The knee-jerk response to that question is some variation of: “Who said I’m growing up?”
That said, it is a question we all were asked at some point. As we got older we (hopefully) discovered a career we were passionate about and – even more hopefully – were fortunate enough to have support in pursuing that path.
However, this is not where we are going this week. Rather, we invite you to re-live the innocence of childhood and see what children today dream of becoming. There have been several recent surveys that have yielded a variety of results.
- For example, Harris conducted a poll for LEGO where they interviewed children between the ages of eight and twelve in the US, UK and China. This was not an open-ended survey as they gave the kids five choices. What was #1? Survey said – YouTube star (for the US and UK). In the Chinese version, the first choice was Astronaut.
- A job search site in the United Kingdom – Reed.co.uk – surveyed 250 children between the ages of seven and ten. Their top five choices varied by gender. For girls the list was: Veterinarian, Teacher, Engineer, Doctor and Baker. For boys the top five was: Footballer, Inventor, Policeman, Builder and Engineer.
- Finally, New York Life conducted a survey entitles “Fatherly” in 2017. It interviewed 1000 kids under the age of twelve. As with the previous study we cited there was quite a gender gap. The career preferences for girls were: Doctor, Veterinarian, Scientist, Musician and Teacher. Boys opted for: Police Officer, Firefighter, Scientist, Engineer and Athlete.
As you settle into your career and gain more experience and confidence, now might be a good time to consider mentoring. Children have dreams that can be crushed by a careless comment or nourished by genuine encouragement.
Pay it forward by being the spark that sends someone on the journey of their dreams.
Who was your spark? Please share in the comment section.
*There is much more detail to the studies mentioned above. Here are the links for further exploration.