‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’

What do you want to be when you grow up?

We’ve all been asked this question at some point in our lives, usually when we were children. But how many people actually end up doing what they wanted to do when they were younger?

I wanted to be an artist, and although I’m not pursuing this career path (mostly because my artistic abilities are limited to splatter painting and drawing stick figures), one of the bigger issues was what kind of job I’d be able to get. How would I financially sustain myself as an artist?

My family suggested I start a business after college.

Or become a doctor.

Or a nurse.

Or a lawyer.

None of these jobs sounded appealing to me, and the main aspect they have in common is that they pay well. Of course going into the medical field is respectable, and if I were to succeed in putting up a business I’d be financially stable. Generally, it seems the goal is to find a job that pays well because we need money to survive.

I recently told an acquaintance that I’m a double major in journalism and political science, and he quickly advised me to consider nursing because that’s where all the jobs are. And I realized he had a point. Journalism is a risky field to get into: the pay isn’t so great, and the continuous cutbacks on major publications (like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times) are definitely saying something about job stability in the field.

But sometimes you don’t do things for the money.

Businessman Herman Cain said, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

While the constraints of finances never seem to go away, it’s refreshing to ponder about what we’d do if money wasn’t a factor. If all your necessities were going to be provided, what career would you like to or have liked to pursue? If you had everything you needed, how would you spend your days? And while it might seem impossible to survive in this day in age doing what we desire, it’s helpful to refer to another saying: “If there’s a will, there’s a way.”

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