What do you want to be when you grow up? That question has been asked of us often as we were growing up. Notice that when we hit a certain point in age, people stop asking you that question. It’s like after we hit a certain age, we are considered “grown up” and whatever life we are living then that is it. For instance, now that I am in my 30s, no one asks me what I want to be when I grow up. I guess I’m “grown up”. It doesn’t matter that I don’t think I’m grown up.
What amazes me is how people know what they want to do. Some seem to know at a young age. I knew a kid when I was growing up. He wanted to be a doctor…he’s a doctor. Others figured this out when they were in high school. A friend liked math and science…it was suggested she look into engineering…she’s an engineer…she loves it. Others found out when they were in college. Another friend was in CS in college…he confessed to someone that he enjoyed field work and office work…it was suggested he look into geology…he’s a geophysicist…he loves his job.
What I want to know is how do they know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. For every person that knew what they wanted to do there are many more who still don’t know.
What is it about our job that defines us as a person? Why do we hold so much esteem for those who have “cool” or “smart” jobs? Why is it so important? Why does our value of who we are come from our chosen profession?
Does it really matter what I do for a living? Now, don’t think for a moment that I am wallowing in self pity. I am secure in who I am and what I have chosen as my profession. I just want to know why we hold so much to what a person does for a living. Is it wrong to want to dig ditches? How about picking up trash? These are honest, hand-working jobs. These are jobs that need to be done. Are we any more or any less of a person when we want these jobs?
Where am I going with this? I don’t know. I was just thinking that after awhile we quit asking people what they want to be when they grow up. It seems as though if they are out of college, we stop asking. They are done with college, they have made their choice and that’s that. Or, say someone finishes high school and doesn’t want to go to college then we stop asking them what they want to be. The stopping point seems to end at high school. That’s the time when you should know what you want to do for the rest of your life. Most kids are 17 or 18 when they graduate high school…do they really know what they want to do? Is is fair to expect so much from them at such a young age?
What are your thoughts? I would love to have your take on this subject matter.