Sad though it surely is, most of us do not end up in the jobs that we dreamed of when we were younger. In fact, most of us won’t end up with jobs that are even close to being as exciting or as inspiring as the ones we used to tell people we wanted when we were five or six.
When we were young and we believed anything could happen, we wanted to be astronauts, rock stars, the owners of huge international businesses, action heroes, superheroes…So the question then becomes: why are so many of us stuck working in offices? Why are so many of us entering data into spreadsheets?
Why is it so common for us to work late hours in jobs we hate? Why does ‘success’ mean more responsibility but no more job satisfaction? How did this happen?
The Unfortunate Story
The answer varies from person to person but unfortunately there are a few consistent elements that seem to hold true across the board. Many of us will go through essentially the same story that will lead us to the same end destination.
It starts early when we’re at school and we’re forced to start specializing and choosing. Which course at school is most likely to help you to become a bestselling author? Or a pop star? Hmm. We end up biding our time by doing something that we enjoyed at school – history or geography maybe.
Then we go to college and we study that course for a year or three, only to find ourselves back at home living with our parents and without a job when we leave. If we want to get back our independence, then we’re going to need to take on a job just to pay the bills.
So we start working for our friend’s Dad’s company. Or we work in a supermarket. Or maybe an estate agents. Then we get a few promotions and we find ourselves climbing the ranks – actually, we’re on an okay salary.
And it’s just as well too – because our responsibilities are beginning to increase as we find ourselves with partners, maybe wanting to buy a house, maybe with children. And before you know it, you’re ‘area manager’, or you’re ‘director of logistics’, or you’re an estate agent.
They’re not bad jobs but they sure aren’t exciting and they sure don’t fill you with impassioned excitement. But you have kids on the way and you really need the money: now is not the time to do something foolish like starting your own business, or changing jobs, or taking out a loan. And nor do you have the time in the evening to do the things you want to do…
It Doesn’t Have to End This Way
But here’s the good news: the story isn’t over yet. You can still be the things you’ve always dreamed of being. In fact, with more money behind, more experience and more contacts, it’s more likely than ever. All it is going to take, is for you to acknowledge just how important it is to you and to decide that you’re not going to settle for the way things turned out.