When I Grow Up….

i have no special talents i am only passionately curious.png

What do you want to be when you grow up? The first time I got that topic for an oral presentation I must have been around 8 years old and like half of the girls in the class I decided to centre my presentation around how I am going to be a teacher when I grow up. At that age the only professions I knew were: teaching, nursing or a police officer so it was quite easy to choose a career. My choice was made easier by the fact that I was already called Juffrou, (Afrikaans word for teacher) a pet name I was called because my Godmother/namesake  was a teacher who had taught my mother and 2 older sisters in Primary school.

Being the serious child that I was, I took my future profession seriously. I remember collecting a few bricks and teaching them everything I learned at school that day, these bricks were my imaginary students and they had names and got graded too (fun times). As one moved up the grades the topic became an essay question. I was still adamant on becoming a teacher but all that changed when I got to Grade 10.  The teachers stopped making “What do you want to be when you grow up” a topic for essays and I was more then happy about it by then I knew I was not going to University to become a teacher, any thing else but not that. I however kept on asking myself the question as I felt it gave me direction and helped me in my career decision making like which subjects I needed to choose in the last years of high school.

In grade 12 I was torn between the science and commerce subjects. I knew I needed science and wanted to continue with it at University so they were compulsory. I also knew that I loved commerce but would not pursue it after high school, I went on to study Business Studies (only chose it because the teacher made it fun and she was my hockey coach) as well as Accounting (only chose it because my first Accounting teacher made me fall in love with the subject).  By the end of high school, I had decided I wanted to become a Marine Biologist and after failing my first year I realized that this is not what I want to pursue as a career but I completed the degree anyway for two reasons. Firstly because I had a scholarship and secondly my dad said I needed to finish that degree and then continue with whatever my heart desired. While doing my first degree I fell deeply in love with PR and Marketing but did not do much about it apart from a stint at the PR officer for the Environmental Club on campus and later another PR position at a campus Non-Profit and finally a certificate (will write another post about that another day).

After my first degree I went on to complete two more and only realized that I might be in trouble. When I asked myself: ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?” I didn’t have only one straight simple answer. I went from wanting to be a school teacher – marine biologist – environmentalist – to realizing I want more for myself. I realized that one straight forward profession is not what will ever make me happy and I started to panic, actually  I am in the panicking state as I type this.

I am not alone in my panicking state, one of my closest friend is in the same boat. Growing up one thinks you will go to University study for a few years, get a job and find your ideal job that you studied for end of the story. No one ever told me that its not that simple, no one told me that one can be a multipotentialite – like myself. No one explained to me that you can obtain 2-3 degrees and still not be content and that is when I  realized that I JUST DON’T ONLY WANT TO BE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST 🙁 but I am here now, what do I do to get to where I want to be? Another question comes up and I myself  where do I really want to be? Personally I have realized that the career I want does not exist yet and I need to design it for myself and hope someone will employ me for now until I work for myself.

This is a list of some of the things I want to do:

  • Be a PR Specialist.
  • Study and practice Environmental Law.
  • Become a  certified Energy Auditor.
  • Help organisations with the Corporate Social Responsibilities Strategies.
  • Run my own Package Branding business.
  • Be a radio presenter.
  • Work as a waitress.


So if you ask me now what I want to be when I grown up, I will proudly list all of the above because I have many different interests and creative pursuits in life. And that is fine.


  1. Mehwesh Ahsan

    March 9, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    OMG! I also always wanted to be a teacher because my mother was a teacher. And I did teach right after finishing my masters for two years. I did enjoy it but it was very draining and I was taking it a bit too seriously I guess! But I have also changed my career in late twenties … 🙂 But with a full time job, I still keep looking for other things to do… Haha that’s why I started blogging … 🙂

    Loved reading your post!

    1. Lapaka K

      March 9, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Mehwesh

      Are you perhaps a multipotentialite too😉 I will start tutoring University students soon so that is the closed I will come to teaching for now. You mentioned your career, tell me more

      1. Mehwesh Ahsan

        March 10, 2016 at 1:45 am


        With a masters degree in English Lunguistics … I for some odd reason landed in a Sales Analyst Job in an MNC and last year switched to Marketing …now heading towards product management … 😉

  2. Mehwesh Ahsan

    March 10, 2016 at 1:45 am


    With a masters degree in English Linguistics … I for some odd reason landed in a Sales Analyst Job in an MNC and last year switched to Marketing …now heading towards product management … 😉

    1. Lapaka K

      March 19, 2016 at 5:56 am

      That sounds interesting, I am currently fascinated by marketing😊

  3. Curious Sailor

    March 10, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Very nice post Lapaka! Never stop dreaming!

    The Curious Sailor

    1. Lapaka K

      March 11, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Hi Curious Sailor, Thank you 🙂

  4. FunmiWrites

    March 11, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Yes oh.
    If you ask me what I want to be as well, I will probably have a list of 5 things.
    I think being free to be more than one thing is so important. It is good for the soul….lol


    1. Lapaka K

      March 11, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Agree with you 🙂 It makes life more interesting as well

  5. Lynne at The Sweet Midlife

    March 12, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Keeping your options open are great. My mom switched careers in her 50s, and now has a second Masters degree (the first in Social Work that she got in her 20s, the 2nd in Nursing that she got in her 60s.). She is my hero. I like that people no longer think that they have to find something and stick to it.

    1. Lapaka K

      March 19, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Thank you for sharing your mothers career journey. I am glad there are people out there who have the courage to follow their own paths

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