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Rethinking the age-old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Rethinking the age-old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Written by Aspen Spratt  When we are young, people ask us “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  It’s a fun question to ask, especially to kids, to hear their dreams.  When we are young, we dream about being an astronaut, a doctor, a famous musician/actor/athlete or even the President of the United States.  When I was young, I dreamt about being a teacher.  I always had an inner desire to teach and help people.  But I didn’t become a teacher, at least in the sense of a school teacher that I thought I would as a little girl. Knowing I wanted to teach was the important piece.  Recently, my husband and I were talking about this question for our daughter, who is now a toddler.  We were dreaming about what she might want to be when she grows up. What is the world going to be like when she’s 18?  It’s really astounding to think about what the future will look like for her, the technology alone, right? What is also interesting, was when we thought about that question, we asked ourselves… is that really the question to ask?  Should we ask her what she wants to be when she grows up? Or, is there a better question?  What if we ask her something different to really help her decide her profession as an adult?  Let me give you some background to why I believe we might be asking our kids the wrong question.  If you are like me, you grew up going to a public school with the end goal of getting into college.  Then, at college, all the focus was on what career I was going to start.  The question still was “What do you want to be?”  At this point, I stopped dreaming about becoming a teacher.  In fact, I think I stopped dreaming and was being more “practical” in my career approach and leaning on what would be the best career choice, with the most job security and best salary.  In my practical approach, I chose to get a business degree and concentration in accounting.  I have a long story and this is a brief summary.  What I can tell you is that I lasted one tax season as an Associate Accountant and instead spent my 20s running pubs in England, and now in my 30s I am an Entrepreneur back home in Colorado.  I wasn’t alone.  Many of…