What do you want to be when you grow up?

A couple of weeks ago I was asked a question.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I couldn’t answer it. Not succinctly. Possibly, not at all.

Which was awkward, as a week later I was asked by the same person why I wanted to be something specific. Someone else, maybe.

Having spent the week in between conversations trying to convince myself that I knew exactly how to answer the first question – that sense of persuasion was still lacking a week later. The clarity was not forthcoming.

Which, I have to admit, has thrown me a little. Not in the overthinking sense (something I am prone to) or even the odd bout of glumness (Eeyore has nothing on me) – but in the “where does one even start?” way.

By talking. That’s often the first place to start.

So I got in touch with someone I like to talk things through with. With, not just at. I mentioned the initial question, which they laughed at. They had found an answer hard to come by at one point in their own career.

As the conversation went on, rather than a thing – a title – we talked about likes and dislikes. How they had set up something to help them focus on what they wanted to do, rather than fit a box or hole in an organisational structure.

It helped, a lot. So much so, that the sense of being thrown is reducing, with a view that – a sharpie and a piece of A3 paper – has a lot of words and squiggles over, that are now starting to take shape.

A development plan, if you will.

I still don’t know if I can answer the original question, or if I am anywhere near the conviction required for the second interaction. But what I do know is that being thrown, and then working with others to find my own answers, is something I need to keep working on as more questions are sent my way.

But hey. That’s work. And the many hours in between.

Chris Written by:

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