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What was your dream job as a child and what is your current job now?

Have your interests changed? How did you discover what job you truly wanted/was best for you? Do you have any regrets about where you are at right now?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Richard’s Answer

I wanted to be an automobile designer. (I live in New Jersey.) I found out that I would have to go to Michigan to do that and changed my mind. So I went to art school instead to be a graphic designer. In my sophomore year I changed majors to landscape architecture (different school) I was a landscape architect for 18 years until my place of employment had a re-org and I then became a project manager. I hated that job but the pay was better and so I did it for 18 years. I'm retired now. But still wondering what I want to do now.......

The point of my answer is, you can't be expected to know at 18 what you want to do with the rest of your life, and whatever you DO choose may change, and probably will, throughout your life.

Don't pressure yourself, roll with it, see what you like, don't like, change course if you need to.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Richard for the advice. Brenda
Thank you comment icon You're welcome, good luck! Richard Miller
Thank you comment icon Also, the BEST advice I can give you is this: Start saving for retirement NOW, as soon as you have a job. Time is your friend. The sooner you start the more comfortable you will be in retirement. Do a Roth IRA, or if you get a city job, the 457 / tax deferred savings plan. Trust me on this. Just save a little, every month and it will grow exponentially. Richard Miller
Thank you comment icon Thanks so much, Richard!! I'll keep that in mind! I really appreciate all of these tips! 💪 Brenda
Thank you comment icon Spread the word- tell your friends. I was lucky to have a city job with good benefits and a pension, but those jobs are rare these days. so you need to save for yourself. Somebody was nice enough to tell ME to start saving, and though i started saving later than I should have ( I was 27) it still allowed me to save a LOT for retirement. The earlier the better. Richard Miller
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Megan’s Answer

Hi Brenda,

Great question! I never really knew what I wanted to be as a kid. I love animals- but I knew I could never work in vet medicine because I hate needles. I worked at two Humane Societies after I graduated college (and still did not know what I wanted to do) and I think I would have stayed doing that if I did not have so much student loan debt that I could not afford to make such little income.

I also wanted to be an actor and thought about going to college in California but realized I could not afford that nor was I brave enough to ever move that far away. I majored in communications because it is very similar to a theatre degree. I even took some theatre classes that counted for my major.

I explored my options a lot. I did four internships and worked on campus. I changed my major a few times before I settled on communications. I worked on campus in the career services office and met a lot of students who did not know what they wanted to do after college. This led to my career working with students on career and college readiness. I wanted to help students figure out what their options were and prevent them from making the same mistakes I did.

I had the best college experience and I would not trade it, HOWEVER- I do wish I knew better about degrees that would lead to successful careers. I wish I knew more about money including student loan debt. I think if I knew what I know now I would have gone into a degree in health care or IT because they are high demand, high wage. I think maybe going into graphic design or marketing would have also been good because I like to be creative.

My best advice to students who want to find what career is best for them is to EXPLORE. Do job shadows, internships, part-time jobs, volunteering, summer camps at a university, and research high-demand, high-wage careers in your state. The sooner you start the better!

I hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Megan!! I really enjoyed reading your response and I found it very helpful! Brenda
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Henrique’s Answer

Hello Brenda,

My childhood aspirations were centered around becoming a racecar driver, but I soon realized the financial implications associated with this profession. The lack of necessary financial backing led me to reconsider my path. I've always been intrigued by technology, computers, and the field of Information Technology. During my teenage years, I fantasized about living abroad and being part of a big tech company. Consequently, I pursued a degree in IT, which opened my eyes to the vast opportunities in this field. Although software development wasn't my cup of tea, I enjoyed exploring the existing technologies and assisting companies in implementing solutions.

The journey to where I stand today was not premeditated. I moved to a different country due to personal circumstances, (I married someone from another country, and we decided to move there). I initially began working as a call center agent as it was the available opportunity at that time. My proficiency in multiple languages and keen attention to detail led to my promotion as a Quality Assurance Analyst. I was then entrusted with the task of replicating issues reported by end-users, which gave me the expertise required for a Tester position in my current company. My career progression here has been from a Tester to a Test Lead, then a Project Lead, and now I serve as a Business Planning Manager. I seized the opportunities that came my way and I'm now living the dream I had as a teenager.

However, my journey to this point was filled with a variety of jobs and roles that, in retrospect, contributed to my current position. I encourage you not to undervalue any job opportunity that comes your way. When you look back, you'll realize that every experience, even the unfavorable ones, played a role in honing a skill that you'll find useful.
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Brenda
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Edward’s Answer

My father asked his Temple members what would be a good profession for me. Consensus: an engineer. Without his input, my Boy Scout patrol members and I, decided to pursue a Math-Science courses. One became an engineer, another an attorney, and I chose architecture in my 12th Grade. Graduated with Bachelor of Architecture Degree. I worked part time for tuitions. Upon graduation. I enlisted in US Air Force Reserve Program as an Air Policeman. Having worked part time for architects, I rejoined my old arch firm. 7 years later, I designed the national headquarter for a Japanese auto manufacturer, and many other projects for them nationwide. Specialized in roofing systems. Took over my senior partner's forensic investigation duties. Learned a lot from other experts. WORK VARIOUS PROFESSIONS; PURSUE WHAT GETS YOUR INTEREST!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Edward! Brenda
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Jerome’s Answer

I always wanted to help people as I got a lot of help from people growing up.

I ended up being a VP of Sales, but through that I have a certain amount of resources that I get to donate to the community. I also sit on a board of directors for a college where I support individuals with disabilities.

