Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Things I wanted to be; things I did instead

You know those articles about "live the life you always dreamed of" or "are you passionate about your job?" or "if you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work"?  Well, that's all fine and good, but in my professional work career, I didn't become what I dreamed of as a kid.  Many of us don't.  Are you the teacher, the ballerina, the fireman, the police officer, the pop star that you dreamed of being?  As you can see listed below, my career dreams didn't exactly pan out. 

As a kid and/or teenager, even early adult, these are the following things that I dreamed of becoming when I grew up:
  • Radio DJ - my earliest memory of a dream job
  • MTV hit; then I decided "Screw radio.  I want to be a VJ."
  • Fashion Designer, although I can't sew; can't even hem pants or sew on a button; can't draw either
  • Talk Show Host; this was during the time period that I'd get home from school and watch Sally Jessy Raphael, Oprah, Phil Donahue, Geraldo and/or Montel Williams
  • Personal Shopper - I like shopping; why not use someone else's money to do it?
  • Criminal Profiler - I've read a lot of true crime in my life and watched a lot of crime story documentaries; somewhere along the way, I thought this would be a good profession for me.
  • Stylist, preferably for a musician or rock band - I like clothes; I like music; makes sense.
  • Rob Zombie Back Up Dancer - no lie, this is still my dream job.

What exciting things have I done with myself in the working world?  Well, here's an assortment:
  • Hostess at Red Lobster - I don't like seafood; I thought if I picked a place that I didn't like the food, then I wouldn't eat it all the time; I was wrong; I devoured their cheesy bread rolls.
  • Manager at a tanning salon - I looked tan & fine; let's hope I won't regret it with melanoma later on
  • Waitress - everyone should have to work as waitstaff at some point in their life
  • Manager of retail clothing store - a couple of different clothing stores actually
  • Caseworker at a juvenile prison - Sociology degree in tow; if I could have made a decent amount of money doing this, I would have continued; Also, if I hadn't been the subject of an assault plot as a gang initiation, I would have continued as well.  (plot - it didn't happen - fortunately - the facility I worked at had a terrible amount of assaults on staff)
  • Jack-of-all-trades in building materials world: credit manager, inside sales, outside sales, product manager, purchasing agent, roofing specialist, assistant manager - oh yeah, glamorous stuff, but I met a lot of good people in this industry.
  • Jewelry sales extraordinaire + marketing too + small business owner - my guy and I make a pretty great team, except we aren't making the money we'd like, so maybe a better way to say it is we are compatible, supportive, bounce ideas off each other, know what the other's thinking, but not financially lucrative kind of team.
So, Mr. Rob Zombie, if you're reading this, I'm still waiting for that call to audition. 

Are you living your career dream?  What did you want to be?  What have you become?


  1. You've held quite a number of interesting jobs there, girl! I'll admit, I had to read the part about you being the subject of an assault plot as part of a gang initiation twice. Made my palms sweat! That's some crazy stuff right there! Not sure I could deal with that kind of stuff either.

    To answer your questions. Am I living my career dream? Not really. But, here's the thing - I have no idea of what that would be (professional travel perhaps?). For the most part, I like my job. I enjoy working with the kids and making an impact in their lives. But, it is just a job. It's not my passion. It is way to make a living.

    When I was a kid I wanted to be... In the navy, a gymnast (inspired by Mary Lou Retton in 1984), an architect, a graphic designer, a doctor, and a physical therapist. I wound up as a speech therapist.

  2. I basically wanted to do all the things on your wishlist too!

  3. First of all this is my favorite post of 2016 so far, I love it!

    I also wanted to be a profiler, I have an associates degree in Criminal Justice. I used that and worked as a prison guard for a while before ending up in the private security sector. In the private security world I've done everything from finance to installation and maintenance management.

    I'm pretty sure my sister is the only person I know who's life has went as planned.

  4. oh i like this list! i agree that everyone should be a waiter or waitress at some point in their lives - taught me so much! people are terrible. i wanted to be a dentist as a child. WHAT. haha. i'm a weirdo. and a ballerina. so at least i had a fun side job in mind :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

  5. THANK YOU. I think those articles/posts about "live the life you want"/"are you happy in your job? then fix it!" are so darn stressful. Um, I can confidently say that I never dreamed of doing what I do (technical writer for an appraisal firm) and I know that I'm not going to stay here forever. But I'm also realistic and I have a mortgage and sometimes being an adult means taking the time to make some money and pay the bills and work those un-fun jobs for a while.

