“What do you want to be when you grow up, Tara?” When adults asked me this as a child, my answers would vary: “A ballerina!” “The President!” “A ventriloquist!” (That last was during a weird stage in my childhood.)
Now, sitting around the dinner table, my father often poses the same question, but in a much less fun way: “Tara, what are you doing with your life? What are your career plans?” My response is still distinguished by diversity:
“Well, Dad, I think I want to be a writer and also model and you know, maybe start my own business some day.
I might even go back and teach at some point or become a public speaker.” I am sure my father hears, “I still have no clue!” when I disclose all of those choices. The actuality of my answer is that I really do plan to accomplish all of those things.
That’s right, I never really plan on having a set, constant career.
While this may freak out many people from older generations or those of you who spent tens of thousands of dollars on a college degree as a foundation for your career, I argue that my choice is an intelligent one.
Yes, I am paying back more money than I ever dreamed to for my college degree. No, I am not sure I will ever actually use that degree, but what I am positive about is my reasoning for not choosing a specific, permanent profession.
If any of these characteristics apply or appeal to you, then maybe having a career is not for you, either, and that's okay.
I want freedom.
A career ties you down to one certain job for the rest of your life. Sure, consistent income is a plus, but for me, there is more to life than money.
As long as I am paying my bills and keeping myself off the street, I am content with having the choice to do anything I want. No career boxes me in or dictates that I must do one certain thing for my entire life.
I am interested in everything.
As a result of the freedom derived from not choosing a certain career, I can indulge in everything that peaks my interest. In the past three years I have filmed two reality shows, modeled for several different companies, worked at a gym and now I am an aspiring writer.
When people ask what I do and never receive a concrete answer, I receive some judgmental looks and lectures in return. Everyone else my age is getting married, having babies and settling nicely into their cushy occupations, which they plan to have for the rest of their working lives.
If that is what they want, who am I to judge? On the other hand, I want adventure. I crave the ability to test the waters and satisfy my curiosity.
I am a hard worker.
No matter what occupation I choose to have at the moment, I know I will put everything I have into it. This choice to disregard having a particular career path is not a result of laziness. I feel sure of myself because I understand that my work ethic is what leads to achievement.
The drive to learn everything I can, to do whatever is possible and grasp onto every opportunity available is how I can be confident that even if I do not work at the same job for 20-plus years, I can find happiness, fulfillment and success.