From infancy through to your teenage years our parents, family relations, friends and even strangers would ask us the historically renowned question, “So, what are you going to be when you grow up?”
When we were younger, Aunty Joan might be ‘lovingly’ pulling on our cheek as she asked us this question. Well, what did you say, what did you tell her?
Some of us made something up (especially to escape from Aunty Joan’s wiry finger grip on our cheek), others would tell her something we thought she’d like to hear, and many wouldn’t know and say so. A few, who are certain of their vocation in life, would confidently communicate their revelation.
Some people DO know from an early age. For example, Clint reported to me that he didn’t know what he wanted to do career-wise. However, after he did a computer-based careers’ assessment, he wasn’t surprised when it revealed that one of his dominant options was in Environmental Science. Clint told me that between the ages of six and ten, he would race into the forest behind his house at the end of every school day, on weekends and during school holidays, returning with animals, insects and vegetation to inspect and catalogue.
At the age of five Sally set up a classroom in her bedroom, including chalkboard, chairs, desks and notebooks. Every day after school she had her younger brother and sister as her (often reluctant) students. Sally would teach them everything that she had learnt at school that day. By the age of five, when her brother and sister began school, both could read and write because of what Sally had taught them. Sally is now studying to be a Primary School teacher at the University of Wollongong – and loves every minute of it!
My friend recounted the behavior of her son Paulo. From four years old, whenever a TV show relating to construction came on the screen, Paulo would stop whatever he was doing and stay riveted to every minute of the show. His favourite fun activity was creating cities out of Lego. Because his father was working in South America, Paulo would ask his mother if they could travel to see him; not by boat or plane, but by building a bridge from Australia to South America. I wonder what vocation Paulo might choose when he grows up?
Anthony Robbins, one of the most prominent communicators of Personal Growth principles in the world, told us in one of his seminars that as a young man he wanted to be an archaeologist. The reason was that he wanted to discover new things that had never been found before and allow other people to see these artifacts. This might not be what he’s doing now but it is congruent with the motivation behind his present vocation, which is to discover new things (his Personal Growth principles) and reveal them to others (in his seminars).
Do you know what you’re going to be when you grow up?
Brian Horan is a Careers Counselor/Coach, a published author and international speaker. He is also the Managing Director at eCareers Academy, a Career Counselling service. You can find out more about his services by visiting the website www.eCareersAcademy.com , giving him a call on 1300 396 929 or sending an email, info@eCareersAcademy.com
© Brian Horan at eCareers Academy; August, 2014