build your own destiny, I’ve learned all of this because of the help of this program and the only thing left to do is to take actions for your future and everything you value to achieve your career goal.” – Vincent Jann Cantar, Careers with a Purpose! participant.There will be various sessions throughout the program that will cover and discuss the basics and fundamentals needed to be work and future-ready.

Session 1 tackles the meaning of sense of purpose. Through this session, students and participants are expected to know more about themselves and to relate their skills and interests to their career plans, goals and ambitions. As individuals, we all have certain things we are really passionate about, and it might take time to be given the avenue and opportunity to hone and develop it. We also have inborn skills and talents that might be our secondary language of expression, a key to interaction with the outside world. May it be singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, baking, painting, drawing, arithmetic computation, scientific inquiry, sports and other fields, we all have activities that we like to do. It’s not easy to identify these talents and might take more time to grow with it. Skills and talents are also differentiated during this session. In this session, students are expected to come up with potential career goals and the necessary and relevant skills they need in order to achieve these goals.

Session 2 deals with a more relatable and practical scenario. It enables the students to determine and find out what they value most in their lives. Even as students, we have a hierarchy of the things and principles that we value which will play a big role in our future career path and aspirations. There will be supplementary materials such as different scenarios and video presentations to help sort out priorities by establishing values which affect decision-making.

Session 3 differentiates the concept of jobs and the concept of careers. While these two ideas are interchangeable, it can be differentiated by the worker’s purpose. While we need both in order to be successful in our chosen fields, careers are often a lifetime commitment. Having a career is having not only a job that becomes the primary source of income but also fulfilling your initially set goals and purpose. Whereas, a job is considered something you do in order to have a compensation or payment which can cover your financial needs. There are also transitional jobs, or jobs which you use as stepping stones in order to land something different from your starting job. Different materials will also be presented to explain the ideas of jobs and career further.

Session 4 deals with what happens when someone lands a job. While the preparation process can be tedious for applicants, landing a job is also a different world that needs to be chartered. There are also different sets of responsibilities for people as workers, employees, managers and even business owners. Beyond what we already know about ourselves, there are usually more layers and aspects to understand such as the pathways, intended career path and even work ethics and structure to consider.

Session 5 tackles the decision-making process. In the professional world, there are decisions that have to be made that might require thorough thinking or spur of the moment decisions. Careers with a Purpose! explains the decision-making process and the things needed to be considered in coming up with a decision. In making a decision, there should be proper regard on the pros and consequences, relation to skills and purpose and deep analysis of the possible implications of the choices that will be adapted and followed. Decision-making skills depend on the situation and are circumstantial by nature, which is why the program prepares different activities and scenarios to help participants apply what they learn about decision-making.

Session 6 highlights the code of conduct and how individuals should act and speak accordingly. The code of ethics is a guide and code of conduct to help an individual know what should and should not be done at work. As members of the society, there are laws, rules and regulations we have to follow to avoid sanctions and punishments imposed and to establish rapport and harmonious relationships with other members of the community. This also holds true for the workplace. Businesses and employers create and enforce rules and regulations to maintain workplace peace and harmony and guide the employees in making the workplace a safe space.

Lastly, Session 7 is all about taking action and applying all the learnings and lessons learned from the previous sessions. By this time, it is expected that participants will have a better understanding of who they are and what they aspire to do for their careers. Coming from previous getting-to-know-me sessions and activities, the participants will be more driven to pursue their passion; to make necessary steps in building and achieving their personal goals through the help of standards and measures in the workplace.

The value of the event is not only limited to the participants. Volunteers who also shared their experiences and insights also have their own takeaways. The impact of Careers with a Purpose! transcends beyond the event itself. It paves the way to a bigger and greater purpose, to help people make better career choices which are aligned with their goals and values.

“I’m Abs Balatbat. It’s been a pleasure to have been given a chance in this event by JA to share my choices and the decisions which I have made in my career given the path laid out before me. I’m grateful to have shared my experiences to the next generation of professional leaders and I’m truly excited to see them succeed and be a better version of generations before them. Keep moving forward!” – Vincent Jann Cantar, Careers with a Purpose! volunteer. Activities like this help align the plans and priorities of a person. It is always a good idea to plan ahead, even as students, to map out possible challenges and roadblocks along the way and address them accordingly. At the end of the day, we are all capable of choosing our own path, it is all just a matter of knowing our purpose and aligning our goals.