When I grow up – it’s more than just a job

One of the most challenging questions to ask yourself is, “What do I want to be when I grow up.”

It’s not easily answered and often filled with more complexities than Google’s secretive algorithms for site rankings.

After all, we’re talking about life – not just your life, but the lives of those who will ultimately be impacted by your decision both today and well into the future. It’s a hefty burden to bare, and a question which seems to pop up more frequently than one might assume.

Jodi Weiss is a career strategist and author and had this to say on the subject:

What you don’t want to do, is waste your life. Wake up in your later years to realize that things you cared about most were not what you devoted your life to. That you missed your opportunity. That you took short cuts and lived your life taking the easy way versus the way that was right and honest and true for you. Because sometimes it is too late.”

While I fully realize that Weiss is speaking about an individual’s career path, her poignant choice of words leads me to ask another question.

When you ask yourself what you want to be when you grow up, why do we automatically assume we’re talking about a job?

When we “grow up” we should all hope to be:

  1. Compassionate – putting others feelings ahead of our own.
  2. Respectful – never forgetting where we’ve come from and who’s helped us get there.
  3. Fair – understanding that life isn’t always about what we want.
  4. Giving – knowing that the greatest rewards come from doing something selfless and unsolicited.
  5. Focused – living in reality, not a constant state of denial and blame.
  6. Thankful – showing appreciation for the many blessings we assume will always be around.

Time can never be recaptured one it’s gone. As Weiss says, you never want to “wake up in your later years to realize that things you cared about most were not what you devoted your life to.”

At the end of the day, more often than not, the “things you cared about most” are people – friends, family members, spouses, children.

Unfortunately we fail to make this realization until it’s too late. But it’s important to remember that people are what will endure through all the trials and tribulations in life.


One thought on “When I grow up – it’s more than just a job

  1. This is truly how we measure our life. In our final chapters, we never look back and say, ‘I wish I had worked harder at my job’. But we often find ourselves wishing we had worked harder at the parts of our life we valued the most. When I was a kid, my mother told us all she hoped for us was that we be happy. Most times that seemed so abstract and certainly elusive. As I grew older I realized the meaning was simply ‘be the best you’. And that job takes a lifetime.

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