One of the questions that Kim and I almost always ask when we interview someone is, “When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
Sometimes the answer to that question is the best sound byte of the whole interview. It’s certainly always interesting, and it never ceases to amaze me how often it ties in to the life’s work of the interviewee. Particularly the ones who are doing what they love.
Our friend Brett Farmiloe is making a career out of getting people to think differently about their career paths. We interviewed him a while back (listen to it here) and when we asked him that question, he told us that his favorite video game growing up was Cruisin’ USA. Well, he and the gang at Pursue The Passion have driven an RV all around the country and interviewed hundreds of people who love their job. They too, have found an interesting connection between what people wanted to be when they were kids and the career they pursued as adults.
A shoe designer who began drawing shoes on little 3×5 notecards when he was in the seventh grade.
A park ranger who loved the outdoors since he was born.
A director of communications who was hooked at the age of five when he picked up a horseshoe crab and touched it.
The video below offers a compilation of people they interviewed who have taken a childhood interest and turned it into their career.
If you’re in a dead-end job, or a career that’s sucking the life out of you, maybe it’s time to ask yourself the question: “When you were a kid, what did YOU want to be when you grew up?”
It might just send you off in an exciting new direction.
I honestly don’t remember what I wanted to be when I grew up – besides the carny bit, which was short lived. I think for a short while I wanted to be a Vet until I learned you have to look at gross innards.
My brother wanted to be a garbage man. I remember that quite clearly.
I DO recall not wanting to have kids. Funny. Clearly, that isn’t the case anymore.
My 10 year old son has wanted to be an entomologist since he was about 5 and learned that he could make playing with bugs an actual job. He is already making plans for that future.
Homeschooling our kids, the constant one on one interaction, has shown me that most little ones really do know what they want to be when they grow up. With the proper encouragment I know my kids will all have the opportunity to search out their dreams.
Come to think of it, I always liked writing as a kid. I am sort of pursuing that with my blog.
Well, I’m definitely doing the things I loved to do as a child so this is really good confirmation that I’m on the right track.
This is also helpful because I have a 16 and 13 year old. I’m going to have them watch this clip too and we’ll discuss it. My sixteen year old only recently took a job where he was quickly promoted to a public relations position. He never dreamed he would enjoy interacting with people as much as he does now so I’m curious to see if this will lead anywhere. My thirteen year old is a Food Network junkie and makes gourmet food. When we have company she does the cooking now. Even if she doesn’t go into the food industry she’ll make someone an awesome wife and mother one day!
I wanted to be a teacher. I can remember buying a couple of teacher’s editions of old textbooks and “practice teaching” in my bedroom. In a way, I’m following that dream because I’m a trainer in my current job, and I also am working on a ministry where I teach others about God and faith. I have challenges right now because the person I’m training at work doesn’t respond as well to some of my “usual methods”, so I have to figure out newer ways to teach. Life’s interesting!
Alison Whittington says
What a fun video! I wanted to be many things, but among them were: cartographer, artist, writer and storyteller. And I wanted to travel a lot and explore new lands.
I accomplished some of those things in my careers in journalism and television production, but I am REALLY bringing them together now, in my new adventure as a maker of imaginary maps!
It’s always amazing how our different talents can intertwine if we let them (and aren’t too worried about them fitting into a particular “box.”) I find your imaginary maps to be absolutely wonderful!
Selina German says
I always wanted to be a singer. Although this hasn’t lead to a career as such, it is still very much a part of my life. It is a major part of my life as a stay at home mom. I have also spent a lot of time in music ministry at the different parish’s I have been a member of. As well as singing at weddings and sadly funerals. For me the joy I get out of it, and possibly give to others is better than any pay cheque.
Good for you, Selina! Our talents don’t always have to be made into careers, but they should always be shared!