Friday, March 6, 2009

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When you ask a child this, they always tell you that they want to be a policeman, a fireman or a teacher. Or maybe they say that they want to be whatever their parents are, because that is all they are exposed to. As a child I'm sure there were lots of things I wanted to be when I got older. Now that I am "older" I wonder if I made the right decision.

See I graduated in Aug 2003 from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Finance. When I started college, I was working part time at a bank, so I just figured I would go into banking. To be honest, that was all I really knew, and I was pretty good at it, so why not spend the rest of my life doing something I was good at. After graduation, I got a job at a bank in Baton Rouge and hated every minute of it! I was so miserable. After about 6 months, I decided that I did not love banking. A few months later I got a job at an insurance company. In my 4 years with the insurance company I have done everything from auditing, accounting, business analysis, software support, project management, and help desk support. Over the past few months I have realized that I don't really love working on other people's computers.

So what do I love? How do you know? When should you decide what you want to be when you grow up? I'm almost 27 and I don't have a clue!

Our high schools are failing us. They teach us English, history, science and math, but they never tell us how we are actually going to use it in the real world. If my science teacher had explained that if I was interested in learning more about science, then I should become a nurse, or a doctor, or a researcher or something. And my math teacher should have explained that because I was so good in math, I should have pursued engineering or accounting or something. This is by no means a knock on my teachers…I had some of the best teachers ever. They were just doing their jobs. There should be more real world application for these things. At times I even blame my parents for not giving me more encouragement to research different jobs, and to take my time finding a career that I loved. I know where they were coming from…they just wanted me to finish college. They weren't real concerned what I finished in, just that I finished.

See I have two sisters who have also graduated from college, one with a Marketing degree and one with a Management degree. My sister that has the Management degree knew in about 7th grade that she wanted to own her own hotel. Yes, can you imagine a 7th grader coming to her parents and saying "I'd like to own my own hotel." Well she did. I admire her for that. She knew exactly what she wanted, and no matter what anyone else told her, she was going to finish college and then get good hotel experience, and one day she might even own her own hotel. I wish I had that kind of direction. My other sister is more like me, we went to college and finished. We never really had a clue what we wanted to be when we grew up. Looking back, I see all the things she is so good at and she doesn't do any of those things in her current position (that I know of). Don't get me wrong, she's great at her current job, but I wonder if, like me, there's something else better out there for her.

So after complaining for a while about not knowing what I really want to do, I sat down about 8 weeks ago and made a list. A list of things I want out of a job, and a list of things I'm good at or interested in doing for a living. After making the list I have decided that I want to take the CPA exam. It's a place to start. One day I want to do the books for companies, and help people do their taxes. I want to be my own boss, and set my own schedule.

Ok. So now I have decided to take the CPA exam. What do I need to do to be qualified to take the CPA exam? Return to college. Yes. I thought 5 years ago when I graduated that I was done. Nope. I'm going back to school. I'm now an official college student. I'm taking classes from LSU, and I hope to be done in about 18 – 24 months. It seems like such a long time, but in the grand scheme of things, a couple of years isn't that long to be able to do something I'll enjoy for the rest of my life.

I'm hoping that by posting this goal of mine (to pass the CPA exam), I'll actually have the motivation to do it. See it's much harder to give up on something when everyone keeps asking you about it.

I'll let you know when I'm an official CPA (then you can call me to do your taxes or something…hehe).



  1. Sign us up! We would love to be your first customers. Don't worry about not knowing what you want to be. Damon had no clue and spent years as a computer programmer before figuring out what he was supposed to do. I also graduated in Media Communications, hated television, and went back to school years later to be a teacher. On my 30th birthday I will FINALLY finish my certification, and even then, I think that the job I want most is just to be Stella's mom, so don't worry about's just a normal part of life, I think. Oh, and my mom always says there is no normal, so remember that too.

    It was great to see you today! We need to make time to hang out. Between child parenting, puppy parenting, work, school, husbands, etc. this may never actually happen, but it will be a nice dream for us to ponder in our imaginations.

  2. I wish I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up, too! I was the same in college ... finish in ... something. But if I could do it over... if I knew then what I know now, I would have majored in Political Science. Back then I didn't care at all about that stuff & I made fun of Adam Owens for majoring in it. But now ... yeah, that's what I wish I had done. Hindsight is 20/20! I'm excited you're going back to school & you've found something you want to do! Good for you, Emily! And hey ... at one time, did you mention that you thought it would be fun to be a real estate agent, or did I imagine that?

  3. Emily, I changed my major 5 times in college, dropped out of way too many classes, and have close to $40,000 dollars in college debt.... however, I love what I do!! So I know that after you go back to school, get your CPA, you will love whatever it is that you will do!!!