Last week the TODAY Show told me I really should start thinking about freezing my eggs.
This morning, they told me that only 6% of people do the job that they grew up wanting to do.
Why is that, I wondered?
And why does the TODAY Show think it’s a good idea to toss this depressing information out there to us after we just finished battling with our snooze buttons and we haven’t convinced ourselves, yet, that it’s the best idea to get out of bed and act like a functioning human being today (those things take time).
Let me ask you….What did you want to be when you grew up and are you doing that job now?
You know what. Someone should ask us this once a year, every year, until we’re of age to retire.
Perhaps a good time for this question to pop up and slap us across the face, would be during our annual physical with our primary care physician. When they are asking if we drink, smoke, take vitamins, they can also ask us this question.
And if we say no to the second part of that statement – that we’re not doing that childhood dream job now – maybe they can prescribe us a placebo that’ll allow us to kick ourselves in the noggin if we don’t change.
Or maybe one of our pals can do that for us.
A friend of mine emailed me a few months ago and asked me if I’d write her something for a post she was putting together. She asked me that exact question: What did you want to be when you grew up and are you doing that job now?
I started thinking.
When I was younger, I wanted to be two things:
A kindergarten teacher and a writer.
A kindergarten teacher, because that was the only grade I had done so far and I had a really great time. We played with bright colored construction paper and had nap time and a boy named Scott popped kissed me on the check on afternoon. I thought if somehow I could stay in this classroom forever, life would be wonderful.
And I wanted to be a writer because I loved words. For a good chunk of my life, I used them only on paper – I was too painfully shy to speak complete sentences out loud to anyone other than my immediate family and of course, my dog.
Maybe when you were little, you wanted to be a firefighter or a baseball player or nurse – but somewhere along the way you stopped wanting to do that because it seemed too hard, or it didn’t pay enough money, or because you failed high school biology and you realized in order to be a teacher, you had to get good grades doing that.
That happened to me too.
I wanted to be a writer so I majored in journalism and English.
But then I chatted with my professor senior year of college and asked what kind of jobs I could get with those two degrees and without pausing or looking over my resume or asking me more about my interests or my imaginery 5-year plan he said, “You can really only work at a newspaper.”
I didn’t want to do that.
So I graduated college without a clue.
I worked for a sorority. I moved back home. I begged the editor-in-chief of a local magazine to let me work for her part-time, and she hired me. But not to write. To take her dogs out for walks and wrap her Christmas presents and get yelled at for laughing.
So I know what it is like to have your childhood dream job be yelled away from you.
To find out that there are other jobs out there, jobs you might not enjoy, but jobs that can let you wake up in the morning with enough spare change to pay your American Express bills and have a couple dollars left over to afford organic groceries or to contribute to a 401K retirement plan.
I know what it’s like to work a job you don’t like for a paycheck you kind of like. I did it twice, for a long time. And I know what it’s like to go to work everyday and enjoy what you do. Let me tell you something, the difference is powerful.
Maybe some of those dream jobs are simply things we’ve grown out of over the years, like Osh Kosh B’gosh corduroy overalls.
But the dream jobs that still get our bones shaking and that often penetrate our minds, are the ones we should flirt with. Flirt with immediately.
We owe that to ourselves, don’t we?
Be part of the 6%….because why, why,why, why, not?