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Make the right career choice

Written by Albert Pule
It’s that time of the year when many young people are starting to think about their future and careers that they would like to follow.

If you want advice on choosing or changing a career, the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Career Development Services (CDS) unit is the right place for you. 

The unit was officially launched in DHET in October 2014, the unit aims to give people of all ages, especially primary and high school learners, advice on how to choose a career.

“We are of the view that people need career development advice throughout their lives, even at primary school level when you need to be exposed to career information to give you an understanding of the choices you will have to make when you are older,” explained Letshego Mokeki, Project Manager of Career Development Services.

The unit not only targets primary and secondary school learners, but also people who would like to change careers.

“Some people get to 40 and realise that there are things they’ve always wanted to do and with the experience they’ve accumulated over the years, they can change careers. Our unit gives such people advice on the type of career they can choose.

“In fact, we even target people who are retrenched and would like to consider new career options.”

Since the service was initially started in 2010, the unit has played an important role in helping people choose their careers. Mokeki said initially the unit was not well received, but as time went on, it picked up.

“Like any new institution, when we started things were a bit slow, but in the past few years we’ve gained momentum.”

He adds that the unit reaches a substantial number of people through a career service helpline, school visits, exhibitions, open days and FET colleges and outreach events. 

Getting started: Choosing a career 

Decisions about choosing a career are important and must be taken with care and consideration.

There are a few things you need to consider when making a career choice:

  • Self-knowledge: People are different and look for different things in jobs. For example, there are people who are artistic and creative and will always look for an environment that encourages creativity.
  • Values and interests: You must know your values and interests. If you have an interest in money, you might want to choose a career in accounting; if you like helping people, you might want to choose a career as a social worker. 
  • The world of work: In addition to knowing yourself, you need to know the world of work and the career opportunities that exists in that world. This means you need to do basic research into the career that interests you.   

For more information:

Visit the National Career Advice Portal: http://www.careerhelp.org.za

The Career Development Services can be reached in the following ways:

  • Helpline telephone number: 086 999 0123
  • Helpline SMS/text message: 072 204 5056
  • Helpline fax number: 086 458 8172
  • Email: careerhelp@dhet.gov.za