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How to Select a Career and Stay Focused

Counselors' Tips

Whiteboard

You don’t necessarily have to use a whiteboard. You can substitute this with phone apps or desktop calendars, but I personally found greater success with whiteboards, and to this day I still have them in my office.

Write down your daily tasks as well as larger projects due later. If you have an exam coming up, put it on your board with a star reminding you to study for it.

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How to Select a Career and Stay Focused - About Islam

The idea is to organize yourself and create a visualization that acts as a reminder.

In addition to having a whiteboard up on your wall (near a location you will work), you can utilize phone reminders to alert you for study time.

The trick is you have to actually listen to the reminder and immediately stop watching Netflix and go study.

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Pace Yourself

This is a marathon not a race.

If you are pursuing a 4-year-degree, then don’t expect you can push 90-hour weeks for years or go to the point where you have chronic back aches.

You need time to take a break, recharge, and come back stronger.

You will perform better in school if you learn to consistently pace yourself rather than occasional sprints of energy and work after periods of procrastination.

Remember Your Reason

During those times you are struggling, remember why you are pursuing this education and career in the first place. Is this meant to support your family and, inshallah, your child one day?

Is this meant to provide financial security for your home? Will this type of career field be pleasing to Allah (Most glorified and revered), thus a means to please Him and work for reward?

These reasons are your anchors, giving you strength and hope when it seems difficult.

Make a poster to hang in your room with inspirational quotes or pictures related to your reasons and goals.

Final Thoughts

It is important to examine your unique situation and determine what the best route is for you.

Everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses, as well as life situations that will determine which career and education best suit them.

For some of us, we end up changing our degree path or deciding to go back to school after we are an adult.

No matter what your situation or motivation, you can achieve your career and school goals, insha-Allah, as long as you remain committed and always seek help from Allah (Swt).

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This article is from our archive, published on an earlier date and highlighted here for its importance.

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About Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website "MoniqueHassan.com"