What did you want to be when you were growing up?

This give away has now closed. Congratulations to Rachael – who left the comment:

Diploma of community services work would be fantastic! After spending the last 15 years trying to work out what I wanted to do. I had 2 beautiful girls and discovered love like I never knew existed! The thought of any child not getting the chance to live to their full potential makes me sad and motivates me every day to help in any way I can! I would love to help kids of all ages make the most out of their lives and show them they can be whatever they want to be in life!

Career inspiration

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

For the first time ever last year, I asked one of my kids “what do you want to do when you grow up?”. I asked this of my son in year seven. Of course he gave a fairly typical answer – “I don’t know!”.

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were growing up? I remember wanting to be a few different things. A vet was one of the first things I wanted to be (worked out that my hands had to go places I couldn’t imagine so it was dropped pretty quickly), a radio announcer, a kindergarten teacher, a journalist, a stock broker – yes I know where did that come from??? I put it down to watching too many episodes of Capital City…..

My career journey

In my career to date, I have never actually been any of the things I thought I wanted to be. But I have crossed an interesting spectrum in my career. After my son responded that he didn’t know what he wanted to do, we had a chat about what I had wanted to do as a kid and what I ended up doing. I am grateful that my journey is one I can use to explain to my kids that while Year 12 is important, it isn’t the be all and end all of your career.

When I completed my last year of secondary school it was called VCE and it was only one year. At some point in the year you needed to rank the courses you would like to enrol in, if your marks permitted. I lived in the country, going to uni was always going to be a large expense for my family and when it came time to rank my options, my practical side came out. My fist choice was a Bachelor of Business (Finance). To me this was the most practical choice in terms of return on investment. What my heart wanted to do was a Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing and Literature).

From day one at uni, I pretty much knew it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. But when I commit to things, I stick them out, so I finished my degree and headed out into the big wide corporate world. I veered away from pure finance and found job satisfaction with numbers and spreadsheets in an analytical role (who couldn’t see that suiting me!).

I climbed some corporate ladder and then pretty much all of a sudden, I just wanted to have a baby! Luckily my husband was okay with that, so we set about making our lovely family. I worked in between babies number 1 and 2, but resigned from the paid work force after maternity leave with our second child.

From that point, I was at home full time, but once our fourth child was about six months old, I felt this need to do something separate to family life. As the adorable Mr I was undertaking an MBA at the time, I was pretty house bound and didn’t have loads of time.

I was acutely aware of the fact I had been out of the paid work force for over six years. The prospect of trying to enter the workforce after such a long break freaked me out! While the discussion on whether we had finished growing our family was not complete, I really wanted to update my skills regardless. I can remember feeling very lost in how I could find advice on how to do this.

I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do, but knew for me online was the way to go. It represented the greatest level of flexibility for our young family. I had been reading a number of blogs for some time, my friends kept asking me to share my spreadsheets, recipes etc, so I decided to bring both of these things together and I started blogging.

What to do next
I never imagined that blogging would become my part time work, I thought it would help me accumulate Web 2.0 skills and it would be something I could place on the resume when I wanted to apply for online opportunities. It was a slow process as I taught myself, read books, read blogs and banged my head against my computer many, many times along my journey!

Fast forward three years and I have had my first book published and blogging enables me to stay at home with the kids, whilst providing additional income for my family.

I am so thankful I took the step to do something for myself. It also lets me point out to my kids, that it might have taken me about 20 years, but I eventually found my way to do what I really wanted to do when I grew up – communicate and share my knowledge with people.

What to do now?

It is around this time and throughout March each year, I receive lots of emails from other mums, asking me about:

  • How I got into blogging?
  • How I find a way to fit blogging into my family life?
  • Tips on how to work out what to do next.
  • How can they plan time for their interests around their family?

It is not a surprise really these questions are asked more at this time of year. For some mums, their youngest child may have just entered primary school or like me, their youngest has started kinder and they find themselves with time on their own and only one child at home – something that they may not have experienced for years.

Unfortunately I don’t have a formula or plan that can be followed which can assist this decision making process for what they should now. As you can tell from my own story, it didn’t happen overnight or necessarily as planned for me.

Who can help you?

SEEK Learning though do have a free, personalized service that will help you find the right career related course for the direction you want to head in. The consultants at SEEK Learning are fully trained to help you find the right course for your career needs. They will stay with you the whole way through the process including enrolling them in the course.

You register online or by calling 1800 89 1011 to start the process. From there they will talk to you about:

  • your career goals
  • your study and work experience
  • your lifestyle demands

Then they will talk you through:

  • SEEK Learning’s range of courses
  • flexible study options available
  • financial options available (including government assistance through FEE-HELP)


What SEEK Learning won’t do though is tell you what career path you should take, but they will:

At the end of it all, it is you who needs to decide what it is you want to do. SEEK Learning will give you guidance and then when you have made your decision on what course you want to do, they will assist you with the course enrolment, making it as easy as possible for you to return to study.

Should I really be doing this?

By far the biggest concerns I read in the emails I receive from women who are contemplating returning to study or the workforce is:

  • Will I be able to do it?
  • Will I be able to keep up at home and with study?
  • Can I justify the expense?

When I first started to have time to myself to learn more about blogging, I remember feeling guilty and as if I needed to make up the time elsewhere. Mr I is such a rational bloke and he would encourage me to keep going. He saw it as an investment in my happiness and the future income earning capacity for our family – and he was right!

Start Here
With SEEK Learning as there is no outlay to begin discussing your potential career paths with them, I see this as a fantastic opportunity for those mums who feel ready to pursue a new career path. Of course it isn’t for everyone, but for mums like me, who are thinking about re-entering the paid workforce it provides a fantastic place to start.

Sometimes all you need is to know where to start………

Give Away – a $200 Voucher for Red Balloon

SEEK Learning is giving away 1 x $200 voucher for Red Balloon to a lucky reader of Planning With Kids.

You could use the voucher towards experiences like these that can help you work out what is the right career for you:

Full T&C’s are here. To enter all you need to do is:

  • Leave a comment below letting me know which one of the courses on SEEK Learning appeals to you the most and why.
  • The giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
  • You may only enter once.
  • Entries close at 5pm Monday March 12, 2012.
  • Entries will be short listed. From this list of entries, Nuffnang will judge the winner.
  • Winners can spend the voucher as desired
  • Good luck!