Sitting in the classroom, looking out of the window, chewing hard at the end tip of my pencil, deep in thought as my little mind ran through the title of my essay ‘What I want to be when I grow up?”
Does this scenario sound vaguely familiar to you?
So what did you want to be when you grow up? Do you still able to recall?
I know I had plenty of dreams. I wanted to be an art teacher, a graphic designer, and a businesswoman (in my child like words, someone who makes decisions at work with a briefcase and drives a sports car).
When in the phase of growing up, I had tried numerous positions. I have been a childcare teacher, an apprentice bartender, a dental therapist and a great deal more until I settled into the corporate life…
20 years later, I might have worn my tailored suits with a briefcase (hate it) and I still haven’t get my driver’s license. But I have never regret the career choices I made. No doubt I substitute my childhood ambition with a little twist here and there, like fulfilling the dream of teaching as a childcare teacher, I get to incorporate arts and craft with the little ones. As for graphics designer, I’m channelling the creativity into words and writing in MiddleMe and LadyRedot as well as for my clients. I did my stint as a businesswoman, involving in decisions and being all important in the corporate world.
I never wanted to grow up as a lawyer or a doctor or an astronaut. Something where it is the dream your parents would want you to grow up to be. It’s tough being my parents. Many Singaporean parents would want their kids to go to university and get a medical or law degree but how many of us really get close to fulfilling their childhood ambition?
Life doesn’t just throw opportunities along your path just because you wrote down barrister in your essay. Our innocent little minds just have the impression based on the role models that we have seen or come in contact with. What I do know is that no parents will wish their kid’s ambition is to be a salesman, a waitress or even working in a call centre. However, many of us do that, whether it is a pit stop until something better comes along or it is a means to livelihood.
I considered myself one of the lucky ones who get close in fulfilling my dreams. Maybe it’s because my parents did not really pin down their expectations on me and allow me to dabble in different industries as I muddled my way through several career choices. Or maybe because I have much simpler childhood dreams.
When I do have kids one day, I’ll tell them don’t pin down your dream job too early, try your hands at different kind of jobs and you never know your niche and your passion might be the job that you never thought you will be in.
So share with us, what was your childhood ambition? Did you get to fulfil it?