Career happiness is child’s play

PUBLISHED: 12:08 11 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:51 06 May 2010

WHEN you were a kid, what did you want to be? A train driver? A tennis pro? A gardener? According to the latest research by Jobcentre Plus, today s children of the nation mostly dream of becoming teachers, footballers and police officers. And according t

WHEN you were a kid, what did you want to be? A train driver? A tennis pro? A gardener?

According to the latest research by Jobcentre Plus, today's children of the nation mostly dream of becoming teachers, footballers and police officers.

And according to the experts, these aspirations might just be the key to your career fulfilment, happiness and success.

Other professions appearing in the top 10 of youngsters' aspirations, are vet, firefighter, hairdresser, nurse, dancer, doctor and driver.

Boys are most likely to want to pursue sporting or protection professions, while girls tend to veer towards caring or nurturing professions, researchers found.

One in 10 boys (10 per cent) dream of being a footballer and seven per cent want to become a police officer or fireman, while 13 per cent of girls would like to become a teacher and nine per cent a nurse.

But do all these dreams and aspirations have to be a thing of the past? Or is there a way of using them to your advantage today, now that you're all grown up?

Experts believe that taking a fresh look at how your childhood dreams can translate into career reality can help you assess your interests. So looking at job opportunities that relate to these could hold the key to all you ever dreamed of at work.

Jobcentre Plus adviser Jenni Vardy said: "Many of us have childhood dreams of what we want to be when we grow up, often related to our interests, hobbies or natural skills, but as we reach adulthood these aspirations often get forgotten or appear unattainable.

"When looking for work it is often worth considering hobbies and interests, as we are more likely to be good at something which we enjoy and which comes naturally.

"There are often lots of opportunities which can incorporate hobbies or interests."

For example, if football is your passion, why not look into coaching training courses that might be available at local football clubs?

Alternatively, why not seek opportunities working as a groundsperson or in hospitality?

Similarly, those interested in becoming a teacher might want to consider offering to help out at a children's school in the area, or look into becoming a classroom assistant, which can lead to a qualification.

If you're something of an animal lover and wanted to be a vet once upon a time, consider voluntary work at your local RSPCA or animal sanctuary to see what it's like. Jobs could range from an administrator to being a stablehand.

And if surfing the internet and computers are your thing, consider web-design or IT.

Jenni added: "There are lots of different options available, it's just a question of thinking laterally around where your interests lie."

Try these top tips when considering making your hobby your job:

o Ask yourself questions to identify if a job already exists which involves your hobby or whether it's something that would require you to start your own business. For example, if you're interested in fashion have you considered a job in retail, or if you like music, a job in a record store?

o Does the job or career sector you are thinking of require specific qualifications? If so, don't be put off. There are many opportunities to train or retrain to obtain these.

o If you don't have a specific hobby, think about what you enjoy doing in your spare time. For example, do you like being around people or do you prefer spending time alone?

o Talk your thoughts through with a friend or an adviser to sound out different ideas and work out how a new job would really fit in with your life and best suit your requirements.

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