Figuring Out What You Want To Be When You Grow Up

Why is it when we are kids we get asked this all the time?  Seriously, can a child’s mind really comprehend what the world is all about and how they fit in?  As a kid all I wanted was to actually grow – I’m still waiting since I’m all of five foot and don’t think I’ve grown since elementary school.


As we get older we start to joke that we are still figuring out what we want to be when we grow up, but in all actuality, that is the time when both of those things do occur.  We begin to mature – we begin to grow up; and we start to figure out how we fit in this crazy world and how it makes us happy.


The one thing that the people who ask us this question to not tell us – that it is a moving target.  There is no one complete end all answer because when we stop choosing we stop growing; when we stop growing we stop learning and giving and when that happens we are a shell of a person and no longer really living.


So maybe the more appropriate question is what do you want to do next?  I have clients that have ultimate career goals but are savvy enough to know that it will take steps.  We are working on the next step right now with the ultimate goal in mind.


Growing up doesn’t happen at one time so what makes us thing that all of a sudden we are going to immediately go to the ultimate position?  It takes time, lessons to learn, experiences to appreciate, failures and successes.  You know – like the old phrase of having to learn to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run?  Same thing happens with your career.


So what do you want to do next?  Taking the pressure of and end all position may help bring clarity to the right now.  What is going to make you happy in the next phase of growing up?


Do you want to learn a new skill set, work within a different environment, experience more leadership or a more team-driven interaction?  Figure out what your underlying drive is right now.


One thing that has been gnawing at me recently is the desire to do more writing – but in a different way on a different scale.  I’ve identified a drive – great – that is the first step.


The next step is setting a plan of action.  A desire or dream is nothing without actionable steps to make it come to fruition.  I need to take a step back and determine what I am willing to do to accomplish what I want.


That is an important key – what are you willing to do to get what you want.  It is great to say you have this goal but honestly if you are not willing to put any skin in the game than it is just a lofty ambition that will hang over your head and eventually become so heavy with “what-ifs” that it will become more of a negative than a positive.


If you want to change careers then what do you need to do?  What are the actions that you are resisting?  Is it performing the research, putting yourself out there and talking to others in the field, or redoing your resume?  Determine your pain point.


Then determine why it is a pain point.  Is it that it will take a lot of your time, cost too much or just simply fear of the unknown.  This is the point that you need to make some difficult decisions.


For me it is a matter of time.  I need to make a plan, do some research and then actually do the writing.  This involves an incredible amount of time.  But if it is truly important to me then I will find the time.


What is most important will win out in the end.  You will find the money, you will find the time, you will overcome your fear of the unknown – if it is important to you.


That is the painful part of growing up – making the difficult decisions, acknowledging the things that are uncomfortable to you and moving beyond them.  No one tells you about that!


Although I am still waiting for that growth spurt and struggling with the time issue I think for now I am going to enjoy my weekend.  Hey, growing up doesn’t have to consume every moment of your day.  Take some time off this weekend to get back to something that brings you to your happy place.


My weekend will be filled with friends, family and home projects (I do have a few finishing touches on my chandelier spa bathroom) and being around people I love always brings me to my happy place.  It doesn’t always help me grow up, but it makes me happy.  When I am happy I am in a much better frame of mind to tackle those tasks I have been dreading.


So let’s all grow up next week – this weekend let’s just enjoy ourselves and our loved ones.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

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