Career development is one of the key factors that can inspire a country’s citizens to become productive and motivated.

This was one of the messages shared by General Manager of CHOICES Career and Education Advice, Angela deFreitas, as she addressed students and guidance counsellors from various secondary schools about the benefits of career development, at a training workshop held recently at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

The workshop was part of the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy (HRDS), which seeks to prepare students entering the world of work by assisting them to realise their personal aspirations, either as a skilled worker or an entrepreneur.

Based in Kingston, Jamaica, CHOICES was founded in 1997. Its mission is to promote the development of an educated, productive, and well-trained work force by disseminating information among young persons who wish to pursue higher learning and make informed decisions regarding career, education and life.

At the workshop, the training for guidance counsellors was entitled: Your Role in Your Students’ Career Choice, while students, were instructed on Choosing the Right Career for You.

Ms. deFreitas described career development as the path which a person should take in order to reach their goals and be satisfied in the job they choose. This journey should start as early as when students are selecting their subjects at school, she added.

The General Manager, who is also a Career Counsellor, also provided information about the RIASEC theory, which she described as one of the most effective techniques to choosing the right career.

“Under this theory, there are six different personality types: the Realistic are doers; Investigators are thinkers, Artistic are the creators, Social are helpers, Enterprisers are persuaders and Conventional are the organisers. What you need to do is recognise your personality traits and match them to careers or activities which best fit you,” she explained.

Ms. deFreitas also stressed the importance of “transferable skills”, which she termed as abilities which a person could take from one job to the next. “You must always identify and develop your transferable skills to make sure that you are always employable. These skills may be fun hobbies that you can do on a weekend or after work.

“If you don’t have a job, there is a possibility of developing those skills into a career and employing yourself and maybe a few other people as well, and that is good for the economy,” the Career Counsellor stated.

Although the workshop was held for students, Ms. deFreitas made it clear that career development was a cycle which continued into adulthood. She then shared one of her own personal theories for success.

“Determine who you are, what you need to be doing and how you are going to do it and the earlier you can determine your goals and get on to that path, the more likely it is that you will achieve success.”

The Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy is an initiative of the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, and the European Union.

Its aim is to develop a solid, basic education and promote lifelong learning as the foundation for every Barbadian’s personal and professional development.


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