Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday: Dream Jobs

Working Mom WednesdayWhen you were a kid, what did you dream of being "when you grew up"?
I remember an exercise in second grade in which we were supposed to draw ourselves at 20, 30, 40, 50, etc., and--not understanding what all went into preparing for a career--I drew myself as a teacher, a lawyer, a librarian, a veteranarian, and so forth, a different career at every age. (None of those things do I actually have any recollection of wanting to be. At that age, I just wanted to be ten.)

I remember walking through the Smithsonian a few years later, looking at the paintings and agonizing over whether I would be an author or an artist when I grew up. Those were my dream jobs for most of my childhood. I made paintings and sold them door to door one summer. In fourth grade, I wrote a "novel" about a pioneer family with twelve kids and had my teacher critique it. Author or artist, that was the big question. (As a book editor who blogs, scrapbooks, paints, and dabbles in graphic design, I guess I've managed to do both, to some extent!)

At other points throughout my childhood, I wanted to be a novelist, a jewelry designer, a costume designer, and a greeting card designer for Hallmark. Somehow my dad convinced me that that last one meant I wanted to go into marketing. I'm not sure if he actually saw the connection or was just trying to put something practical into my head. I also wanted to have twelve children, which I guess meant I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, since it would take more than two salaries to put twelve kids in day care.

As I got into high school and college, I went through phases of wanting to be a child psychologist, a historical advisor for movies, a youth pastor, and finally--a religion professor. I was out of Divinity school and working in market research for a religious publisher before I decided I didn't have the self-esteem to endure a doctoral program and that I should stick with religious publishing instead.

I am definitely happy with that decision. I have loved my job over the last four years or so--editing books, a magazine, and now a website--so I consider myself pretty lucky. (And my dad is still in shock that I am making a living with two degrees in religion.)

My work over the last few years has even, in some ways, included elements of several other "dream jobs":
- reporter on the religion beat
- secret church shopper
- professional organizer (of words, paragraphs, and articles, if not actual "stuff")

I feel like I'm using my gifts and my education, and it's just a great situation. As my friend Katie quoted last week, "the best leaders are the ones who are able to do what they do best every day."

Are you able to do what you do best for a living?
If not, what is your "dream job"?
What dream jobs came and went as you grew up?


Katie Bug said...

Working with and teach kids is what I do best, so I am very thankful to be able to do just that every day.
Ultimately, I'd like to train teachers who are already in the field (as opposed to preservice teachers in college)in classroom management/discipline or content specific areas. I would also love to be a school librarian, but that requires a Master's degree in most districts...and I'm not sure that would be a wise financial decision for us at this point.
Growing up my dream jobs included astronaut, model, teacher, orphanage director, and missionary. I chose a major in education over a major in missions because I thought I would use education to enter countries that are closed to proselytizing. Somewhere along the way, education became the end goal instead of the means to an end.

Katie Bug said...

Apparently, my editing skills need a bit more work before anyone will be hiring me as a teacher of teachers.


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