Pressures From Parents on Choosing a Career Path

Parents (Nigerian parent especially) have a way of forcing their children to go to a particular field of study mostly because of their selfish interest. It all starts from the secondary school level where one has to choose a particular department (either Science, Art, Social science or Commercial) which would be the determinant of career choice later in the future.

Most times, the supposed fame attached to a career is the reason why some parents want their children to go for it. The ‘Medical doctor’s mum’, ‘lawyer’s dad’ thing or probably a father that has a company and wants his son to take over the company’s management when he retires. Or a parent that aspired to be something but couldn’t, due to some reasons and wants the child to become or take up the career they couldn’t.

Choice of career determines destiny and an understanding of purpose helps to know what field of study to go.

Using myself as an example here; when I got to SS1 and was to choose the department I would go, I actually had science class in mind because I wanted to become a medical doctor but the choice is still not limited to me. The school has to place us in the department based on our JSS3 exam, so when the result was out, I was placed in Art class. I was confused at first and later decided to stay in Art class not because I didn’t want to become a medical doctor again but because my decision to be a medical doctor wasn’t a firm one.

My parents did not really force me into being in a particular department. Whatever I wanted was okay by them but my mum actually wanted me to become a nurse because she aspired to be one but couldn’t become one. She advised me to see a senior friend for counseling so I could decide on whatever I wanted. On seeing the person, I told him I still wanted to be a medical doctor but I could manage in art class too (though I didn’t have a career choice in mind to pursue as an art student).

I had spent a week plus in Art class before I went to meet my school’s counselor that I wanted to cross to science class. He said I would be placed on probation for the term and afterward, it would be decided if I would have to return to Art class or remain in science class. I wasn’t doing very well in Science class especially with the core subjects (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) but I managed and scaled through. I don’t know if I might have done any better in Art class. After my SSCE and I was to pick a course to study at the university, I chose nursing but the school offered me Chemistry and here I am doing very fine as a Chemistry student.

Even myself couldn’t have imagined I would study one of the courses I had difficulty with in secondary school.

That was how mine went.

Now, it isn’t about disobeying your parent but about giving your best to all you do. Let them know what you want and be good at it so they won’t have any choice but to let you go for what you desire.

If your parents still do not agree with you, try the following;

  • Explain to them patiently and let them know why you want to be what you want.
  • Speak with an elderly person that can help you convince them.
  • Pray to God to help you convince their heart if you are sure that is exactly what God wants for you.

If after trying these options, they still do not agree and you are left with no choice but to do as they want, then do it and then go for whatever you wish afterward. And probably if it can be merged together, do it for peace to reign.

Most importantly, whatever you know how to do, do it best, give it all it takes and see yourself prosper!

Related: Should I Study What My Parents Want or What I Want?

Have you ever had to change your career path because of your parents? Please share your experience in the comments below. 

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