11/26/13

Career Plans . . .

I did a call for blog post suggestions a few months ago . . . one good one fell through the cracks but it came top of mind again last week when someone asked me for some career advice (they are trying to figure out what they want to do) so I thought I would answer the initial question . . . When you were younger - what did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

I'll be honest - I never wanted to be any of the standard dream professions (cop, firefighter, singer, actor, model, twerker, Kardashian, etc.). No. I was born an old, practical soul and my career urges followed suit. So here (in no particular order) are the only jobs I remember ever really wanting to have.

Interior Decorator - Yes. Totally true. It was short and fleeting. I took a test in the eighth grade and it said I might be good at it so I fell in love with it. Then I realized you had to get math and ratios and proportions to be good at it. Moving right along . . .

Priest - Yes. Also totally true. I was way, way in love with the Catholic Church for my entire childhood and most of my adolescence. My parents have a very good friend who is a priest ("Uncle Bill" to us "Father Brennan Joseph" to the his flock) and he was just such an amazing guy and he seemed so happy and admired and wonderful, etc. I thought I might be able to pull that off. But they told me there were no women allowed and, well, that seemed absurd. No - I don't mean that I could not sleep with women or get married I mean women could not be a priest. That really is absurd, right?!

Advertising Creative - I mean COME ON. It does look pretty amazing, right? You get to wear jeans and black t-shirts to work every day and you have no responsibilities or deadlines and you get paid for your ideas and putting them on paper. How hard could it possibly be? Answer: FRIGGING hard. Almost as hard as a life of celibacy.

Professional Xylophone Player - Turns out there are like three of them in the ENTIRE world. I loved playing but I was NOT that good. Practicality kids! Chase ONLY the dreams you can catch.

Undertaker - I have an intense desire to put people at ease (unless I don't like you at which point I have an insane desire to put you at un-ease). I think there is no better form of kindness than to support someone through grief and loss of a loved one. There is such beauty in it. I don't have any issues with dead bodies. I like seeing all the ways people honor their dead. It is the one option from the stack that if I HAD to change . . . I would change to.

Political Consultant - Here was my actual plan at one point . . . undergrad in Communications/Political Science. Masters degree in Political Communications. PhD in Political Theory and Communications. Piles and piles of money. Fame (TV interviews done in front of fake bookshelves). All the women the priesthood would not allow. An eventual drug problem and redemption to follow. I'd be a kingmaker. Then I realized a PhD is a TON of work (I got in to some pretty impressive schools) and I was done with formal education after 18 years of it so I settled on working for a PR firm that did a ton of political consulting. I miss politics but I live in Kansas where I can take cheap shots from the cheap seats and piss off my Congressman's PR hack . . . er FLACK via Twitter.


Communicator - I like to tell and listen to stories. Always have, always will. I prefer to be passionate about the subject matter but sometimes the challenge of telling a story you don't PERSONALLY care about is where professionalism is born. I met a sales guy on the first plane I ever flew on. He was such a good story teller . . . I wanted to be like him. I still want to be like him.

I can honestly say I've never regretted choosing "communicator" when it was all said and done. Fifteen years of public relations, marketing, and advertising experience later I'm still learning every day and enjoying it every day.