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fatimaheadshot2By Fatima Kazee, fulltime mum to Imaad (8), Zayn(6) and Zahreen (3), part-time wife to fisherman husband Aadil. She’s addicted to sneakers anything chocolatey &  is an invaluable part of the Jozikids and Kznkids team.

I was recently approached by a family member whose daughter is finishing school this year.  She thought it would be a good idea for me to give her some career guidance…. Beeeg mistake!  Not because I’m not qualified to give such advice, in my infinite wisdom, but because what I had to say was not entirely what she wanted her daughter to hear.

When I was finishing school, the idea in my head was that no matter what, I had to go to university and I had to study something immediately.  So off I went and studied law. (Yes friends, I am a qualified attorney, surprise, surprise!)  And all through my studies and my articles, I absolutely hated it.  It just didn’t fit well with me and I found that I didn’t give it my all as I was unhappy doing it.  I have many friends that I studied with that are thriving and making a huge success of themselves but for me, it was a completely wrong choice.  There are many people that I meet that still suggest that I start practicing again when all my kids are school-going, somehow it’s just not my thing.

So what is my thing?  I actually still don’t know.  There are many things I enjoy doing, but making a career out of eating chocolate unfortunately doesn’t seem viable!   I guess it’s not a waste having studied something and not be practicing it as I always have the possibility of returning to it, if the need ever arises.  What I do know is that as I finished school, there wasn’t anything that I particularly would have liked to pursue.  It would be great if all of us were like the X Factor contestants that just knew since they were 5 that they were born to be singers (some of whom I seriously beg to differ with) but that’s not the reality.

So my advice to her was to take a gap year. Her mom reacted with, “No ways!

That’s a waste of a year!”  Not really.  The gap year would not be to sit around the house sponging off her parents but to take some time doing work in different fields to find out what what she feels fulfilled doing,  what makes her wake up each morning not with dread but with a sense of excitement.

I know many people who go to a job everyday simply because they have responsibilities and they need to bring home the bacon (or macon, in our case).  My better half for example would much rather be spending his days making fishing documentaries but how would we make ends meet if he did this? I’ve been able to make the change to something I love. I’ve becoming a website administrator (sounds important right?!) at the same time as being a full-time mum, so it is possible.  I do  however, feel a pinch of guilt for spending so many years doing something I hated.

So at the end of our conversation, we all agreed that my ‘advice’ came through experience and that it may be a good idea to take a year off, to explore a world where the possibilities are endless.

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