I feel like there are some common questions that everyone gets asked at some point in their lives. This is definitely one of them:
What do you want to be when you grow up?
In various stages of childhood, the answer changed. The first answer I remember giving though is artist. I feel like most children at some point in time decide this. I enjoyed drawing, painting and coloring (I was probably about 4 at this time too) and my masterpieces ended up on the refrigerator. I look back and laugh now, especially since I work with some really talented graphic designers, who prove that it takes more than liking the feel of a brush in your hand to make something beautiful.
My desire to be an artist gave way to wanting to be a cashier or a secretary (also at a very young age). Knowing these professions as an adult I can pinpoint why I wanted to be a cashier or secretary… I almost exclusively saw nice, pretty women doing these jobs and decided that I needed to be a nice, pretty woman when I grew up. Children don’t have contact with the wide array of career options early in life. They know what and who they see. I was talking with a friend who is a teacher and she was discussing how to apply the subject she teaches to her students lives and future careers. She made the comment that her students only really know of a few careers: doctor, teacher, lawyer, nurse… the ones that get Halloween costumes.
I got to know a few more professions the older I got and my answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” changed to writer, then photo journalist, then editor, then journalist, eventually to news anchor and eventually I settled into public relations when I was in high school.
Each of those options had some roots in things that I enjoyed doing… like writing, speaking and taking pictures. Strengths that ultimately help me do what I do [and love] today.
It’s interesting that I never wanted to be an engineer like my dad, or be a teacher, lawyer or doctor. For a fleeting moment I considered politics…
What did you want to be when you grew up?