Still Not Sure What You Want to Be “When You GrowUp?”

Remember as a kid how people used to askyou what you wanted to be when you grew up? You probably gave differentanswers depending on your age at the time. As you got older, you may haveswitched from telling people you
wanted to be an actress, an explorer,or a famous writer to giving some kind of expected answer. Maybe you gaveup on all those dreams you had about what you’d do with your life.

Somewhere along the road from childhoodto adulthood you made a decision — or perhaps someone else made it foryou — about what kind of career to pursue. Perhaps that job was a goodfit at first; maybe it was like wearing shoes that are too tight. A lotof people try this job and that one, hoping to find THE ONE that bringsnot only a paycheck but provides meaning and purpose and a feeling of satisfactionat the end of the day.

Are you in a career that makes you wantto jump out of bed every morning, raring to go? Or are you drifting along,trying to figure out what your true purpose is and start living it beforeit’s too late? You only get one shot at living, so shouldn’t you be doingwhat you love instead feeling like you’re stuck on a “human hamsterwheel?”

If you’re struggling to decide what youwant to be “when you grow up,” I know how you feel because I’vebeen there myself.

Getting “unstuck” starts with a few simple questions.  In your answers, you’ll find clues (and maybeeven gigantic road signs) pointing the way back to those forgotten dreams,pointing the way toward the life you were meant to live.

  •  As a child, what did you absolutely lovedoing? List anything and everything. The germs of a career may be hiddenhere.
  • What activities can you spend hours andhours doing now, where time just seems to melt away? Don’t worry aboutwhether or not you can get paid for these activities just yet. You’re stillin research mode.
  • If you never had to earn another dime,what would you do for free just because it’s fun?
  • What do you value the most? Is it money,status, recognition, family time, a challenge, security? Be honest. Noone else has to see your answers.
  • Where do you find meaning, purpose, andinspiration?
  • What are you doing when you feel themost energetic? Happy? Peaceful and calm?
  • What do you REALLYwant in your life?

Now look for common threads or patternsin your answers. You may not see your perfect career yet, but these littlenuggets of information are the first step to finding it. Explore your options.Get input from others. Think
outside the traditional Job Box. If you’restill not sure, find a coach to help you sort it out.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 43 or 57 or76, you’re not through yet.  There’s still time to decide what tobe when you grow up. There’s still time to create the life you were meantto live.

 Bonnie Pond is a career change expert who works with women over 40 who want to be their own boss. She helps themfind ways to turn their interests into income. Visit her website,,  for free resources to help you decide what you want to be “when you grow up.”

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