Most kids have dreams and fantasies about what they want to do when they grow up. Few people live out their childhood dream career. Therefore, most of us on some level still wonder: “What would life be like, if I had realized my childhood dream career?” Are you still wondering what you are going to be when you grow up? Reconnect with your childhood career dream and gain important insights on your journey to career fulfillment.
Remember YOUR Childhood Dream Career?
When I was a child, I wanted to become a potter. This early childhood dream career was inspired by our neighbour, Elisabeth who was a potter. Going to her pottery studio was for me like going to a candy store for most kids. I loved the smell of clay. I marvelled at the sight of pots and plates in various stages of completion. Some were drying on a shelf, some had been fired for the first time, some had been coated in glaze and were ready for their second firing.
What a joy to see the finished ware, shining with beautiful colours and patterns under their coats of glaze, on display for Elisabeth’s patrons. It was fascinating to watch Elisabeth at work. She centred the clay with gentle pressure and formed the most amazing shapes on the wheel. As I watched Elisabeth working on the wheel, the desire grew in me to get my hands into clay. I wanted to create beautiful and useful objects with this wonderful material.
Throughout my childhood I took several pottery classes. I always enjoyed the quiet, meditative atmosphere in the room, while everybody was engaged with their individual projects. I loved the touch and smell of clay in all its stages. My dream of becoming a potter was fuelled with every course I took and every little bowl I created.
What career(s) did you dream about when you were a child? Take a moment to remember your own childhood dreams. What fascinated you about this/these vocation(s)? Journal about your own childhood dream career(s).
What happened to Your Childhood Career Dreams?
In grade nine we had the opportunity to take an internship to gain some work experience and test-drive a profession we felt drawn to. I naturally wanted to do my internship in a pottery studio. After knocking on several doors, I finally was accepted for a week-long internship in a pottery studio on the other side of town. I was excited and eager to get started.
On my first day, Ruth, the potter explained that she wanted to give me a true impression of what it means to be a potter. During the course of the week, Ruth involved me in all the steps of the art and craft of pottery. I spent hours in the cold, damp basement of Ruth’s studio mixing clay minerals and water in large plastic bins into a coherent mass of clay. For several hours I pounded clay, in that same damp basement. I swept the floors of Ruth’s studio and mixed glazes following her tried and true recipes.
During the entire internship, I only spent one day working on the wheel and half a day glazing the little bowls I had created. Each evening I fell exhausted into bed and immediately went to sleep. Ruth granted me insight into the harsh reality of being a potter. She took my rose-coloured glasses off that week. My internship was quite different from what I had imagined based on the pottery courses I had taken and my childhood visits to Elisabeth’s pottery studio.
Did you ever have a chance to test-drive your childhood career? If so, what was that like for you? Take a moment to write about your own experience of trying out your dream career.
Reconnect with Your Lost Dream
I completed the internship feeling disillusioned about my dream career. I couldn’t quite see myself being a potter any longer. When I shared my disappointment with my teacher, he just said: “I think you can do better than just being a potter!” My teachers comment made me realize that my dream career besides being much more physically demanding than I had anticipated also wasn’t particularly well respected.
A few years later, while studying geography, one of my room mates was an apprentice at a local pottery studio. Living with her brought me back in touch with my childhood career dream. I saw her working hard and coming home exhausted and covered in clay dust, but also quite happy. While I was studying for exams, she created beautiful, useful objects. It made me wonder what my life would have been like, if I had pursued my childhood dream career.
Did your childhood dream career evaporate just like mine? What led you to give up your childhood career dream? Do you sometimes wonder what your life would have been like, if you had pursued your dream? Take a moment to write about your own experience of letting go of your childhood career dreams.
What Your Childhood Dream Career Can Teach You NOW
As I am reflecting on my pottery childhood dream, I realize that doing pottery connected me to all my senses. It transported me into a quiet state of concentrated presence and aliveness. When working with clay, I was always creating something useful and beautiful.
I realize now, that the essential elements of my pottery dream are also essential elements of my coaching business. Each coaching session transports me into a state of concentrated presence and aliveness. As I am listening deeply to my coaching clients, I am in touch with all my senses. I help my clients tap into the wisdom of all their senses and find their own answers. I am now transforming lives and careers instead of clay.
Take a moment to journal about the essential elements of your childhood dream career.
What made these dreams so rich for you? What, if these elements of your childhood career dream(s) may have some clues to offer about the career that’s right for you now?
Now that you have reconnected with your childhood career dreams, request your free career clarity consultation. Together we’ll explore how you can create a career that energizes and inspires YOU at this stage of your life!