Sep. 19: OK, who put the tack on my chair?

It’s Day #19 of the September Blog Challenge. Today’s topic:

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Are you anything close to your previous ambitions?

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. I like to think it’s because I wanted to help people learn and grow, but looking back, I may have followed that dream because I liked the idea of bossing people around. Playing “school” as a kid was my favorite activity, and this is probably as good a time as any to offer a public apology to my playmates for insisting on always being the teacher.owl

Although I had envisioned teaching kids, after a year of teaching preschool in college, I changed course and worked toward a degree in business education to prepare me to be a corporate trainer instead—there are far fewer students who wet their pants in the corporate world. A couple months after completing my degree, I got a job as a software trainer. I loved that job, and did it for four years until the company closed. After that, I worked as an independent contractor for several businesses and local school districts, still training adults. I liked the part-time training; I found the burnout—very common in the training field—came much less slowly that way.

I’m still an independent contractor and my business card still says I do training and development, but I haven’t taught a computer class in quite a while. This is because most people who work in offices know how to use word processors and spreadsheets by now, and software upgrades do not typically necessitate re-training. I still teach the occasional theory (soft skills) class, but I’m asked more often nowadays to do one-on-one training sessions. I love those, but sometimes I miss the classroom setting.

I was surprised to discover just how rewarding it is to train adults. There are days when a student will come to me after class with tears in their eyes, saying “Thank you—this is going to completely change the way I do my job.” In my project management courses, students almost always start discussions about balancing work and home; it can get intense and very “Dr. Phil” sometimes. I love the feeling of leaving work knowing that I made a difference today.

So… YES, I followed my childhood ambition, with some slight modifications. What about your childhood ambitions? Are you doing now what you always dreamed of doing?

If you’re a blogger and want to do our blog challenge with us, let me know and I’ll send you our list! Otherwise, tune in here (and on Sherilee’s happy little blog) every day in September.


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