How did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Yes, I know that we never really Grow Up, but…you know what I mean eh?

We’ve recently starting talking on the August Mom list about how some of our kids are forging their career paths and what we could/should be doing to help direct them. It’s rare to know with 100% clarity as you walk into high school (or even into college) knowing exactly what you want to study for a career. Most of us start off with vague ideas at least of what we might like. We might  have some clear idea of what we hate. Funny how we can quickly eliminate options but how we struggle to focus in on the right path 🙂

One mom just posted about how her DH has been approaching the topic with their kids. Specific sit down meetings complete with Power Point presentations showing career path options along with potential salaries and the education needed to get there. She was afraid we would laugh at his method – oh heck no! I’m impressed with his attention to detail and with his idea to present it in a visual manner. Perfect for per-teens and teens!! We want him to share those with the rest of us!!!

But it got me to thinking about how *I* decided to pursue accounting. I basically had an impromptu career counseling session with a boyfriend at the time in the summer before my freshman year of college. I guess I was wondering what to study (I don’t remember that part, but I’m just assuming that is what sparked the conversation) so he started asking me some great questions. He asked me not what classes I enjoyed taking in high school (there I would have said history & dance!) but instead asked me my what I liked to hobbies & everyday interests. Then he asked me what sorts of clubs I had joined in school. Somehow this all led me to tell him that I had been encouraged (rather out of the blue I should say) to run for Treasurer of our senior class and that I’d surprisingly won and *really* liked the job. I recounted how I used to help my mom in the back of their Sir Speedy Print shop with her bookkeeping tasks for the business and found the routine nature of the tasks very comforting. Voila! “Try some Accounting/Finance/Econ classes” he said. It took me awhile thanks to life and it’s many ways of distracting folks, but I never forgot that conversation and eventually I did get to take my first accounting class and it was a classic Oprah “Ah HAH!” moment.

Whether I admit to being grown up yet or not, I do admit that I am very very happy being an Accountant 🙂

So what’s your story?

8 thoughts on “How did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

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  1. this is a topic in our house lately, too. my older daughter went ot college knowing exactly what she wants to do when she graduates. my younger daughter is entering college with an undecided major and very vague ideas of what she wants to do when she graduates.I knew what I wanted in high school, and that never wavered, so it’s harder for me to relate to the younger duaghter….


  2. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I was a theater and music major in high school, lived in Belgium as an AFS student between my senior year of HS/freshman year of college…got my B.A. in Theater at UCRiverside (putting myself through school cataloging books in the library)…was a news reader, then news director for a Top 40 AM radio station and was active in community theater in Bangor, ME, had a baby, got a job as a secretary (one of us had to be able to pick up kids at daycare and he was a TV reporter working hideous and unpredictable hours) and I discovered that I was really good at taking care of an office and a boss…I have worked as a legal assistant in one form or another, mostly solo practitioners in niche practices ever since…most of the time, I am happy.


  3. I wanted to be an artist but I had a baby fresh out of high school and there was a nursing school down the street from me.

    I’m really lucky too because it happened to be a perfect fit for me. That and a million other things.

    My two daughters are driving themselves nuts trying to figure out what they should be when they grow up and it is that time to make a decision. Such a tough one.

    I had no idea you are an accountant. I’d have never pegged you for that, but man I sure do have a lot of friends in that business. Which is funny because I don’t care much for numbers.


  4. I always knew writing was for me. As a small kid I loved to write little poems or little notes or in my journal. Wherever and whenever wrote. Now I just wish I could make some damn money at it.


  5. I was all set to BE an accountant until I realised what it entailed.

    As I put my form in to apply to university in sixth form I suddenly changed from speech therapist or child psychologist, to advertising and design – which is what I ended up doing.

    I majored in design, but took two minors because I couldn’t decided between them – journalism and photography. Both of those became lifelong hobbies rather than career choices.

    I left uni, and went and played music with the army instead of doing anything remotely design related for the next year! Then I finally started working in the design industry, and have done so (design, advertising, webdesign) ever since.

    If I was to pack it all in right now, I’d become a landscape gardener. (Probably not a good one, but you never know!)


    1. oooh – I’ve pondered landscape design too! Also, more recently with my moth to a flame attraction to politics, I admit that journalism might have been fun. Gives my love of history some perspective anyway. Too bad I didn’t take to this writing thing until the past 5 years!!


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