Getting Closer to “When I Grow Up”


Like most people, My plans for what I wanted to be “when I grow up” changed many times over the years.  I don’t remember policeman, astronaut or firefighter ever being on the list, but rock star and cowboy certainly were.  Bounty hunter or private detective remained aspirations until around 7th grade when I decided my future lay in soap opera acting.

Upon reaching high school my plans grew slightly more realistic.  I made preliminary inquiries into what was required to attend West Point, the United States Military Academy, until a weekend spent on campus talking to Cadets led me to evaluate my level of discipline and find it lacking.  Dissuaded from seeking a leadership position in an organization of over one million people, I naturally decided to instead apply to the University of Maine and live a life of isolation as a forest ranger. That didn’t last long either.

It will be interesting to hear the different career paths that the five year old considers over the years.  She seems to have given up the idea of “superhero ballerina”, but rock star is still a consideration. She remains determined to help people, which I love, and has recently added hairdresser and librarian to her list, as she feels “everyone loves a good haircut and having books given to them.”  It’s pretty solid logic.

For the teenager, however, “when I grow up” is a time that is fast approaching. It’s been a bumpy ride but  graduation from high school will be upon us soon. Decisions about what the next chapter in her life will be are going to have to be made soon.  Afraid that she may not realize this and growing frustrated with our communication lately being limited to text messages to her room when dinner was ready, I used my secret teenager trap to lure her out and force her to sit down and talk for a bit. I took her out for wings.


close to grown up
to capture a teen, hot wings make good bait


It seemed a productive chat.  She assures me that she is on pace to graduate and that she has a plan. She wants to be a veterinary technician, a nurse for animals.

It’s not the worst idea that she has ever had.   According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, our state is predicted to have  19% job growth in that profession between now and 2024. There is no state required professional credentialing, so further schooling wouldn’t necessarily be required, though it would greatly improve her hiring desirability . Entry level salary of $26,000, with a mean of 37,850, won’t make her rich but it would keep her fed.

She won’t qualify academically for either of the two in-state schools that offer certification programs, but there are on-line classes that she can take to start.  Some sort of employment will be mandatory and maybe something else will inspire her.  Something besides “rock star astronaut” hopefully.




38 thoughts on “Getting Closer to “When I Grow Up””

  1. Sounds good. Don’t they say that the average person will change jobs every 4 years or so now, so nothing has to be final, it seems! My girls don’t really know what they want to do. The eldest is using travelling and Uni as a buffer to decision making. Probably not a bad idea! Alison #AnythingGoes

  2. Ooo that sounds like a great job & by helping animals she can fulfil her desire to help! Growing up isn’t easy, it’s really hard to know what you want to do forever as a teenager. I love the photo of your daughter with the wings, a nice day out! #AnythingGoes

  3. I’m liking the sound of luring the teen out with the wings!! Tactics eh! Wow your daughter really is at that stage isn’t she – but at least she has given some thought. As previous commenters have said, careers really change quite often now so it’s as good a place as any to start. Quite a scary old time isn’t it when they have to make the decisions. Nice that you have a superhero and hairdresser to balance out the decision making. I love that about kids – that they really can be anything they want to. Thanks for coming over and supporting us for the first week of #TweensTeensBeyond. It’s appreciated. Nicky

  4. Chicken wings are a common currency amongst our teens, a bit like worrying I guess. It sounds like your daughter has her head firmly screwed on and knows what she wants. My eldest is about to head off to Uni – grades permitting and it is a scary prospect that he is so close to being in charge of his own destiny. Thanks for joining us – hope to see you again next week – there is never a dull moment in teen world after all! #TweensTeensBeyond

  5. Now that is a tactic that I must try with my teens. Food in exchange for a sensible conversation. I like your style. I also like the idea of her career choice. People will always have pets and will always be willing to spend money on them. Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond. Looking forward to reading more next week.

  6. Sounds like she’s got great plans for her future – working with animals would be such a worthwhile career. Love that you went out for food and she was happy to open up – I’m guessing that lots of teenagers couldn’t be bothered engaging in any serious chat with their parents. My tween can be bad enough at times! #anythinggoes

  7. That sounds like a great career! My daughter is almost 12 and she’s wanted to be a hairdresser, a librarian and writer. At the moment she wants to be a screen writer or director. She’s actually been performing exceptionally well in graphic design so now she’s thinking about that too as she’s really enjoying her classes! I’m sure we’ll get there eventually and she’ll make the right decision. Your daughter sounds quite sensible and it seems as if she’s really considered her choices. Good on her and good luck! 🙂 #AnythingGoes

  8. Sounds like a pretty solid choice. It can take a while after school to really settle on something. Took me into my early 20s before I headed to university with a clear goal.

    Also, see if you can get the little one to hold on to the dream of superhero ballerina. The world needs more of them!

  9. I know what you mean. My step son is 18 today. He knows where he wants to go career wise, but it’s just getting there, deciding on the right uni etc. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

  10. I always swore when I started my job it was short term still doing it 20 years later good luck to your daughter great post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

  11. Seems like a sensible choice, fair money, challenge but not to much stress, transferable skills, the opportunity to be compassionate and a job that will always be necessary. I am still deciding at 29! Thank you for linking to #stayclassymama xx

  12. At least she has a realistic plan. I had no idea what I wanted to do at that age so I got a job and wasted my time. I did eventually go back to school but it was immensly more difficult since I was living on my own and working full time to pay the bills. #StayClassyMama

  13. She sounds like a great girl and that she is right on track. Hopefully she will be able to achieve all her goals and become a veterinary nurse. I think it’s a lovely career path. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

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