Some people are lucky, in that they wake up one day as a child or teenager and realise they want to do a certain job when they grow up, then work until they get there. I never had that luxury – I haven’t wanted to do a certain thing from a young age and I’ve never had a talent that I could exploit. I did, however, have lots of dream jobs that came and went as I aged, became more realistic or that I just moved on from, ranging from the impossible to the easily obtainable.
My favourite Disney film growing up (and still, actually) was The Little Mermaid. Like many other kids my age who had grown up with the animated classic, I wanted to be just like Ariel, with a tail and a clam shell bra. I was a good swimmer too and spent hours in the leisure centre pool pretending to be a mermaid and doing handstands. Unfortunately this wasn’t a viable career option, so my dream died when I realised magic and mermaids weren’t real. I suppose I could still be a mermaid for things like children’s parties and events, but I don’t quite have the figure or the patience for that kind of job.
Ever since I could pick up a pencil, I’ve loved to write. It’s why I have a blog (and have had many blogs in the past), why I had a diary for most of my life and why I filled exercise books with tales of spies and princesses and adventurers when I was younger. I also love to read. In the bath, at breakfast, in bed, on journeys… everywhere. Sadly, as an adult, I don’t get time to read or write as much as I used to, and my imagination isn’t nearly as good anymore, but for a good chunk of my childhood, being an Author was my chosen future job. I still do have a whimsical dream of writing a book, but I doubt I’ll ever get there.
Doesn’t every child dream of being a pop star or being in a band at some point? Watching Top of the Pops every Friday made me imagine myself up there in outrageous outfits, singing my own songs with backing dancers around me. Me and my friends at Primary school would make up dance routines on our lunch breaks and perform them for our classmates at the end of the week (which I’m actually very embarrassed about now). When I got older, I actually took singing lessons and I’m not half-bad at singing when I actually try, but you need a certain ‘look’ as a singer that I definitely don’t have and I’m not quite good enough to turn Simon Cowell’s head.
Acting was a dream of mine for a long time. I even did Drama at GCSE and A-Level, scraping an A and a C, respectively. It’s safe to say I got worse at acting as I aged; when I try and do a scripted video for my YouTube channel, it comes across awfully! But I focused on a future as an actor for while as a teen, even enrolling in a theatre school for a couple of years, where we did drama, singing and dancing. I thought I could start off with musicals and then get discovered by a talent agent and suddenly be casted for Hollywood movies. But unfortunately, like with my singing career, I didn’t have the ‘look’, or even the talent to get anywhere with it and gave up after college.
I may have watched too many home design programmes on the TV, because for a while I wanted to be an interior designer. I even looked at interior design courses at universities before realising that it would probably be the most boring course to do. I liked imagining how I would decorate my future house (I still do) and I had a good eye for aesthetic. Every IKEA trip would fuel my lust for interior design, but I came to the realisation pretty quickly that I just wanted to design my own rooms, not other peoples’. I’m impatiently waiting for our savings to build so we can purchase our first home and I can decorate it to how I want!
At university I studied Television Production and although I really didn’t enjoy the shoots (being a camera operator wasn’t my idea of fun), I loved the admin side of things. A Production Assistant deals with all the paperwork and legal side of things, as well as organisation and scheduling, which was my idea of heaven (I mean, just look at my bullet journal). I only took on the role a couple of times throughout my time at university but it was the only thing (besides editing) that I really enjoyed doing. When I left uni, the dream died and I was put off working in television for life.
After leaving university, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but after researching and soul-searching I decided I would really love to be an Editor. It combined my love of reading with my grammar and linguistic skills (A-Level English Language…) and I had also had some slight experience with it in the form of beta-reading Dramione fanfiction as a 17-year-old. It’s a lucrative career to get into, so I took matters into my own hands and created Proof It, an online editing service. I got a few bits and pieces in but I had to give up after a while as the work wasn’t coming in, and I didn’t have any cashflow for advertising or running a proper (hosted) website.
My current aspiration is to grow my blog and YouTube channel enough that I can make a living out of it. I do currently call it my career or my job, but I’m not making enough that I can call it my living just yet. Hopefully one day I can, because I’m enjoying doing it so much; it’s endless fun creating content and editing it and seeing it up there on the internet for the world to see. The comments I get on each blog post or YouTube video give me so much joy, it makes me feel like I have a community surrounding me, even when I’m just sat on my own in the room. I don’t have ‘real-life’ friends so the online friends I’ve met through YouTubing and blogging have been such a blessing. I also even enjoy the admin side of things – promotion, scheduling, tagging, proofreading, making thumbnails and so on. I love what I do and I don’t want it to change for the foreseeable future, at least!
The point of this post was to say that even if you don’t have a particular career in mind – that’s okay. You go through lots of ‘dream jobs’ as you grow, and even if you don’t decide on one eventually, it’s no bad thing to have dreams and try out lots of different things. There’s no rule anywhere that says you have to have one job and stick to it forever and humans are made to have different experiences, not be tied down to one career.
With that in mind, what’s your current ‘dream job’? Or are you doing it? Let me know!