March 27, 2019

It's a Tough Job: Tales about Your Dream Career and More

Hello sweeties!

A few weeks ago, a Twitter meme about your 5-year-old-self dream career and my own musings about jobs gave me the idea for this post. This is going to be a conversation prompt about the kind of job you wanted to do when you grew up, the one you got (instead?) and/or the one you would like to do one day. I'll go first...


CHRONOLOGY

PRIMARY SCHOOL. My memory is quite foggy about...well, most of my school years as a whole (I can't even remember my high school finals...). I wonder if I just blocked it all out because school never meant much for me, one way or the other. But for some strange reason, I remember a survey when I was in my first year of primary school. We got asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, and my answer was "a hairdresser". I can't for the life of me remember if I really meant it or not (though I guess I didn't - I have this vague recollection that I just said that because, well, I had to say something). I don't even understand what use it could possibly be to ask a bunch of 6 y.o. kids such a question. But looking at it now...I'm pretty sure I would have made a good hairdresser. I'm finicky as hell, have a great eye for details, and I even taught myself how to cut my own bangs...


***

SECONDARY SCHOOL. When I was a tween, I used to say I wanted to be a journalist when I grew up. For me, it meant to spend my working hours writing, which back then was already my favourite thing to do in the world (along with reading, that is). The problem is, I only envisioned myself writing - not actually going around LOOKING for things to talk about, or (goodness forbid) interviewing people. I suppose I thought that someone would turn the facts in to me, and I would simply weave my writing magic on them 😂.


***

HIGH SCHOOL. I didn't have any kind of job/career in mind. I enrolled in Classical High School because I didn't like math and the likes. Period. I guess I should have planned my future better 🙄.


***

UNIVERSITY. I chose the English Language and Literature faculty because...duh, I loved English, and it came easy to me. Also, I was aware that its knowledge was likely to open a lot of doors. Except...I didn't have a clue what doors I ACTUALLY wanted to open back then. In retrospect, I was probably missing my hairdresser and journalist days...🤔

In the meantime (at 26), since I had always loved radio, I finally took a chance on it, and I started broadcasting for a small local radio station. It was just a hobby - little did I know that it would become a job in a few years. For your information, that station was going to close in six months. It would only be 3 years after that I found the courage to approach the last one still standing in my hometown, and start my radio host (non) career anew...(Yep, because it's not a career. It's a frigging joke. I will fill you in about it one day...).

When I was nearing my graduation, my aim was to become a novel translator (can you see a pattern here? Apart from the hairdresser incident, that is 😂). I sure as hell didn't want to be a teacher or an interpreter - I wanted to stay hidden in my cave and not having to deal with the unexpected...or, well, flesh-and-blood people in general. I ended up graduating without half a clue on how to become a translator. You see, that was before the internet age, and I didn't know where to turn to in order to learn WHAT to do to fulfill my, um, second-hand dream (because it wasn't like I thought of it as a dream career, exactly - but it was a decent one enough, if I couldn't do anything more creative).


*** 

ADULT. At 35, I still didn't have a clue what to do - and even if I did, I wouldn't know how to get there. In the meantime, radio had become a small source of income for me - besides broadcasting, I was doing secretary duty - but I never thought of it as a real job. Until I was lured with a "proper" contract, and I agreed to "temporarily" get paid for less hours than I was in fact working, and...I told to myself, what the hell, while I'm waiting for my future to happen. But that future became my past, and almost 18 years after, I'm still stuck there. Still under-payed. Still not knowing what (else) to do with my life, and how to get there 😥.


***

NOW. I had set my eyes on a job a few months ago, just because...well, it was a lot more money that I'm making now, and it was a change, and it wasn't completely terrifying. But I almost immediately got cut down to size. So here I am...fed up with something that I used to love (when it was a hobby, that is), with little money and a waste of education.


BONUS TOPICS

THE JOB I COULD NEVER, EVER DO. Teacher. Not even under a death threat. I admire the bold folks who choose that path so much. I would be TERRIFIED every single moment of every single day. Have I ever mentioned that I must have things under control and know what to expect if I don't want to fall apart? Plus, dealing with kids now...I've heard such stories...*shudders*


MY DREAM JOB NOW. I would kill for a job behind a computer desk, with as little interaction with "live" people as it's humanly possible. If the computer-to-the-masses age had started a few years in advance, I would probably have carved myself a nice place in it...


This was my journey in job-fantasising, or job-hunting (so to speak), and now I want to hear yours! What did you want to be when you were a kid? a teen? Did your dream job become reality? What do you want to be when you grow up?

