What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
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Hello again, and a particular welcome to new subscribers, thanks for signing up 😃.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit this week about work and how I ended up where I am currently. It’s quite a convoluted story, so I won’t tell the whole thing, but like many things it started out with the inevitable question
So. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t remember ever having a consistent answer to this question, although probably I would have said, “A vet”, or something similar. For a while this was what I wanted to do. I enjoyed the sciences at school, and was good at them (compared to other topics). I also had (and still do) a love for the outdoors, wildlife, nature, etc.
My downfall with this plan came, when I realised that I was allergic to certain animals, particularly long haired cats, and my thinking had to change. I still followed the science path (biology in particular) and eventually came out with my honours degree.
Ultimately in the world of work, I had a number of different jobs over the years (which will be separate posts at some point), and most had some relevance to my qualifications and love of the natural world/outdoors.
Mostly I followed what I was good at, nudged by what I loved, and I am where I am now in part because of that. However I think I followed the what I’m good at bit, perhaps too far. I wouldn’t say I love what I do in terms of the job that pays the bills. There’s a part of me that thinks at a certain point I made a poor choice in terms of a job (although it was probably the right decision at the time) and settled for something that I thought I wanted rather than what I needed.
Now no decision is necessarily a bad decision because ultimately there are things that I have done and have that wouldn’t have been possible if I’d made a different choice at that time. But the balance between good Vs. love would look different.
My recent thinking has been about whether I need to redress that balance in some way, and maybe I should be following what I love nudged by what I’m good at. I still need to balance the need to earn money against that, and in some ways I think that you shouldn’t necessarily use what you love to be you main source of income. It’s too easy to start to resent your “job”. How many times have you moved jobs partly because you were fed up with what you were doing? I know I’ve done that at least once. If your main source of income is doing what you love can that too turn sour?
If I could have some of those decisions again, I would make different decisions with hindsight, but those lessons can also inform the direction going forward. A balance between good vs. love seems key to me, and maybe now is the time in life to focus more on the latter.
Thanks for reading, if you have any thoughts on this I’d love to hear them in the comments.