This past weekend, my oldest daughter operated a lemonade stand and started a dog-walking business. She also asked me to take her to the local children’s hospital so she could collect the broken toys, repair them and return them anonymously. That’s pretty ambitious for a nine-year-old.
She wasn’t interested in getting paid – she just wanted a job.
Sunday evening, I asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up. As she’s gotten older, her answers to that question have changed. This time, when I asked her, I wasn’t really surprised with her response. She wants to be a large-animal veterinarian who specializes in horses – during the week. On the weekend, she wants to be a paleontologist. And as a hobby she wants to be an artist (in her free time).
I know that the careers she chose are also linked to her interests. We have three dogs, a cat and two guinea pigs, so we go to the vet frequently. She loves riding horses, so becoming a large-animal vet made sense. My oldest daughter is also in to rock and fossil collecting. She has quite a collection that she keeps in her room next to her dinosaur books. Her love for art comes naturally to her. She’s not the best artist in her third-grade class, but she certainly is the most passionate.
Career awareness begins as early as elementary school. The attributes you develop as a child are carried with you into adulthood. So, if you’re searching for your dream job, exploring what interests you now and what’s interested you in the past can help you find the right career path.
Are you a social butterfly? You might be well-suited for a career as a lawyer, teacher, sales rep, receptionist, concierge or restaurant manager.
Do you love the outdoors? You might have a future in landscape architecture, commercial fishing, archeology or forestry.
Are you a protector? What about a career as a police officer, firefighter, security guard or building inspector?
Do you like art? You could be a clothing designer, graphic artist, architect, cartoonist or floral decorator.
Are you good with your hands? You might excel as a machinist, automotive technician, welder, farmer, chef or pianist.
Do you like to help? Consider a career as a personal trainer, nurse, childcare worker, counselor or social worker.
Are numbers your thing? A love of math could open the door to a career as an accountant, engineer, software designer or astronaut.
Did you know early on what you wanted to be when you grew up? Are you still searching for your dream job? What do your kids aspire to be? I’m interested in hearing.