19 comments:

  1. Oooh, I am in awe. Cutting my own bangs is a skill I've never mastered. 😂 I still think you would make a lovely translator. Your English is beautiful, and I think you would be able to capture the spirit of the novels you love the way the best translations do. I hope you manage to find something more appealing than your current job soon! <3

    When I was a kid, I think I wanted to be Mariah Carey? It's fortunate I got over that because, while I can at least carry a tune (and I sing to myself a lot), I do not have a great voice. In high school, I wanted to be a writer, and I think I'm still there. I loved teaching while I was in graduate school, and I'd happily go back to that if the opportunity presented itself, but I don't want the grueling life of an academic. I'm happy tutoring writing and typing away bits of stories when I have the time. The more I get into blogging, the more I wonder if I shouldn't have leaned toward publishing or library science though. I think I would love helping books get out into the world on a larger scale, but my degree wasn't quite that specific.

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    1. Thank you hon! If only I knew where to look...That's always been my kryptonite 😥.

      Quote: "When I was a kid, I think I wanted to be Mariah Carey?"
      LOL, you mean specifically, or any singer would do? 😉

      I get what you're saying - you're sort of living the teacher's life without all the hassle. But I believe you could still pursue a short degree in the publishing/library science fields while working? There must be a few of your old exams that would also be required for a more specific course, so that you would already have them in your curriculum? I don't know, just a thought. Of course, once you start working, you have little time (or even patience...or energy) in order to start pursuing a new degree...

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    2. I think specifically her, so it's a good thing I got over that. 😂

      That's true! I was so exhausted after graduation that I didn't even want to think about more schooling at the time, but I might not be opposed to going back eventually for something specific.

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  2. I hear ya. The perfect dream job is hard to find. I appreciated your journey. I hope you find what you are looking for.

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    1. I'm a bit old for that, but who knows. I might get lucky for a change LOL. Thank you!

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  3. I'm almost 30 and still don't really know what I want to be, haha. Growing up it was astronaut, veterinarian, and whatever else a child can think of. In high school and college I had a lot of part-time jobs (pharmacy technician, dental secretary, and even did the books at a funeral home), but never found my niche. I have a degree in Education, which I was using before kids, but it's not a passion. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy it, but I don't feel like it's my calling or something. We evolve as we grow, so it's only natural our plans for the future change with us. We should continue to be whatever it is we want to be, even if it takes us a lifetime to figure out.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. That's a beautiful thought! But the fact is, at 52 you can only count your failures and realise that what you weren't able to make happen when you were younger it's not meant to happen anymore 😢. And mind you...in my case, I know it's all my fault. You, on the other hand, still have time. Maybe, as your kids grow older, they will ultimately inspire you to be a teacher again, or to do something unexpected. You already have a few interesting and varied experiences under your belt, so it's not like you're afraid to try 😉.

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  4. I loved math and science and earned my BS in chemical engineering. Sadly, I never got a job in the field. I wrote software for a while, and after 9/11, decided I didn't want to travel internationally and also wanted to be home more with my child. I did your nightmare job for 12 years. I knew after the 1st year, I wouldn't do it forever. So, now I have an unused BS, and useless masters degree, but I do work a desk job with little interaction, little stress, but also, little pay. I wish I had a time machine and could go back and make different choices, because I have little desire to go back to school again.

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    1. I used to envy you a little (despite your nightmare commute of course 😉) for that "little interaction, little stress" - and your amazing colleagues! But I didn't expect "little pay" to be part of the package. And of course I guess that, at the end of the day, you're left with barely enough time and energy to take care of yourself, not to mention family/home. It could be worse though, couldn't it? At least you don't hate what you do and your whole work environment.

      You have quite the interesting background! I only knew that you had been a teacher for a long time (and pretty much hated it). It does sound like very few people manage to land a job in their field of choice (or one their education actually prepared them for), but at least, on your part, it wasn't for lack of trying. I'm guilty as charged of not having looked around and asked questions and gone to places - I was paralysed. I think it's easier nowadays, what with the internet and all the collateral activities at school (I'm talking about Italian schools at least - don't really know about anywhere else). You get a taste of the real world, not just your average superficial factual knowledge. You have the world at the tip of your fingers. My life would probably have taken a totally different path if I were in my '20s now. Maybe yours too...

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  5. Oh no, I kind of love and hate that you still didn't know what to do at 35, cuz it's like I'm not alone, but apparently it doesn't get any easier to figure it out lol. I mean, I did figure out what I wanted to do in college, to an extent, but then my health got in the way, so that was that. Throughout my childhood and teen years though, I went through so many phases of what I wanted to do cuz I just didn't really know. The best was that when I was five, I wanted to be a traffic cop lol. But then at age ten I got to be on Safety Patrol at school where you get to hold out stop signs for other kids to cross the street and stuff, so I completed that dream job at least ;-)

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    1. Haha, so you had at least a shot at your five-year-old-self dream career. Not many people can say they got that! 😂

      I think you're talking about being a circus artist? Not that it matters, because whatever you meant, your health prevented you to do that - and it sucks. I hope you'll figure out something that gives you joy and fulfillment nevertheless! And money of course - money is ALWAYS a factor, dammit 😢.

