What do I want to do when I grow up?
By Lesley Lane
Chances are if you are reading this article you don't feel satisfied with your career. You are experiencing a longing which you don't quite know how to describe but you do know that your career just doesn't light your fire and you wonder how in the heck you ended up doing what you are doing anyway. I am here to tell you first of all it is never too late to make a change. Did you realize Vera Wang was 40 before she began designing wedding gowns? I recently met a woman who'd been a chemist into her 50's and decided her passion was truly ice skating. She was working to become an ice skating coach. How fabulous is that!?
It's not an overnight process to reinvent yourself and make a career change but it can happen quicker than you think sometimes. The important thing is to begin the process and give some serious thought and effort to defining that which you want to do. There are three key action steps to take.
Begin by making a list of all the jobs you have had. Yes, even those odd jobs in high school and college....mowing the neighbor's lawn counts. Now list what you liked about each of those jobs. If you were mowing the lawn maybe you liked that you were outdoors. Maybe you hated every minute of it, make note of that too. The idea here is to detect common threads. You may find that you have had many a job that has allowed you to be outdoors and you loved that. You may find that you have consistently ended up in leadership roles and you like directing a team. Create another list of those recurring elements.
Next make a list of the dreams you had as a kid. When someone asked you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", what did you say? Ask your parents or siblings if they are still around. Maybe you didn't verbalize what you really wanted to do. Perhaps you had a dream to be an artist but all the feedback you got from the world around you told you that was not practical, it would never work, so you never mentioned it and never pursued it.
Thirdly, ask yourself, what would I do if I could not fail? Write down the first thing that comes to mind. Maybe there are several things. List everything that comes to mind.
Now compare all three of these lists. You should be able to identify some trends and begin to formulate your thoughts about what direction you should consider going with your process of reinventing yourself. Now make a list of people and resources you need in order to make it happen. Call them ask to pick their brain. Gather information which will allow you to further define what you really want to do when you grow up.