What do you want to be when you grow up?
Or, pick a box you like the sound of and climb in it
I was asked this question multiple times as a child. My answers ranged from astronaut to vet, then geologist and mathematician. I think Olympic dressage rider was mentioned a few times as well, but I didn’t think this was a “real job”, more like an expensive hobby.
These clumsy job descriptions were attempts to wrap a title around the things I was currently interested in. The underlying theme throughout my life however, was that these jobs describe things I had a fleeting interest in, yet the only thing I never stopped being interested in the entire time was art and yet “artist” was never one of my answers.
Thank goodness NASA never replied back to my job application letter, because my career path has been allowed to follow the twists and turns of my life’s theme.
Instead of asking children to wrap arbitrary job titles around things they currently have an interest in, we need to encourage them to find the common thread throughout their lives.
Instead of asking “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Maybe we should ask “what do you want to do every day?” Starting today.