We’ve been asked the same thing since we were little kids.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
When we’re young, it’s the easiest question to answer. I wanted to work at Dairy Queen (all that ice cream! and the hot fudge. ohh the hot fudge!). My friend wanted to be a crayon maker. My sister wanted to be an elephant.
When you get into middle school, the answers are a little bit loftier.
“I want to be a doctor.”
“I want to be a lawyer.”
“I want to be an astronaut.”
In high school, the answers are just as lofty, but more specific.
“I want to be a geneticist.”
“I want to be a nuclear engineer.”
“I want to be a professor.”
For me, though the answer has changed, one thing has remained the same.
I want to change the world.
I know I probably wasn’t going to change the world by working at Dairy Queen, but at one point in my life I really did want to become a geneticist. I was going to help couples dealing with infertility, and cure cancer while I was at it. Part of me would love to start school over and go down that path instead. The older, wiser part of me realizes that would mean at least another eight years in school (and many, many more years of student loan debt), and I’m not willing to put off living my life for that long.
I want to live my life now.
The life I’m currently living involves long hours working in a job I love, but don’t want for the rest of my life; spending my evenings away from my friends, boyfriend, and family while in class; spending my weekends studying or working while my friends are out having fun or taking short trips. And while I love this life, it’s not where I want to be.
I know where I want to be. I don’t know how to get there.
I’m studying accounting and finance in school. I don’t want to sit behind a desk all day. I may have chosen the wrong educational path. But I enjoy the work. Numbers make sense. If you add two and two, you will always get four. I like that I can count on that when so much in life is so unpredictable. I want to work for a company I love. A company that makes the world a better place. I would love if I could work for this company without leaving the comfort of my home. I want a job I can do from home. I want flexibility. I want to go into the office when needed. I want to meet with clients. I also want to know that if I have a sick child someday, it isn’t the end of the world if I have to pick that child up from school.
I read somewhere once (I don’t remember where, I so wish I did) that more and more businesses are being run without a central office. Businesses with hundreds of employees scattered all across the country, each one working from home. Meetings are done via Skype or a similar service. Information is stored in an online server and can be shared with anyone, anywhere. This is the job I want. I have no idea how to find a job like this. The only evidence I have that they even exist is the article I read and discarded not long after.
With only one more semester left in school, I am facing a future about which I have never been more unsure. I know what I want. I’m afraid I’ll have to live without it for fear of the unknown. Fear of trying and not succeeding. Fear of being professionally unhappy because I followed the well-worn path.
If only I had a compass, I’d wander off course and make a path of my own.
While I didn’t start this post with the intention of asking this question, I figure it never hurts to ask, right? If there is anyone, ANYONE, out there who knows someone who has a job similar to what I’m looking for, has heard of a job like this, knows how to search for a job like this, heck, knows of a job opening…please let me know. I am all ears at the moment. I might even throw some homemade butter toffee your way (not literally, I don’t want to hurt anyone).