Friday, April 24, 2015

What do you want to be when you grow up?

By Markgraf-Ave on Pixabay
Several years ago, I had a chat with a coworker who was leaving (I try to have a conversation with everyone I know who is leaving to see if there are things that I can do to prevent others from exiting). I asked her why she was leaving, point blank, and she answered simply, "It's time for me to decide what I want to be when I grow up."

The answer stuck with me. What do I want to be when I grow up? It's a question that kids answer all the time, with knee-jerk responses, usually with a huge salary attached (which may or may not be influenced by parents - doctors, lawyers, etc.) or with a "hero-factor" associated with it (astronaut, firefighter, etc.). But as adults, we often get trapped with what we are doing rather than what we want.

If you ask yourself that question, you can come up with several answers. You may have a career or particular job identified that you would like to have one day. You may want to change industries. You may be happy with where you are, but just want to improve the job you are doing in your current position.

To get there, you may need training, independent study, additional degrees, experience in different organizations, books to read, or new friends that can give you insight.

So ask yourself: What do you want to be when you grow up? And, as important, what are you doing to get there?