Dream Jobs of the Past and Present

Linking up again with Taylor and Helene for #Blogtober 14. Today’s prompt is “Dream Job When You Were Little/What Is It Now?”

The Daily Tay

When I was in elementary school I always wanted to be a pediatrician. Funny how as I grew up, blood and guts grossed me out. And then I discovered that I did not have a talent for math and science. There went that idea. I left high school not knowing what I wanted to do. I knew that I wanted to do some kind of “helping” career….something in possibly psychology or sociology. I ended up enrolling my freshman year at Ithaca College with an undeclared major. I transferred my sophomore year to Cornell University, still having no idea what it was I was going to college for. I finally decided the summer of my sophomore year of college that I wanted to become a special education teacher after working as a Teaching Assistant in a summer program for autistic preschoolers. Well, Cornell isn’t really known for their teaching programs. So, I ended up finishing a semester early graduating with a degree in Human Development. I enrolled in grad school right away to get my Masters in special education and thus started my ten year career as a special education teacher. But, after working ten years in a large urban school district, having a 45 minute commute each way to work, and having two small children of my own, I realized that this was a career that I didn’t want anymore. I found that I was having to use all my patience for my class during the day and having very little left when dealing with my own family. I found the commute to be long and traffic sucked! I found there was a lot of paperwork that took away from actual teaching. And I found that there was just not enough money and resources for my students to get what they needed. Overall, it was a very stressful last few years.

I ask my own children what they want to be. At the moment, my 8 year old daughter wants to be a teaching doctor. At one point, my 6 year old son wanted to be a race car driver. Their answers are constantly changing and I love that. It’s way too early for them to know what they want to be. I want them to explore and try lots of different things to see what sparks their interest. My son is a talented artist and draws amazing Pokémon (his current obsession). My daughter is a bookworm (hmmm, wonder where she got that from?!!) and will read anything she can get her hands on.

My advice (one day to my own children and)to students graduating high school and not knowing what you want to do with yourself…..go to a community college. Try a little bit of everything. 18 and 19 is so young to commit to a career that you’re shelling out thousands of dollars for. Get internships and jobs in in areas that you think you might like and then once you have a better idea, then spend the big bucks for the education.

I’m not so sure there is a dream job out there for me, but if there is, it would involve reading and food! So, moral of the story is…..I’m 35 and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up…..but I’ll let you know when I figure it out!

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9 thoughts on “Dream Jobs of the Past and Present

  1. I feel like you and I started college the same way, and with the same ideas. Probably how we both ended up in the fields we did (I do speech therapy in the school system). I can definitely relate to the patience, and then all of the paperwork and other stresses that take away from the actual joyous part of your job and have been struggling with that this year more than any of the other 8 years Ive been in the school systems.
    I like your advice about going to community college!

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  2. My mom works with people who are special needs and she was amazing at it. It took so much patience but she always stayed calm. I think all of that patience has burned out now unfortunately tho, lol! Now that she is older she has NO patience for anything.

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  3. That’s a really great idea, to try community college if you don’t know what you want to do. Thanks for working in our school system, my sister is a teacher so I know how hard people work!

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  4. I immediately thought of this while reading your post…

    “I went to Cornell, ya ever heard of it? I graduated in 4 years, never studied once, I was drunk the whole time, and… I sang in the a cappella group Here Comes Treble.”

    The Office? Yes? hahahah I’m sure you get that a LOT!

    And do any of us know what we REALLY want to be ‘when we grow up’? 🙂 Great post!

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  5. I’m looking to go to school to be a special needs teacher. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with the special needs classrooms and I love it. I also love your advice. I’m 26 and just really figuring out what I want with life.

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