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    2. Sorry, I'm three months late responding to this comment, haha, but yeah, that is what I was talking about. I got to perform in public twice, better than never at all, I guess. Thank you <3 If only I could get paid to read books and do this blogging thing, that'd be fantastic lol.

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    3. Wouldn't it? Unless...maybe not, because then we would feel under obligation to do this and that, so...maybe, like my radio thing, it's better off as a hobby! 😉

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  6. Roberta, I feel attacked because at one point maybe I considered journalism and let's just say my program has a journalism concentration, LOL. But like you, I envisioned actually writing, NOT looking for things to talk about or interviewing people. Hahaha, more like being super awkward and seeing my way out without any answers.

    Also at one point, I think I wanted to fly off into space and my mom told my grandma about it. Grandma: This girl. This girl has big dreams and wants to reach the impossible.

    I mean... I guess it's kind of accurate, grandma.

    HELLO ROBERTA AGAIN HERE'S ANOTHER COMMENT FOR YOUR MORNING.

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    1. LOL, I'm glad I wasn't the only one who made the equation journalism = writing. I'm awkward too...and shy. And I don't fare well with impromptu stuff. Imagine me interviewing people and actually having to shape my next question around their latest answer 😂. Thank goodness though, there are so many ways to be writing!

      There are so many ways to "reach the impossible" too. You only need a small dose of courage. Whatever it is you're aiming for...keep reaching.

      Not morning, but I can pretend 😉. Hey, four comments - you outdid yourself this time!

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  7. No surprise, I'm sure, but a veterinarian lol The school part wasn't for me though.

    I've worked in different parts of that field - managed a boarding kennel, vet tech, grooming, managed a small shelter.

    But I burned out because you meet truly horrible people so I took a long break until I started working for my mobile vet in FL. She worked very limited hours and had such a healthy attitude about life and work and it was great.

    But, in general, I don't think there should be a set *what we want to do when we grow up* People change over time and what you wanted in your 20's. 30's, 40's is different.

    I think many of us are held back in life by what we're "supposed" to think and do and when we don't we feel like something is wrong with us.

    It is MUCH scarier doing all this when we're older though. But Kevin just did this whole life change so there's hope! lol

    But at this stage I'm like you - I want a secluded cave like space to do whatever...lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Yep, no surprise! 😉 Though I didn't know you had done vet stuff for pretty much your whole life, albeit in different settings. What comes as a surprise is the "truly horrible people" you met. How can someone decide to spend their life among animals if they aren't even able to love them and treat them right?

      I understand what you mean, but for instance, in my case no one ever tried to influence me. No one was "expecting" anything. And being the rebel that I am, they would only have managed to send me the opposite way if they did LOL. It's just that, for my whole life, I've been petrified. I've never known where to turn to in order to make things happen, or to get the things that I wanted. Or I pictured worst-case scenarios in my head and didn't even try. The worst thing is...I'm still like that. I can't even begin to tell you how much I admire Kevin - and you! - for turning his (your) life upside down. Here I am terrified of crossing the street, and you crossed a whole country and started anew. But if I were you, I didn't even know where to look for that change to happen in the first place...

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  8. I could have been a fashion designer, which now I know now it's a horrible idea and also, I was told I was too soft for that cut-throat industry which is probably true.

    as for a career, no one ever asked me, and you really do not think of careers when your family is poor. that career is thought of as a job - you don't think about what you love to do but what kind of job that can make money to pay for food and shelter.

    I really admire those who knows exactly what they want to do for a career. I didn't really want a career or a job, just something to do and get pay for so I can use my spare time for other things which is what I do now as a graphic designer.

    I honestly have not thought to be an artist in which I would make a living from it, I still don't. I dabble (I think that would be the correct term), which I think I'll be doing that for a while.

    have a lovely day.

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    1. That's another facet of the career/job issue - not every one of us can indulge in the luxury of choosing or pursuing what we love most. Of course, one can switch job at a certain point (or several points) of their life, and find something they like better. Except me, it seems, because I'm stuck...

      I don't really know how fashion design works, but I have a feeling that what you were told was close enough to the truth. Anything remotely artistic is brutal, I think, though in a million different ways. You have to fend for yourself and be on top of your game and never miss a beat - at least until you're established enough in your field. Being artistic in your spare time is safer and less stressing for sure, though far less exciting as well 😉.

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