How to find and nurture your career path in Cameroon

by | Sep 20, 2021 | SOCIAL | 3 comments

I remember vividly my first day in secondary school during the orientation of new form 1 students. We were each asked what we wanted to become in life. This is a classic question and I’m sure you were equally asked this question at some point in your childhood. The responses to this question at the teenage ages are quite the same. I want to be a lawyer, pilot, doctor, engineer, etc. I remember saying that I wanted to become an engineer. Fast forward to today, I am a businesswoman. So what happened between form 1 and now? Why do most people seem to end up doing something very different from what they dreamed about in their childhood? Who takes the blame? The school, parents, or the child? In this article we will explore how to find and nurture your career path in Cameroon.

Hardship and scarcity of opportunities in Cameroon is a real call for concern. The struggle to just get a job to survive robs our youths of their dreams and passions. Job security is what we are taught to prioritize. The options a typical Cameroonian youth have after A-levels or Bachelors degree are almost fixed and widely known. It’s almost either you write a concour, “fall bush”, or start selling something on social media. In the middle of this hardship and survival of the fittest mentality, dreams, thinking big and creativity flies off our minds. This survival mentality has far-reaching consequences. For example, we have many civil servants who got into civil service because they were after job security and the ”prestigious” matricule.  The lack of a culture of innovation and creativity in our civil service partly shows how most civil servants are after a matricule and not really the pursuit of a passion. It’s tempting to conclude that at this point, Cameroonians are just looking for the next thing they can do to make ends meet. 

In an ideal world, a child who dreams to be an engineer will be nurtured into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and guided to follow their passion in engineering.  Let’s say you care about a fulfilling and productive career, how do you find, nurture and make the most of your passions?

1. Identifying your passion

Passion is a word that is widely used and I think a lot of people misunderstand what the word means. Many people prefer to think of a passion as something you are born with. I find this very inappropriate. For me, passion is more like what you do that doesn’t feel like work. Something that when you do, you feel like time is speeding and you don’t even notice you are hungry. When you do something passionately, you easily enter the flow state. According to Wikipedia, a flow state, is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. How do you know you are not passionate about football if you have never tried playing it. My point here is that you need to be open-minded about passion. You can develop a new passion and you can lose a former one. Identify the things that feel like play for you but work for others – that is your passion. Combine your passion with some other skills to form specific knowledge. Specific knowledge is what gives you a competitive advantage in the job market or in business. 

2. Connecting your passion to your purpose

Your life purpose is one, unifying theme or idea that exemplifies your key goals in life, a theme that has been evident almost from the beginning of your life. It’s the specific way in which you engage with life that makes use of all that you are and draws on your unique experiences, talents, abilities, and interests in a way that helps you achieve your highest goals while being of service of others.”- Kathy Caprino [Featured on Forbes]

Find a way to channel your passion into projects that you find meaningful and fulfilling. This concept is hard for most people in Cameroon to make sense of because they mostly got into their various jobs primarily to survive. That is why most of these people hate Mondays and love Fridays. People who do a job they are passionate about and work in projects that are aligned with their purpose in life are happier, more productive, innovative, and creative. If you find this balance, you will never call your job work. It will feel like play!

3. Nurturing your passion

When you find your passion, the next thing is to keep it burning. Like your body that needs food, your passion needs to be nurtured with inspiring lessons and experiences. You need to grow the scope of your knowledge and understanding, identify gaps in knowledge and fill them. From my experience, some interesting ways to nurture your passion include reading books, blog posts, tweets, and social media posts, watching videos on YouTube, and documentaries around the subject of interest. Also, networking and talking to peers and senior people in the field can spark curiosity and hence enhance your passion. Overall, practice, practice, and practice.

4. Play the long game

At this point, let’s assume that you are a youth in Cameroon who has identified his/her passion. You will need to determine whether you will work for someone else or start your own thing. Whatever path you chose, ensure that you accelerate on your learning curve. Your goal should be to leverage your passion to quickly become exceptional in whatever you do. Turn your passion, skills, and knowledge into great products, unrivaled services, and extraordinary leadership. To achieve this, you will need to play the long game. Many young people do not have the stamina to delay gratification. They want those instant dopamine hits! Success however belongs to the long game players. People who are ready to sweat today to become exceptional tomorrow. As you go through this process, it will sometimes feel like you are not making much progress but if you zoom in after an extended period of time (say 6 months to 2 years), you will notice that your efforts would have compounded remarkably with exponential growth. If you commit to making just a percentage improvement daily, in a year you would have improved by about 37%. Isn’t that amazing!

These are my thoughts on how to forge a career path. Now, it’s your turn to share your thoughts on this topic. What do you think a young Cameroonian can do to find and develop a fulfilling career?

Author: Ebot Nicole

Anie strongly believes that Africans can tell their stories and reclaim their place in the international market by building great quality products that are internationally competitive.


  1. Ebasone Vanes

    This is a great article Nicole. You just demystified the whole concept of passion.

    One of the best write ups I have come across in a while.

    Keep blessing up with awesome content.

  2. Gana Gilbert N.

    Thanks for the writeup and hopefully in the few years to come we shall meet to talk business

  3. Akat

    I’ve always known you to be a brilliant girl, since form 3 when you gave A brilliant answer to a question during Assembly without fear. I knew you’d be GREAT. You are soo Bold, wise , intelligent and above all hard working. Keep sharing this knowledge. You inspire me.

    Best wishes
    Mr Akat


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Author: Ebot Nicole

Anie strongly believes that Africans can tell their stories and reclaim their place in the international market by building great quality products that are internationally competitive.

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