I’m in my 20s, and I only recently really decided what I wanted to be when I grow up. You can ask adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s, and many of them will tell you they still don’t know what they want to be! It’s definitely not set in stone; from ages 8 to 20, for example, my dream was to be a doctor – and then I completely flipped the switch to writer (and literature professor, aye thank you). No matter what your age, don’t worry if you’re still unsure – just take a peek at some of these helpful ways to decide what you want to be when you grow up.
1. Analyze Your Hobbies
A sure way to decide what you want to be when you grow up involves taking a look at your hobbies. Not all hobbies can parlay themselves into professional careers, but many of them can. Artists have many avenues available to them, even if they only draw or paint or sculpt in their spare time. If you like to cook as a hobby, you might be headed for a culinary career. If you like to read and write, you could be a teacher, professor, writer, or editor – just to name a few.
2. Find out What You’re Good at
Sometimes it simply comes down to what you’re really good at and where you excel. As a younger girl, I was good at biology but I was horrible at things like chemistry and trigonometry. However, I was great at English – and other subjects that were mostly based on matters of opinion! You might be passionate about something, but not very good at it, so trust where your talents lie too.
3. Check out Your Interests
Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t always be good at your interests. Looking at your passions is a great way to decide what you want to be when you grow up. If you’re really interested in medicine, advertising, sales, or even fishing, see what options are available to you when you want to take those passions to the next level.
You don’t have to tie yourself down to a commitment right away. I’ve known tons of people who change their majors midway through colleges – and their careers midway through their professional lives. I bet you have too. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different jobs. Try internships or apprenticeships in the areas in which you are most interested. Don’t limit yourself, just see what you like.
5. Observe Others
It never hurts to see how other people are doing in the fields that interest you. Talk to people in the positions and professions you think you’d be interested in, and see how they feel about what they do. However, when you go this route, remember that everyone is different. This is just a way to get some different opinions.
6. Put Together Your Priorities
Another way to decide what you want to be when you grow up is to prioritize. What is most important to you? Do you want to make a lot of money or do you want to be happy? Is job security vital to you? How long do you want to be able to work? These questions are crucial and can help you make this important decision.
7. Follow Your Heart
When it comes down to it, though, it pays to follow your dream. It might not work out, but that’s okay. You don’t want to have any regrets. It took me forever to make the decision to change my major because I was afraid my loved ones would be disappointed in me. Ultimately, they were all happy I was doing something I loved, and proud that I wanted to follow my own dream.
There are tons of ways to decide what you want to be when you grow up, and there are no limits. You should never limit yourself, and you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things. You also shouldn’t worry about change. I mean, I also wanted to be a prima ballerina when I was a little girl! What did you want to be when you were little?
Top Photo Credit: mady • hatter