Today we have the second post in the series curated by Stephanie Florence, 40:20 Vision’s contributing / Millennial editor, reflecting on how childhood dreams affect the people we become. Read the first installment here.
Christina Vuleta – From Princess to Planner
“When I was very young I remember answering the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up assertively with …”A Princess”.
It was a phase that had little to do with Prince Charming or a rescue fantasy. It was playing dress up and inhabiting the power…in my world, the princess was on the road to ruling a kingdom. Later in life I could have cared less about watching the royal weddings. Nor did I fantasize about my future wedding.
My next ambition was to become a teacher. My sister-in-law was an English teacher and I would beg her to let me help grade papers. I loved reading and the red pen! For a time I thought about being a veterinarian, but after getting involved in a school sponsored program to work at Ohio State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Junior High, I realized loving animals does not necessarily translate to a love for medicine. Then for a while, I thought about retail. A friend of my sister’s was an exec at The Limited and I thought it seemed very glam…but also meant business.
In the meantime I was enjoying and excelling in English. When I was younger I got a lot of praise for my stories and poetry…but rejected this — perhaps because my Mom was pushing it, but also because I never imagined you could make a career of it. To quote Whitney Johnson in her 3 Gifts to a 20-Something, I didn’t think I was “quite up to it”. Plus I never really had exposure to what I could do with those skills. But in my early career as strategic planner at an ad agency we “read culture,” learned about consumers and wrote strategies to inspire creatives. I was using the skills that gave me energy in school — reading, writing, connecting and creating stories. These play out here in the blog, the mentoring I facilitate and the work I do in consumer insight, strategy, trends and research. In an alternate life…would I have been a journalist or a magazine editor? Yes! May I still become one some day…maybe:)
It goes back to career advice I often give about finding the intersection of what skills, strengths and “jobs” give you energy and where can you apply them that they are valued. Pay attention to that and see where you can take it.” –Christina Vuleta, 40-something, brand strategist, mentor and millennial expert
Andi Teggart – From Teaching to…Teaching
A lot of my little girl memories are of ‘playing school.’ My cousin and I would be teachers and write elaborate lesson plans for our siblings and cousins. We argued about who would teach what subject and literally force the younger kids to play school (on weekends…for HOURS). I LOVED doing it. I’ve always loved learning and when I was playing school as a little girl, I loved teaching everyone else. Now, I do nothing like that!
I’ve worked in the digital agency world and now I’m on a marketing team at a tech startup. I also run a blog called ‘Polish My Crown’ and I’m really happy where I am and, just like my previous job did for my current position, I think it will prepare me for what’s ahead.
Recently I’ve had a bit of an epiphany that has brought me full circle. I’ve realized that I want to be a teacher – a professor actually. I don’t think this will begin happening happen RIGHT NOW. But it’s something I know I want to be doing by the time I’m 30 or so.
Through my blogging, I’ve actually been following a passion I have for encouraging and inspiring other people. I think teaching will continue to give me the opportunity to do that in so many tangible, cool ways. In order to ‘get there’, I have reached out to some of my old college professors asking them ‘how they did it.’ Did they just quit their job to do grad school or did they balance working with school? I haven’t looked into schools yet because it’s still a little daunting and scary to think about this MAJOR life decision and potential change. At my current job I’m trying to soak up as much knowledge and experience that I can, knowing that will really play a big part in what I’m teaching students to do in the future.
I do believe that what we were created to do is tied to our little girl dreams and I loved the whole experience of playing school – coming up with creative ways to teach a subject, grading papers …everything. Obviously I know job of teaching is much more complex than what 10-year-old me thought, but I want to make it happen.” –Andi Teggart, 20-something, social media marketer and blogger
Did a younger version of yourself lead you a particular direction in your career? We’d love to hear your story in the comments or in your own post. Stay tuned next week for Part 3 in this series.