This holiday season discover what you want to be when you grow up

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What do you want to be when you grow up? Most kids have no problem answering: I want to be … a ballerina … a firefighter … a teacher. But somewhere along the way to adulthood, most give up their dream. We discover there are hundreds of careers to choose from, and what looked like an easy choice in childhood now seems almost overwhelming.

If you are dissatisfied with your current job, don’t know what you should be doing with your life, or don’t know where to begin to choose a career, the good news is the holiday season is an ideal time to discover your dream career.

When exploring career ideas, look beyond your skills. After all, if you have a talent for filing, do you want to spend the rest of your life as a file clerk?

Instead, consider that something you enjoy doing might be something you could get paid to do.

Even if what you enjoy seems like an unlikely career choice, realize that in today’s fast-paced world, people are willing to pay for almost any service.

Here are just a few examples of interests you may discover you have during the holiday season and careers they could lead to:

If you love planning parties you could become an event planner and get paid to plan a variety of interesting events from holiday parties and weddings to charity fund-raisers and conferences.

If you love decorating your home for the holidays you could get hired as an interior decorator for homes, corporate offices, restaurants, boutiques, or other businesses.

If you love shopping you could become a personal shopper and buy holiday gifts or other items for people who are too busy to do their own shopping.

If you love cooking Christmas dinner you could become a caterer or chef. You might even become a personal chef and prepare meals for families that are too busy to cook for themselves.

Just about anything you enjoy doing either before or during the holidays can be turned into a career.

  • If you enjoy organizing your closets to get ready for guests, you could become a professional organizer.
  • If you love giving advice to relatives, you could become a life coach.
  • If you enjoy talking about yourself, you could become a professional speaker.
  • If you love to eat, maybe your dream career is food critic.

To help you identify career possibilities beyond the holiday season, here are a few questions:

  • What do I enjoy doing in my free time?
  • What do I volunteer for?
  • What do I enjoy talking about?
  • What would I do if I won the lottery?

If you’re having trouble choosing only one thing, realize that you don’t have to stay with one career for life. Unlike earlier generations, where most people stuck with the same career whether they loved it or hated it, most of today’s workers change careers multiple times.

In an interview in Harvard Magazine, Dean of continuing education Michael Shinagel said the national average is that people pursue six different careers over their lifetime.

You may not end up pursuing your childhood dream, but this holiday season you might discover a career doing something you love now.

Tag Goulet is co-founder of and Academic Director of the International Association of Professions Career College which offers certificates for dream careers online at