    I have total confidence that Mr. Zombie will be calling you soon ;)

  6. I've always wanted to be a writer or work in criminal justice/law. I've definitely done the latter and I'm working on the former. I've had a number of speed bumps along the way (read: crappy jobs) but I guess I'm in the minority of people who've been able to work in their chosen fields.

    I've never been a server. I couldn't deal with people like that. I'd get fired inside of a day.

  7. I really wonder the percentage of people who do what they wanted to do in life.
    I always wanted to be a talk show host. Kelly Ripa - move over.
    ... & I'm an accountant... life fail

  8. Reading your post made me realize that I too had so many dreams (and dreams they were!) that I never followed through with or looked into. Your talk show host mention had me giggling. Talk shows were the shit back in the day. Sally Jesse Raphael or Phil Donohue. Man I miss those buggers.
    I'm happy but I certainly wish I could be paid to do shit fuck all, all damn day. Lol!

  9. wow, what a lot of interesting (and terrifying) jobs you've had. I agree with working as a waitress. You know they are different at home, and I never was a proper waitress, just worked at maccas and function centres, but I think everyone should work in any kind of hospitality. really shows you what people can be like, and i think it helps you in so many other areas of life.

  10. Oh my gosh, I want to be a backup dancer for Rob Zombie too! Whenever I hear Living Dead Girl, I really am up on stage with him strutting around. Ha, ha!

    I love this post. Very interesting. :)

  11. This is funny, and I actually have a similar post sitting in my drafts! I wanted to do something in fashion when Rachel from Friends was doing something in the field. But my first dream was actually to be an architect until I realized how much math was involved, and you know, the ability to draw (which I lack).

    That caseworker job sounds scary! How did you find out? I wanted to do something similar with my Psychology degree, but realized I would've needed a Masters to actually work anywhere. I admire that you can work effectively with your spouse- I don't think I could do that. Too much together time!

  12. I maybe need some stories from your days as a caseworker at a juvenile prison.

    I thought I was going to be the General Manager of a sports team and am clearly not.

  13. I don't know if I ever really wanted to be a stylist per se, but I definitely wanted to spend other people's money instead of my own! I love your idea about working at a restaurant where you don't like the food in hopes that you wouldn't eat the food, but those Red Lobster biscuits are too amazing to pass up!

  14. So I just went to Red Lobster for the first time in years, and I got a side of brussels sprouts... They were absolutely 100% cooked in movie theater popcorn butter and it was the weirdest/grossest thing. But...those dang rolls were 150% worth it. They get me every time!

    I wanted to be an apple picker when I was little. It didn't happen, but I could move to central Washington and make it a reality! And I'd probably develop a tan as a bonus!

  15. I wanted to be a fashion designer, an interior designer and a real estate agent. I have been none of those things. Haha!!! I did manage a clothing store and a home interiors store before. And I work in the real estate field now...but the appraisal side of things. Much less glamorous. I have one dream left, to own my own boutique. It is going to happen one day, it just has to!!!!

  16. This is so interesting! At one point I wanted to be a pathologist, then realized I wouldn't be able to deal with doing autopsies on kids. And now that I've taken that to a dark place, jobs I have had: clothing retail, selling eyeglasses, RA, thrift store, and movie rental store.

  17. I absolutely LOVE this post because it's real. (And your experience as a caseworker sounds both fascinating and terrifying. I'm so glad nothing terrible happened to you!)

    Most of us aren't doing what we always dreamt about, but that's okay. For me, I look at my job as something that challenges me, allows me to learn new things, and pays the bills. And that's enough for me right now. It's not my dream job, but I like what I do and I'm actually using my degree ... So that's something.

    As for my dream job, I still daydream about being an author (so maybe I should actually sit down and work on at least one of the book ideas I have floating around in my head!) and an actress. I know those are both pretty unrealistic (well, the actress more than the writer, I guess), but those have been my dream jobs since I was a little girl.

    I have actually never worked as a waitress (or in any food places), but I've had my fair share of tough/shitty jobs. My absolute worst jobs were in customer service. People can be really terrible when they're just talking to a voice on the other end of a phone. I think they forget sometimes that that voice belongs to an actual person!

  18. I wanted to be a vet until I realized how bad I am at math and science, and how hard vet school is to get into. For awhile I was convinced I was going to be a music producer and own a record label. Somehow I ended up a lawyer!


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