HOW I SPENT OVER 10,000 HOURS OBSESSING ABOUT “What Do I Want To Do When I Grow Up” – AND WHY YOU DON’T HAVE TO

As a kid I really struggled with this “what do I want to do when I grow up” big question that grown-ups love to through at your corner. I’m guessing you probably had a few answers in mind; probably along the lines of “ballerina,” “astronaut,” “scientist,” or “dinosaur” if you were like me (hey, they said dream big!) After being told that was a fat chance, I answered “lawyer.” But let me tell you something – the more I answered the question, the more it got me thinking about what I really wanted to do when I grew up.
And it scared the s^%# out of me.
I mean, come on. I only get to pick one thing for the rest of my life? What if I find something cooler later on? What if I get bored? What if I get fired? What if I don’t like it as much as I thought I would?
As I grew older, got my degree, than another (and yet another for the kicks of it)… trained as a lawyer, worked as an economist, qualified as an analyst, experimented with teaching, tried consulting and mostly just grew more confused!
I’ve spent way more than 10,000 hours on this conundrum, but to round it off, I’ve wasted as much time worrying about what my “perfect job” is as I have actually getting a perfect job.
Let me save you some trouble.
There have been some lies we’ve all been told and that’s what’s keeping you from knowing what you REALLY want to do when I grow up. Are you ready to kick your worries to the curb?
what do I want to do when I grow up
I’ve outlined eight main reasons why remote jobs are the best way forward, even as a part time gig while you’re trying to figure it out.

1. There is no “dream job” – because there’s no “one passion”
Parents, career counselors in high school, and advisors in universities go on about finding your “one passion” and settling down with it, but let me give you a news flash. There is no one passion. It’s impossible. Our passions represent who we are, and no one has only one thing they’re passionate about. You may be a lawyer, but do you like cars? Do you like hiking? Can you paint or sing or enjoy teaching others? There are your other passions and each one of these can be made into a job if you enjoy them, if you’re good at them, and if someone’s willing to pay for them.
Essentially as humans (and I’m taking this huge guess and assume that if you’re reading this, you’re indeed human :)), our passion grow and evolve with us. What used to rock you boat and get you all excited at 18, might not be doing it for you anymore at 30. We grow, we change, we accumulate experiences and so our desires can, and probably will, change along the way. So stop obsessing about the right answer to what I want to do when I grow up, and instead focus on “what do I want to do NOW”.
2. You don’t have to follow a structured plan
You may be thinking now, “Okay, I can have multiple passions, but which is the right one for me?” or “how do I make sure I don’t screw it?”
Short answer: you don’t. That’s where it’s time to put on the brakes. There is no one passion, and therefore there’s no need to choose and plan the perfect path to get there. More then 40% of popular occupations nowadays didn’t exist just merely a few decades ago. When I was growing up, nobody could have even imagined jobs like youtuber, blogging coach or periscope empire builders (it’s a thing, google it). Life’s a journey, not a destination – as corny as this might sound make sure you enjoy the various stops. Try one career, pivot, make a change, start a side hustle, change a job and take up chances as they present themselves. You can shift several careers, in another few years, you may hop to another and get to enjoy all of your passion careers until you’re 150 years old and reclined in your beach house in Maui with your Persian royalty pool boys.
3. Stack your passion projects
Careers take hard work and common sense; following your passion into bankruptcy is a bad idea.
But skills stack up, and passions give you skills. Perhaps you were a lawyer – a damn fine one – and now you want to be an entrepreneur. That’s great; your knowledge as a lawyer can give you incredible multitasking skills, and expertise with contracts and negotiations. Those connections you formed as a lawyer can help you jump through legal hoops in your next career. Passions do more than keep you happy and entertained – they make you into a package of skill and awesomeness!
So even though you don’t have to have all the answers well in advance, do be strategic about what opportunities you attract to your corner. When changing paths, or reinventing your career don’t ask “what do I want to do when I grow up”, rather “what career choice will help me grow the most and obtain transferable skills I might leverage on the future?”
Not sure where to start?
Which skills & passions you can leverage to kick-start your remote career:
what to do when i grow up quiz
4. A setback is not the graveyard of your professional career
Life gets messy sometimes. Maybe you’ll have to take a break to attend to a sick relative, or perhaps you will chose to stay home with your kids for few years, or move to another country with a foreign language or... you get the gist, things can and WILL get difficult and unexpected at a certain point. That’s not the end of the world.
When I became an expat, I was super worried that moving to a new area would ruin my “perfect job,” and it did change it. You sometimes won’t have the same connections, you’ll be in an unfamiliar arena, and you’ll have a lot of balls to juggle in the air. But here’s the best part – this gives you a chance to cash in on opportunities that weren’t at home. You have new people, new networks, and more reach than you ever did before. Above all it provides with a unique opportunity to pose, think and redefine your dream career, without all the background noises.
The beauty of this huighly mobile and fast-changing work life is that it’s never too late to start over and reinvent yourself. In this flexible and inter connected world “what do I want to do when I grow up” becomes a super valid question even after 50.
Conclusion:
Don’t know what you want to do when you grow up? Me neither. I still don’t know – countless careers, degrees, and experiences in.
Save yourself the hours of worrying and embrace the freedom of being anything and everything you want to be when you grow up!

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So with all that in mind, what do you want to do when you grow up?!
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Comments

  • “A setba k is not the graveyard of your professional career” I absolutely love this quote! Awesome post 😊💛

    • Rita2G

      Thanks so much Kate:)

  • Oh gosh, I never liked that question too! I feel like I am told to pick Just One Dream Job for the rest of my life and like, what if I want to keep my options open you know???
    I love that part about how a setback is not the end of your professional career.

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