What do you want to be when you grow up?

You’re asked this pretty much the entire time you’re growing up.

Everyone in elementary school wants to be an astronaut, or teacher, or firefighter.

In junior high, everyone wants to be a doctor or lawyer (before realizing how much school that would mean!).

In high school, people start actually thinking about their skills and how they could be applied to become a career. Chemist, photographer, chef…

And when you get to college, a lot of people give up on dreams and move toward practicality. Mechanical engineer, accountant, actuary…who dreams of these jobs as a child??

It’s unfortunate, but you get rewarded for being practical rather than following your heart. 9-5 monotonous desk job, in a field that was essentially chosen FOR you, doing soul-crushing work means a steady paycheck, health insurance, benefits…but if you want to go into the arts…become a musician, actor, photographer…your financial stability is in question.

When I was in high school, I drastically changed my career path weekly. I wanted to be a chemical engineer, chef (until I realized I can’t cook), pharmacist, hotel owner, radio producer…

I got to college, undecided, stumbled into the business school…decided against it…and found myself in the College of Communication. Happily declared my major to be “Public Relations” before I really even knew what that meant. I think I was so thrilled to have settled on something, that I was too afraid to change again.

Four years later, I’m graduated and working at a job that I don’t…really…love. And I know it’s my first job out of college, and I’m not supposed to love it, but I don’t know if I’m even in the right place.

And suddenly, I find myself asking “What do you want to be when you grow up?” …Shouldn’t I have this figured out by now?

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~ by etau on June 16, 2010.

One Response to “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

  1. I understand where you are coming from. Being 28, I have more years of experience in trying to figure it out, and still don’t know. I wish someone would come along to tell me what to do, what I would be good at… Instead I flounder around guessing and wondering. I don’t like my job at all, but I am almost too scared to switch to something else (fear of the unknown?). Hopefully you figure something out.

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