WHEN I WAS 10

I encourage my clients to embrace their talents and skills and find ways to incorporate them into their current careers. There are absolutely elements of our ten-year-old aspirations that can translate into our adult lives, traditionally or non-traditionally.

If by chance, through the magic of movies or you entered a time machine, and you had lunch with your ten-year-old self…what would your younger self say? Are you now pursuing the goals you once had? Did you know you had gifts when you were 10? Have you ever thought to explore ways you could incorporate your gifts into your current position for a more satisfying job or career?

I think I am essentially who I was at 10; inquisitive, fearless, outspoken and driven to achieve something to serve others. The point is, regardless of where were are now, we still have to find that dream and harness the voice of our inner child to guide us to those things that matter in life, the things that we do well, are compelled to do. We might have to also let go of some old paradigms and dreams that are holding us back. Move on, but respect the innocence and gifts from who you were when you were 10.

– Ginny Clarke

When I Was 10…

I wanted to be a lawyer. There was never a moment I didn’t have a book. I was constantly fighting for 10 more minutes of reading time when it was time to go to bed. Even after the lights were turned off, I still found ways to read in the dark. I also wanted to tell people what to do. So since I hated science, I pretty much thought that meant I needed to be a lawyer.

– Jenica, Attorney

When I Was 10…
I wanted to be a businessman. I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, not quite sure now, but I knew I wanted to wear a suit and carry a briefcase. Around that time I sold candy to my classmates. It was an underground operation, but I made good pocket change selling lollipops, Laffy Taffys, and whatever else I could coerce my father to by at Sam’s Club.

– Kyle, Investment Specialist

When I Was 10…
I was obsessed with really big airplanes. I didn’t know if I wanted to build them, fly them, or keep them in tiptop shape. Whatever I was going to do, I knew I didn’t want to be far from airplanes.

– Jon, Accountant

When I Was 10…

Architecture and airplanes were all I needed. I always noticed how things were built and I paid very close attention to the details. Flying an airplane was also something that seemed very cool at the time, which led me to getting my pilot’s license. I love having complete control over a machine in the air.

– Daniel, Executive Assistant

BEN, NOW AND THEN

While working as an executive recruiter, I was interviewing someone – I’ll call him Ben – and all of the sudden I could see Ben at the age of 10. Looking at this accomplished, confident, humble and engaging 50 year-old executive sitting in front of me, I imagined an awkward, smart kid who wasn’t picked for dodge ball. He was the kid the teachers liked because he was kind-hearted, always had his homework done on time, and was especially good at math. Ben wasn’t however the one the girls swooned over probably because he had to belt his pants high up on his waist to keep them from falling off his thin frame. Socially he coped by having a sharp wit and quick feet to run from trouble. He was a loyal and generous friend. Don’t ask me how I came up with all of these images. I guess I’ve met and studied so many people in my life; I reference all of them and layer in intuition and wisdom.

Now, mind you, I didn’t share my images with this candidate. I could have been wrong (I don’t think so), but the imagery gave me a sense of empathy and compassion; it reminded me of our humanity, our insecurities and dreams. Ben had enjoyed an impressive career in finance, financial security and a loving family. I doubt that in his adult life he has been haunted by any childhood memories of sitting on the sidelines during dodge ball.  He remained a kind hearted, diligent, generous and loyal person who developed professional expertise around his math aptitude. He worked in organizations that valued his technical expertise and his leadership style, which included being an excellent developer of people, and that sharp wit.

I wonder what Ben wanted to be when he was 10. I want to believe he dreamed and imaged like I did in Mrs. Holzer’s class (see video and report). Whether he did or didn’t, the essence of who he was then and who he was when I met him as a 50-year-old executive were the same. I think the essential elements are the same for all of us regardless of age.