Balancing act: What do you want to be when you grow up?
“The dream jobs we aspire to as children are a window into our passions and talents,” said Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert, in a press release about the survey. “Identifying and understanding those passions are key to improving our performance and enjoyment of the jobs we currently do, even if they aren't specific to the careers we dreamed of as kids.”
Some would say my childhood interest in Darth Vader translates well into my current role in middle management. Hmmm. Either way, I'm glad I didn't end up overseeing the construction of a Death Star. I just can't see how that would be good for my quest for work/life balance.
The LinkedIn survey also showed that more than 70 percent of respondents said the most important characteristic of a dream job is “taking pleasure in your work.” That was followed by “helping others” at 8 percent and “a high salary” at just over 6 percent.
And that brings me to a person who always takes pleasure in her work: my wife. She has worked as a professional journalist and is an outstanding writer. When I asked her about her childhood dreams, she said a writer was all she ever wanted to be.
"I always liked to write stories, and I loved to read," she said. "People would tell me that I was good at it, so I thought that was a dream that was within my reach."
However, as my wife pointed out, just because a person is no longer a child doesn't mean she has to change her dream.
"I still haven't become the writer I'm hoping to be," she said.
In other words, there's still hope for her and others who decide they haven't really "grown up" yet. It's never too late to chase those dreams.