Last week, I promised to share the list of things I would like to do when I grow up. My challenge to you was to come up with at least ten. I was able to come up with sixteen. I am sure my list will change over time. If I had published it a couple of years ago, it would have been at a little different. A couple of things were added while a few things were removed.
Today, my list contains the following:
- Commercial Airplane Pilot
- Bookstore Owner
- Alternative Energy Engineer
- Aircraft Mechanic
- Clock Maker
- Motivational Speaker
- Backpacking/Camping Guide
- Executive Coach/Mentor
- Travel/Adventure writer/show host
- Forest Ranger
- Forest Fire Fighter/Smoke Jumper
- Coordinator/planner of Mission Trips
So, what good is this list? I already have a job. Am I looking for another? The answer to that is “not really.” However, while I am happily employed, I am always looking for new challenges and new opportunities. I may never actually become a Volcanologist or bookstore owner, but there are often things I learn while exploring these career options that can make me happier or more successful at my current job.
In fact, I am constantly surprised by how many useful skills I have learned while investigating my career list. For example, I have been working on my commercial pilot license for several years now. Part of the training for my single-engine private pilot license was to plan and take a long cross-country flight. That exercise taught me a lot about project management, including how to break big projects into smaller chunks, plan for contingencies, and how to make course corrections along the way.
However, even if I don’t learn something I can use today, I always find the investigations enjoyable, and the time well-spent. So, my challenge to you between now and next post is to pick one of your “dream” jobs and explore it. See if you can find a website that describes the job. See if you can find a blog written by someone who already does it. Go to your local library and see what resources they might have. Ask questions. What does the job really entail? What education is needed? Look to see if there is anyone in your geographic area that is involved in that career? If so, ask if they are willing to meet with you. Interviewing them can be a great way to learn more about the career, and (perhaps) get your foot in the door.
Exploring these career options can be very entertaining. However, research as if you truly intend to pursue a different career. If you are struggling with your current position, doing so might be that spark that makes what you are doing more interesting or bearable. Further, as noted before, it can help you build skills that might help you create more opportunities with your current employer, or create a “Plan B” should you wish or need to move. And in this day and age, it is always good to have a “Plan B”.
As for me, I am going to be doing a bit more investigation regarding Volcanology. I found a very interesting site at http://www.volcanolive.com/volcanologist.html. I’m off to do some reading.
Until next time.