Am I Grown Up Yet?

I never really knew the answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“A doctor!”

“An astronaut!”

“A veterinarian!”

“A writer!”

“An archeologist!”

“A psychologist!”

“The President!” (<–Ok….I may have been 6 years old when I picked this one!) 

via: Google images

via: Google images

My typical responses depended on the day – and quite frankly, who was asking.  I got really good at figuring out which careers elicited an “Oh…you are so smart!” or a “Oh – how exciting!” response.  To be honest, I thought I would know the answer by the time I was a senior in high school….or by the time I graduated college…or by the time I got hired for my first “adult” job.  Turns out….

I still don’t know.

Last year I hit a landmark year with the big 3-0….and with my 31st birthday one week away, I still don’t believe I have everything worked out.  I’m getting good at figuring out what I’m good at…what I like to do…and in what types of environments I excel in.  I also know who to gravitate towards for mentorship, who to trust with my inner thoughts, and who I should totally avoid (inside AND outside of work!).  Now, this “awareness” didn’t come easy.  I’ve held a handful of good jobs since graduation – went back to school to get my Masters of Business Administration (MBA) – and continue to change my career path every 2-3 years.  And you know what…

I’m ok with that.  I’m ok with the understanding that not everyone picks a job – loves it – and sticks with it for life.  {For example – my hubby: knew in high school he wanted to be a petroleum engineer; went to a top-notch  engineering college; had 4 career-related internships; began his career directly out of college; and continues to excel within his chosen field.}  I, on the other hand, have had the following dynamic career path: started out in retail; internship in public policy (The World Bank); pursued retail management; moved across the country (West Virginia to California) without job security and fell into a temp agency; temp accounting data entry clerk; moved into accounting management; moved back to the bottom of the pole with hubby’s company as an engineering technician; increased my project management skills; became an office assistant; became proficient in Lean Sigma; transferred into Information Technology (IT); and most recently – transitioned into Health, Environment, and Safety.  *take a breath*

But you know what?   I don’t believe I’m being irresponsible.  I don’t believe I’m missing out on trade secrets.  I’ve had so many amazing opportunities and experiences by being open to the possibilities before me.  With every new position that opens up I learn a bit more about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, and more importantly, my likes and dislikes.  With each position, I am slowly refining what I want to do – where I want to be!  And at this point, that final stage is when I will consider myself “all grown-up!”

Until then, I’ll keep living life one day at a time!  And I’ll continue turning inspirations into new experiences.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  I’m curious…are you doing that now?!

 Jen

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4 thoughts on “Am I Grown Up Yet?

  1. When I was younger, I wanted to be an ice cream baker (don’t ask), a marine biologist, and then a writer. I’m a creative writer now so in many ways I’m living out my dream. I still wish I could be a marine biologist, too!!

  2. I went from wanting to be a teacher, to a zoologist, to a journalist to PR/Marketing. Right now I’m in marketing for the promotional products industry. I love marketing, but I know I’m not in the industry I’ll stick with forever. I’m OK with it, but I’m excited to see where I’ll end up in the future!

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