Throwback Thursday #27 – Career Dreams

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. Lauren took us back to family vacations last week. This week we are here to talk about those childhood dreams that may or may not have come to fruition.

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Career Dreams

A few weeks ago we talked about role models and mentors. Today the challenge is to think back and try to remember the careers you once imagined for yourself as a child.

So many children dream of wanting to be a teacher, or a doctor, or astronaut. Some of those dreams we might achieve, and some drift to the wayside. I remember years ago when my daughter told me she either wanted to be a doctor or a babysitter! Such variety!

These questions might spark a memory or two:

  1. Do you remember what you first wanted ‘to be’ when you grew up?
  2. Any idea what inspired that dream?
  3. What ‘job’ did you most emulate in play?
  4. Did you have any idea what salary or pay you thought you would have?
  5. Were there careers you knew you did NOT want to do?
  6. Were you ever encouraged to follow in the footsteps of a family member?
  7. Were you ever urged to join a family business?
  8. Were you ever discouraged from a particular field? If so, why?
  9. Did you have a Career Fair at school?
  10. As an adult looking back, do you ever wish you had taken the direction of your childhood dreams?

My post follows:

Thinking back, other than fantasy play (cowboys and Indians – not politically correct I know, but it was what I saw on television) the only career oriented play I remember was being a dentist. I had one of those rubber-like dolls designed to take a baby bottle. I found it perfect to transplant teeth into. I would take straight pins from my grandmother’s sewing box and push them into the doll’s mouth. Up she went on a stack of pillows beside a pole lamp. With my father’s pliers, I would slowly pull out all of her teeth. Voila!

My parents had lackluster jobs as far as I was concerned. They were blue-collar workers who seemed to be tired and their energy spent most of the time. Those manufacturing jobs were never on my radar although I did work in some factories along the way out of necessity.

I always wrote. From the first poem I ever wrote (’The Cookie Jar’) I knew writing would always be part of me. I have written (in my old blog) before about learning the word ‘abode’ and falling in love with it. I never saw writing as a career though. The same with art. I always drew, but never considered it as a career either. It just seemed a part of me like an arm or a leg.

I fancied myself a fashion designer when I was in elementary school. I remember pages and pages of oddly shaped people I drew and for whom I fashioned clothes.  I think I realized early on fashion design was not to be ‘my thing’. 

I had thoughts of becoming an elevator operator. Those women in the department stores running those elevators with what seemed to be gilded doors seemed like the height of luxury to me. I have written about that as well.

In junior high (7th through 9th) I decided I wanted to be an archaeologist. Egypt and the pyramids fascinated me. I am not sure when I fell out of favor with that idea. Then I decided becoming a diamond cutter would be perfect! At least until I learned any mistakes made would be my financial responsibility. I think that idea helped to dissuade me.

By the time I was a junior in high school (11th) my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It changed everything. Not only was I being asked to consider the very real likelihood of losing my mother, but it was also nearing time for deciding about a career. There was no money for college and our family needed money. I decided to follow in the footsteps of my other three siblings and join the military. I have written about that journey (here) if you did not read it the first time around. It became one of my most popular posts for that time period.

As far as salaries are concerned I never had any lofty goals. I do remember learning in the mid 1960s the presidential salary at the time was $100,000. I could never imagine that kind of money! My first job as a waitress was 90¢ an hour plus tips so I fell a little short of $100K. Thankfully I progressed a little further throughout my IT career.

Looking back I did okay. I never made it to Egypt but our history buried in the earth still intrigues me. I never made it into training to be a diamond cutter, but I did finally take lapidary classes and learned to cut simple facets in semi-precious stones. There is something magical about turning a rock into a stone suitable for setting into a piece of jewelry.