Has your favorite playtime or interest as a child impacted the career path you are following today? If there has been no connection, perhaps it is time there was.
Many search and search and search for that meaningful career, and then find that it was based on a childhood interest or favorite activity all along.
Which of the following sounds like you or what was your favorite child-time activity?
- Did you create things based on the directions? In other words, is what you saw what you built? If yes, you do your job based on the expectations.
- Did you get a sense of the directions, deviate a bit, and then give the object your signature design? If yes, you take other things into consideration.
- Did you get an idea and then create the outcome without using anyone’s directions? If yes, you take a redesign or reinvent approach.
As I was raising my two children, I would watch intensely as they played; I was trying to figure “what they were going to be when they grew up.” Their toys were my tip-off. My daughter threw me a curve: I did not see a high school teacher of the sciences emerging. My son, however, could do things with Legos that were above and beyond the box’s instructions. Needless to say, he is now an electrical engineer. How has your childhood impacted your career choice or choices?
What I did see in my daughter was a high achiever. She had to be number one and the best at everything, and she is still that person today. As a career, I thought I saw a counselor emerging because she enjoyed helping her friends sort out their problems or get through a difficult problem. As a teacher, she does the same for her students, so there it is?just different than what I anticipated. She has a unique way of teaching that inspires struggling students to have fun and want to learn the sciences. As a result, her student’s grade point averages increased. As an achiever herself, she inspires achievement.
My son struggled more with his grades and preferred to spend his time creating. Being the best was not as important to him. Creating a unique design, however, was his inspiration. My son would get together with his best friend and they would lay out their Legos. While his friend built his design exactly as the box instructed, my son would ignore the instructions and come up with something totally different and inventive. As an electrical engineer today, he is told to develop a design from point A to point B, and his employer knows he does not have to be micro-managed. In fact, micro-managing him would distract from what he does best?design. He enjoys the challenge of finding a way to overcome the obstacles and make the design work.
As for me, my favorite pastime was always about fashion. From paper dolls to Barbie dolls, I would try to create fashions that were unique and by my own design. My Gramma recognized a talent emerging and gave me Singer sewing lessons for my 12th birthday. I would follow the pattern to get an idea on how the pieces should all come together, but in the end I gave each pattern my own touch and design. (I designed and made most of my high school clothes and, yes, I did the same for my children’s clothes as they were growing up.) The end result typically combined elements from three different patterns. My son followed in my creative path. I was not as concerned with being the best as I was with being creative. I enjoyed altering a design to make it fashionable as well as functional. My daughter and I share a compassion to help others be the best that they can be—hence, my desire to use my image and etiquette skillsets to help others portray and become their best.
For sixteen years I worked in various administrative positions, but something about those positions did not fit. Something was missing, and I felt held back. Then, the image consulting and etiquette professional career options emerged in the 1980s—that was the perfect fit. I studied the industry and gave it my “spin.” As my earlier blog implied, the word “why” is behind everything that I do and teach. In other words, I do not want to tell you what you should or should not do. I prefer to help you understand “why” a rule, a guideline, or a fashion design is in your best interest. As this blog implies, I always strive to find the better and more effective way to present information. I will share more about that journey in an upcoming blog.
Sometimes you just have to wait
for life to come up with something
that is your perfect fit and then go after it.
“Gloria, as a young boy, I was always very persuasive. That became a very valuable talent with girls, but that’s another story. Sure enough, in high school, my parents paid for me to take a very intensive battery of tests to see what career I should pursue. The answer they gave was that I was very persuasive and, therefore, I should go into law or sales and marketing. Because I was so honest and ethical, I had to go into sales and marketing. And that’s what I got my undergraduate and MBA degrees in. It was the right fit!” —Don H.