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What do you want to be when you grow up?

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Guest post By nikki teperman | March 20th 2021
Reading Time: 4 minutes

As a kid, that was a simple question to answer. Doctor, firefighter, astronaut, president of the  United States—the world was a vast opening of opportunities. Me? I wanted to be an entomologist and study bugs; which is laughable now considering I’m scared to kill a fly.  


As we get older, this question becomes harder to answer. We’re asked to declare a college major at 19 years old, or for some, start their career path from their very first day of college (hello, pre-med—I’m looking at you). Luckily, internships allow us to get somewhat of a sense of what we do or don’t want to do, giving us the opportunity to envision our lives in any given industry. And when it comes to the internship experience, I’ve been around the block.  


I’ve been a Congressional Intern on Capitol Hill who saw myself as a lobbyist in a hot pink power suit (my favourite colour). I was a News Intern at a huge network who saw myself as a big-time producer covering the most prominent stories of our generation. I was a Public Relations Intern who saw myself as a busy publicist rushing to the office in a yellow cab. Yet, two years post-grad, a lot of coffee, and a global pandemic later, I still don’t have the slightest idea what I want my career to be. I’m slowly starting to accept that this is okay.  


As you’ve seen on the news, COVID does not discriminate no matter your wealth, status, age, nothing. This virus has tested me and my family to great lengths, showing no mercy. I lost loved ones, I dealt with major changes in my family dynamic, and I quit my job due to these circumstances. For a while there, everything felt like it was going to, for lack of a better word,  shit.  


Convinced I would never find a job again, let alone a job I loved, I sank into a dark spiral of anxious, negative, thoughts. And you know what that did for me? You guessed it, nothing. Since coming to the stark realization that believing in yourself will get you a lot farther than self-doubt, I’ve started writing down a very simple mantra each day: “You are right where you need to be. You will do great things.” 


Read that again. And one more time. And keep reading it until you actually start to believe it.  There is no right time to find your passion. It’s not too late to try something new.  


What do I want to be when I grow up? 


No clue. When I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know.

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