I feel like I ended up with the best of both worlds 😊
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Brenda
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Carolina’s Answer

Growing up, I had dreams of becoming a lawyer, but now I'm an Engineer. As I got older, my interest in law started to fade, and I began to question how much I could truly help people in that field. However, I've always had a knack for math and science, which led me to pursue Industrial Engineering. I absolutely like my career, as it offers me a great deal of flexibility and the chance to take on diverse roles. At present, I'm enjoying my role as a Project Manager.
Thank you comment icon Carolina, thank you! Brenda
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Robyn’s Answer

When I graduated high school I wanted to be a pediatrician. However, I took computer science classes and graduated with a Management Information Systems business degree, and I currently work as a Marketing Technologist. I did not pursue the pediatrician career because I was overwhelmed with the amount of schooling required, the cost involved, and I didn't think I was smart enough. I didn't have anyone encouraging me or believing in me so I didn't really believe in myself. Looking back I wish I would have become a pediatrician. Believe in yourself even if no one else does! You know yourself better than anyone else. You need to pursue your passion to truly enjoy your life and become the person you were born to be. No doubts, no excuses, no regrets! Best wishes to you on you as you move on to college and your career.
Thank you comment icon Thanks so much for the encouragement, Robyn! Being a pediatrician is also one of the careers I'm currently interested in pursuing in the future. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't have anyone believing in you. Best wishes to you too as you continue on your path. Brenda
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Margaret’s Answer

Hi Brenda!

I love this question. When I was in high school, I wanted to be an editor at Teen Vogue. I was obsessed with magazines and wanted to be one of the people actually making the magazines I loved to read. I was always writing - either in my journal or in school - and wound up interning at a Hollywood trade magazine one summer in college in LA. Fast forward to today (~10 years later), and I work in PR & communications for a mental health care startup. There were a lot of twists and turns to get here! I worked at a 3 person non-profit, retail at Anthropologie, and two different PR agencies before landing my job.

I'm really happy with where I ended up. Instead of being the one writing the magazine stories, I am in charge of pitching the writers on story ideas. I still get to write a lot in my job, and have also started a side project newsletter that allows me to write for myself (instead of just for work). I've been fortunate to find relative stability in this career path, and it's allowed me to pursue a career and skills I really love (writing, storytelling, creativity, project management).

If you want to figure out what you love and want to do, here are 3 questions to ask yourself:
1) What do you love to do? Is it writing? Adding numbers? Building things? If you're in school, think about your classes. Which subjects light you up and make you curious to learn more? Which ones are more draining?

2) What's your dream job? Write it down, and continue to look at it. Your "dream job" may change overtime.

3) Who do you admire? Are there people in your life that have interesting careers? Ask them how they got there.

Good luck!! I'll be rooting for you.
Thank you comment icon Your journey sounds amazing, Margaret! I really enjoyed reading your response and thanks so much for providing me with self-reflection questions! Your advice is really helpful. Brenda
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Quoc Nhut’s Answer

My dream job was to be a police officer, but now I am an engineer. My dad advised me to try engineering, as he believed it would be good for my future career before I went to college, but I didn't like it initially. Despite my reservations, I trusted him and decided to give it a try. Step by step, I started to love it. In the beginning, I enrolled in Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry, and taking these courses improved my critical thinking. As I progressed into my major, I had to take many different classes. Although I didn't really enjoy some of them, I loved most of the courses in the degree plan. My major is Electrical Engineering. I was initially scared of coding, so I didn't choose Embedded Systems for my elective, which is the industry I want to work in now. Perhaps in the future, I will go to grad school to pursue it
Thank you comment icon Thank you! I hope you'll be able to pursue Embedded Systems in the future soon! Brenda
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Adeleye’s Answer

This the biggest question of my life , but I will like you to understand that there some people that have opportunity to do better in life but chose to be other way around but in Nigeria that I come from is very hard to have a have dream job because of the nature of the country but with the hard time some still survive but to be honest with you is only 5% out of 100 that achieve their dreams
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Brenda
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Alex’s Answer

Everyone at a young age may have that "dream job" but then it seems that one either chases it or ends doing something different for a variety of reasons. I didn't chase my dream job of becoming a banker, but life led me to a career in which I enjoyed and bacame good at now for 17 years. I do feel I stayed in one place for a few additional reasons such as being comfortable wher I was at, the pay would decrease at first changing to something else and also the fear of change. The only regret is that of taking the leap for change. Being a human we all fear change and stick with what wer are comfortable. We all make excuses as why we don't take the chance in a change. Being older now I'm more open to change and my only advise for younger people in their teens, twenties and thirties is to take that leap at change when opportunity comes knocking. Good luck!!!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Alex! Brenda
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Henry’s Answer

When I was a little one, I was always curious, always tinkering. I'd take toys and other things apart just to see how they worked, or I'd be busy building something new. At school, I took a career test to find out what job I might be good at in the future. The result? It suggested I could be an electrician. So, during my high school years, I decided to follow that path and took a course to become one.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Brenda
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Harun Arda’s Answer

When I was little, I always wanted to be a pilot, but when I couldn't get enough points in the exam, I decided to become an architect. I am now in the 3rd year and I have an opportunity to become a pilot and I do everything I can to evaluate it. No matter what the dream is, whether you support it or not, if you put it in your head, it will appear again, even if it is not the first time.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Brenda
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Thomas-Jaymes’s Answer

When I was younger I wanted to fly airplanes. I have worked many jobs from construction, heavy equipment, truck mechanic, quality assurance, management at 2-3 places and the Air Force. I served 16 years as an Aircraft Sheetmetal Mechanic fixing aircraft. I am recently retired from the Air Force and now I fix EMS helicopters and I am working on getting my light pilots license. Any thing is possible just try and be flexible throughout your life. Try jobs that are out of your comfort try and take experience from them and move on to the next thing till you find something you enjoy.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Brenda
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