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What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

By June 20, 2010Career Planning

It’s a question we usually first ask around age 5, and unfortunately one that many of us never truly answer.

Here’s what you’re really asking: “What career will give me energy and excitement? What am I passionate about?” Trust me, it’s never too late to ask these questions.

Here’s a personal story that hopefully illustrates my point. My father passed away at age 55 in his retirement year as a teacher. One of the many sad things about his passing was that coaching was what he really loved doing, but he spent most of his time teaching. This happens to far too many people: they spend their life in a specific career role that doesn’t make them happy. On the flip side, after my dad passed, my mom realized she had a passion for education. She went back to school and got her degree (at 55-years-old, mind you) and now at age 68 is STILL a school counselor!

Similar to my mom’s story, my father’s passing helped me realize the importance of doing what you love. It was the defining moment in my life: I realized helping others discover what they love doing was in fact what I loved doing. At last! This was the core answer of my very own “What do I want to be when I grow up?” question!

This ignited a new passion in me. I discovered that as my career moved upward, it also took me further away from what drew me to HR in the first place: helping people develop their own career growth.

The time had come to pursue doing what I love right now, and that meant coaching other people through their career journeys. By doing so, I wouldn’t just help them “find a job” – I’d be able to make a difference in their life. That’s when I started my own Career Coaching practice.

But enough about me. What about you? If you’ve had the enlightening “I know what I want to do be when I grow up” moment, I invite you to share it – be it here through a comment or simply by telling a friend. I have no doubt it will inspire others.