As anyone who reads this will know, youngsters have big ideas for their future. This isn’t to say that actualizing childhood fantasies is impossible, it’s just the roles we idealised have a lot more depth and nuance to them. In a way this is a list of the careers most romanticised by us all, the ones that seem the most impressive when said out loud and given that it’s National Careers Week 2019, we think this is a good time to chew the fat…
Devouring freeze dried ice cream and watching the sunrise over the Sea of Japan, the idea of being an astronaut is a simultaneously novel and cinematic perfection. Exploring the unknown and earning close to a hundred grand a year doesn’t sound too bad either. This one is one of the hardest jobs to get on planet earth and you need both a degree and preferably a military background. The candidate success rate is often around 1000 to 1. Don’t let that stop you reaching for the stars, though, kids.
What with kids being exposed to sports the minute they can walk it soon becomes very clear if a child has an aptitude for it. Children cling to what they are good at and with the programmes and diversity of sports equipment and types most children do find at least one sport they excel at. To dream of doing something you’re good at is only natural and that’s why so many Premiership footballers or Olympic athletes do not have a backup plan. It was the dream and they’re living it.
There is something about fighting fires and saving lives that makes a career seem to have real intrinsic value. To wake up and know your job may involve life-endangering bravery must be a feeling of immense pride. Fire-fighters are often labelled heroes and it is the idea of being a hero that so many children love.
Dance is, in a way, the ultimate performance art. It’s the idea of being a spectacle for all people to clamor in awe at. Young dance wannabes are often inducted into dance lessons young and much like athletes (which arguably are one and the same), it’s the draw of being paid to do something you’re good at and have people marvel at your talents. The rigorous training required is, though, something only a few can put up with. The early-morning shifts, the blood, the tears, the rejection, dancing as a career is something only the bold can attempt.
The dichotomy between good and evil, lawful and chaotic is something instilled in a lot of children. The idea of being on the side of the righteous is less affirming, the instantly recognisable uniforms and sirens and the respect that comes with it. Some may even like the allure of danger. The process it takes simply to get through academy training is strenuous. Being an incorruptible symbol of morality may not be how most children put it but that’s often what is idealised.
This is a pretty obvious one if you think about it. Who do children spend most of their time on weekdays with? Who do they learn life lessons from? Who are the figures of authority and comfort in their lives? Teachers. Teaching is one profession children get a hands on experience of and so probably have the most accurate impressions of what it’s actually like. Most teachers themselves often had a particular teacher who inspired them to pursue the profession when they were children.