On the single profession for life

For many years I have asked my adult friends on their birthday

“so, what do you want to be – you know, later, when you grow up?”

I started this because it’s a typical thing adults ask children.¬†When I was a kid myself, many would answer the typical “fireman“, “astronaut“, but that has long faded. Lots of kids just don’t know – and I think that’s fine!

So I started asking adults, as I was curious whether they themselves would have an answer to the question they ask kids. I found a few things. First of all, many don’t have a quick answer, and for quite a few it appeared to cause some stress. Since most of them had professions/jobs, that’s interesting.

One conclusion could be that many are not actually doing what they want to be doing, or are even active in a field they’re really interested in now. How sad! I think the question is wrong. What interests and inspires people (of any age), what do you want to explore and learn more about?

The opinion piece below (at QZ) gives an interesting overview of the “one true calling” myth, or to be more clear, people having a single profession during their life time.

Many if not most people used to indeed have a single profession during their working life, but that’s really decades ago now. In the mid 1900s, many people even had a single employer all their life!

I wouldn’t call it a myth as it has a definite historical basis, however it’s just not the way the world works now. You may decide for yourself whether you regard this to be a good or a bad thing, but in any case it’s a fact and so it’s very important to recognise and work within this reality rather than pretending it’s different.