From the time we are little, people ask us what we want to be when we grow up. The answers vary and change as we get older. Once we hit high school, we are told we need to seriously start thinking about what we want to do with our lives so we can take the appropriate classes to prepare for college. Once we get to college, we are told we must pick a major. At that point, we are still teenagers. How can we lock in the rest of our lives? We can’t.
I’m 33, but I think I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. Better late than never, right? When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher or a pediatrician. When I started college, my major was actually elementary education, but I really have no idea why. I don’t recall any desire to teach. I like kids, obviously, I acquired a couple along the way. I don’t always like other people’s kids though. I dropped out of college before that first semester ended. I wasn’t ready. I was overwhelmed and just felt like I had too much on my plate with a full course load and a full time job as a glamorous McDonald’s manager. Not just any McDonald’s either, but the one inside Wal-Mart. I was going far.
I worked for a year (at a different job that I loved, not McDonald’s) and then went back to a community college with a major in Accounting. This made a little more sense to me. Call me weird, but I enjoyed my classes. After those 2 years, I started in at a 4 year college. Almost everything transferred over in one way or another, so I continued on and 3 years later, got my business degree. I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. I was in the process of getting divorced and I had a toddler. Somehow, I thought it would be smart to keep going to school and get my MBA. 2 years later, I graduated, but I now also had a 3 week old baby. I totally knew what I was doing. Totally.
All that and I still really didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’ve finally figured it out though. I want a job that is purposeful. A job that helps people. A job that makes me feel good about myself and what I can offer others. That’s still pretty broad, but I don’t think it’s so much to ask. It’s not about the paycheck for me. I basically worked for free in Okinawa, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat because I truly enjoyed it. I’ve had a couple jobs working on post, either directly or indirectly with the military. I’ve done taxes and worked for loan companies and have loved those jobs. My combined experiences have really shown me what I do and don’t want to do for the rest of my life.
It’s still pretty wide open, which is good, but I’ve narrowed it down to this. I either want some kind of financial job, more on the basic side, or I want to work with the military again. As far as the financial side, I want to help people understand the basics. I want to teach budgeting, teach high schoolers about money in the real world, help people understand where there money is going and why it’s not smart to take out a 24% interest loan on a car. I’ve done this in two positions in the past, one at a for profit company and one at a non-profit, so I’ve been on both sides of that fence. As far as the military side, with everything my husband is going through with his injuries and the VA, I’d like to help vets in similar situations. This is probably a stretch as I doubt I have the proper education or experience, but you never know.
I don’t know when any of this will happen or what will come about when my husband is no longer active duty, but finally knowing is somehow refreshing for me.