Future Directions, difficult choices

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I remember being asked that a lot when I was younger, I remember having to choose subjects to study for my GCSEs, thinking about my future as I approached leaving school and entering the world of work.

Several times I have changed direction in my career, some through choice, some as a result of good luck, some as a result of redundancy.

Yet again I find myself at a crossroads in life where I could change direction, do anything I want, be the master of my own destiny. During times of reflection (often during walks on the beach or around a local nature reserve) my thoughts turn to many possible options.

In some ways I am lucky as I have a lot of experience and multiple transferable skills. But that also makes me a little unlucky as it leaves a lot of options open, many paths that could be taken.

A lot of thought is going into the process, I am not rushing myself, why should I?
I can take my time and weigh up the pros and cons of all choices that I can take.

In many ways the area that I live in will help me make some choices, as the options available to me without having to commute longer distances or to work away from home to earn more.

Neither of these are options which appeal to me. As with so many things in life, ruling options out is as much a part of the process as working out the viable options. Personally I find that ruling options out is a good thing, it allows me to then focus more on the options that may be viable.

There are of course limitations to how long I can take to make my choices there is no point deciding in two years time. I need to make choices and work to them. So there is no place for long lingering thought processes.

Interestingly although I can’t tell you what I want to do, I can tell you who I want to be like. There are a number of people who inspire me, my old boss, and old CEO, new connections, a number of business owners. All have successes and behaviours, as well as stories and journeys that inspire me.

The building blocks are all in place for me to be able to continue my thoughts and reflections around different choices in an informed way.

But my thoughts keep returning to that original question from many years ago.
What do you want to be when you grow up?

It must be at least 30 years since I was first asked that question (seriously, not by parents/family but when it meant something) and I am still no closer to being able to answer it.

So this brings to mind two questions
1) Am I strange, odd, unusual, unrepresentative in not being able to give a quick and easy answer to that question?
2) Are we unreasonable in asking people to make choices at such a young age which have the potential to affect their entire lives.

In some ways I was lucky in the fact that college and uni were not ‘go to’ options for me as they are these days for our younger folk. I wasn’t in the percentile of pupils who were expected to take that path.

But in todays society we are asking people to take decisions and make life choices that could last through many years of education. I have heard a number of stories from people who have studied for many years to achieve qualifications and experience necessary for a chose profession. Only to then realise it isn’t for them.

So I ask of you
Did you know what you wanted to do when young?
Are you doing it now?
Are you actually doing what you would like to do as a career/profession?

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