When I Grow Up

You are standing in the middle of an outdoor space. There is laughter and music and the world happening around you. All of your friends, family and acquaintances, from childhood to the present day, are also there.

A familiar little girl, in a flower dress with a smudge of dirt, and a little boy, in a handsome suit and tie, proudly skip into the center of the space. You are surrounded by an assortment of colorful drawings from astronauts to sea turtles to ballerinas to inspiring faces of the past all on the ground beneath you. The little boy then grabs a piece of white sidewalk chalk and draws a line down the middle of the space between all the different array of drawings.

The little boy then says “So I have traveled to the future and bring news about the timeless question for people your age: Is work supposed to be fulfilling? The answer is that work is just work. No one really loves their job. I do my job but then I come home and spend time on what I really love. If you agree can you please step to the right side of this line?”

The little girl then comes up and says “I haven’t been to the future yet but a job isn’t just a job. A job is supposed to be personally fulfilling. A job should be your life’s mission. You are meant to make a difference in this world through your work. If you agree with me step to the left side of the line.”

You smile at the boy and walk to the left side. The girl then grabs your hand and asks you “If you were offered your dream job, would you be ready?” She also hands you a piece of paper with a list of questions.

When you look up you realize you are suddenly inside a maze and all alone. The paper is still in your hand. It reads in misspelled handwriting.

  1. Do you bring your whole self to work or do you wear a mask acting like a grown up?
  2. What is better, to provide the best service/quality or to be the most efficient?
  3. Is it your company’s job or your job to make sure you learn new things, feel inspired, and are always part of a team?
  4. If your dream job was fulfilling but 10x more exhausting than you imagined would you still want it?
  5. If you are not already doing what you love at work or on your way to doing what you love, what is holding you back?

You start to answer each question in your head. Then as you look up an ocean wave starts coming towards you from the distance. Suddenly there is a surfboard sitting to your right and a door to your left. The sunshine is blinding and time is running out. You instantly know that through this door is where you came from and everything behind it is familiar and good. The wave then gets closer.

Stay tuned for my next article leading up to my thoughts on company culture.