Welcome to our first guest blogger!
From time to time, we will have guest bloggers. We all need to see different points of views and insights on the subjects we talk about.
Our first guest blogger is a professional working woman living in, that’s right, the valley. Her caring, smart, fearless attitude motivates all around her.
Dream Job Training 101
TEASER: Ready to change your life by answering one question? It might be harder but I encourage you to try!
What do you want to be when you grow up? I ask children this question almost daily and the answers I’ve received are amazing. Tooth Fairy, teacher, mom, fire truck (yes, truck), archaeologist, firefighter, policeman, and princess are amongst some of my favorite responses. Children aren’t thinking about what is going to make them the most money or provide them with recognition when they answer me but only of what makes them happy. They have little to no knowledge of what their “chosen profession” requires of them or even if it’s feasible. (If you know of a Tooth Fairy trade school or major that I’m not aware of, please comment below.) Somewhere along the way though, we shift from dreaming about jobs that make us happy to jobs that pay the bills. The adult version of this question is, “What is your dream job?” If you’re not already working at your dream job, I’m guessing you’re not particularly happy in your current position. A little over two years ago, I was asked what my dream job was and answering that question honestly to myself and the inquirer changed my life.
I loathed my job. I was stressed every minute of the day, exhausted, grumpy and had no time to enjoy my family, hike, exercise, read, or do anything I was passionate about. Prior to that moment, reflecting on my dream job was always accompanied with monetary caveats. I grew up the kind of poor where frozen orange juice was a treat and mom occasionally had to empty the large water jug of spare change to go grocery shopping. As a result of growing up poor, I understood well what money could buy. Money may not be able to buy happiness but it can buy health care, shelter, clothing and food. Up until two years ago, I’d been locked in an internal debate of passion versus money. Should I get a job working with kids which would certainly fulfill my passion but pay me peanuts or pursue a career that would actually make me some money? Until two years ago, money always won.
When my boyfriend’s daughter asked me what my dream job was, I quickly responded with “something working with kids – preferably in fitness but definitely with kids”. As soon as those words exited my mouth, I didn’t even need them to say anything because I knew this was absolutely attainable and I was a moron for continuing in a job I despised. Like any good boyfriend and bonus baby, they proceeded to look at me like I was insane and ask the simple yet stinging question of why I wasn’t doing it. After a few more weeks of weighing the pros and cons of money and passion, I began my search for a new career path centered around helping children. I took nearly a $10K pay cut in my career change which is extremely painful when you’re a woman in a male dominant industry and still getting established however I have repaid myself in amazing ways!
How much is being home to enjoy dinner with your family worth? What about having time to grocery shop and cook dinner rather than eating out? (This one’s a double edged sword though as you have now probably generated enough dishes to fill both sides of the sink. Boo to dishes!) Seriously though, what is the price tag you put on coming home with energy in the tank to ENJOY your family? I still work crazy hours some weeks and come home tired and frustrated some days but it is much fewer and farther between than before. Now, when I say I’m tired, my boyfriend says, “well, think about before”, then we throw our heads back, laugh and I get over my first world problem of having a job I enjoy 90% of the time. My good days are spent celebrating a child’s newly found reading skills and my tough days are spent explaining to a crying child that sometimes getting things wrong is the best way to learn. (If anyone knows Doc Brown, please put us in touch with one another so I can give myself this chat and get 15 years of my life back.)
We are all learning and constantly creating new and improved versions of ourselves which means we are paradoxically right and wrong at the same time. Are you happy? If your answer is no, what do you want to be when you grow up? Make 2017 the year of YOU! If you’re not passionate about what you spend over 30% of your waking hours doing every single week, start over! Don’t try to do it all at once and don’t let the thought alone overwhelm you. Take a tiny step in the right direction today and you may find yourself catching fire on this journey to the new and improved you. Start here and now by answering below, “What is your dream job?”