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Jobs & Careers Month discussion: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Edited
Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 04, 2023

j+c month banner.jpeg

 

We’re super excited to be starting up Jobs & Careers month this September - Lean into Learning all month long right here on Atlassian Community! 🍎

Every week we’ll be posting a career related discussion topic, and we’d love to hear from you.

To get us started off, we’re going to be looking back to our childhood aspirations. When you were a child, what were you hoping to become when you were older?

Did you have high hopes about becoming an Olympic medalist or a pop star? Maybe you took inspiration from the adults around you and you wanted to become a teacher or a doctor? Or just maybe, you had more fantastical ideas and hoped you would turn into a dinosaur. Personally, I had dreams of being an Oscar winning film director - this is pretty cool too though :wink:.

Whatever you’re childhood aspirations were, we’d love to hear about them!

PS: In honour of Jobs & Career Month, we have a Zoom background for you all to use! Check it out here: https://brandfolder.com/s/9wh49q993ng7jpxrs7q3kq98

33 comments

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Sayed Bares _ServiceRocket_
Community Leader
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Sep 04, 2023

I always wanted to become an astronaut. Looking at the sky and seeing the shiny stars always brought my curiosity and was my sole inspiration.

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 05, 2023

Space exploration has seemed fascinating to me too! πŸš€

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Raul Pelaez _TecnoFor - Marketplace Partner_
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Sep 07, 2023

Exploring Antarctica can be just as impressive...

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David Blank
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Sep 12, 2023

Maybe you still have a shot at space travel?!

Like β€’ Rosana Aira likes this
Paul Wiggers
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Sep 04, 2023

Hello @Angelie Stephens 

Great question and I have been all over, in fact, I am now 41 years old and I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

But, to answer your question;

At first I wanted to be a cowboy. Quite interesting since I live in the Netherlands and the only transportation of cows is by truck but hey, Malboro Man was my example and movies like "Once upon a time in the west", "My name is Nobody" and "For a few dollars more" really impressed me.

Realizing that being a Dutch cowboy might not be the best career move, I decided on being a vet. That quickly changed when I went with a cousin to an open day at the university and saw a cow with a looking glass in it's belly...nope, not for me.

Biologist then? Perhaps a geologist? Architect, gamer, hacker / cyber security expert, chef, writer, developer, hiker, cyclist....there is a lot out there that is very interesting and worth exploring. 

In the end, I thought it was a good idea to go into IT since I was gaming all the time. While that normally is very (VERY) bad advice, in my case, it turned out alright. I started as a developer but enjoyed working with people more. I went into the support role, worked my way up to a system administrator and eventually moved back to the service desk as a tier 3 support employee. 

Currently I am a team lead for the service desk which is very fulfilling. But still, being a self sustaining biological farmer sounds like a great idea!

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 05, 2023 • edited

Very good point, Paul! When it comes to our careers, who knows when we reach "grown up"... πŸ˜…

I quite like your early idea of being a Dutch cowboy honestly, no matter how impractical - a pioneering role in the cowboy space! Self sustaining biological farmer seems like a pretty good idea too. 🌱

Like β€’ Brant Schroeder likes this

I had similar thoughts 20+ years ago about my future. I was playing PC games a lot - Diablo II, and Europa Universalis, and thought it would be great to know how do they actually work, and what HW is needed to run them. I'm in IT more than 14+ now, and I like where I'm.

Trudy Claspill
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Sep 04, 2023

I started dance lessons in elementary school. From that grew my hope to be a musical theater performer. I even started in the theater arts program at university. But, I saw how truly talented other people were compared to me and realized I would never make a comfortable living at it. So I switched to Computer Science. (I'm one of those weird analytical artists/artistic scientists.)

I make a comfortable living now in the tech industry and get to enjoy dance as a hobby rather than depend on it to pay the bills. I'm happier not stressing out about paying bills!

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Saralie S_
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Sep 05, 2023

Ah I love musicals! What is your favorite musical or what musical did you envision yourself in? 

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 05, 2023

What type of dance did you do, Trudy? I used to tap dance until I was 15, and then took it up again as an adult! It's definitely better as a hobby than a career for me too πŸ˜†

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Trudy Claspill
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Sep 09, 2023

@Angelie Stephens I took tap, jazz, and ballet as a child. At the time I was most interested in jazz and tap. I didn't really appreciate ballet then.

As an adult a took up just ballet, starting with beginner classes. I found an amazing teacher who is fabulous at teaching adults, recognizing that we are serious about learning and improving even if our adult bodies aren't as agile as our minds.

@Saralie S_ All of them!

Like β€’ Angelie Stephens likes this
Manoj Gangwar
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Sep 04, 2023

I wanted to join Force but when I grew up then joined as a Jira admin.

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 05, 2023

I'm intrigued, Manoj, is this the Formula One team? If so, sounds like you were a bit of a thrill seeker before πŸ˜† 

Raul Pelaez _TecnoFor - Marketplace Partner_
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Sep 07, 2023

May the Force be with you :)

Peter Van de Voorde
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Sep 05, 2023

I always wanted to become a pilot, but after realizing that with my bad eyesight that couldn't be a career for me I switched to doing something in IT as I had been playing around with computers from an early age.

I still dream of one day taking a plane up and just enjoying the freedom in the air, maybe once I find some more time and money I can learn how to fly smaller planes, who knows :)

But honestly, just like @Paul Wiggers , I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. CEO? Lego Artist? Board Game Tester? TEDx Speaker? Artist? Gardener? I do know that right now I'm enjoying my role at Umano where I'm helping teams reach their peak performance and help them excel at what they do.

And of course, the job of a lifetime: being a parent to 4 wonderful boys :D

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 05, 2023

Being a pilot has always seemed cool! Hopefully one day you'll get a chance to do a bit of flying with smaller planes🀞 


I think Lego Artist sounds like a pretty fun job, in the meantime it's great that you're enjoying your job right now! Parenting of course seems like the most important role of all! πŸ˜„

Amanda Barber
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Sep 05, 2023

Like @Paul Wiggers mentioned, I'm still figuring out what I want to be when I "grow up." I was a teacher for 12 years (one of the many things I thought I wanted to be as a child!)

In high school, I loved the idea of being a developer but was a bit put off by the amount of calculus needed in college. 

Who knows where my career path will roam?! πŸ—Ί

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Angelie Stephens
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Sep 05, 2023

Totally hear you about figuring things out, Amanda! What did you teach before? I used to lead filmmaking workshops with children, so I've changed paths a few times myself too 😊

Like β€’ Amanda Barber likes this
Amanda Barber
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Sep 05, 2023

I mostly taught Kindergarten, but also taught four-year-old Kindergarten and first grade!

What a fun career shift you had, @Angelie Stephens. My kids love theater/drama/movie making and would have enjoyed a workshop like that!

Like β€’ Angelie Stephens likes this
Angelie Stephens
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Sep 06, 2023

Oh wow, Amanda, teaching such young children must have been so rewarding - and challenging! 

I had a lot of fun leading filmmaking workshops! Working with kids (similar to yours yours!) who loved being creative was awesome - tiring though! πŸ˜†

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Laurie Sciutti
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Sep 05, 2023

I wanted to become a marine biologist but life takes some strange turns so here I am doing technical work.   πŸ˜†πŸ˜

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 05, 2023

Marine biology to technical work is a fun jump I reckon, Laurie! πŸ˜†

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Randy O_Neal
Community Leader
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Sep 05, 2023

I always dreamed of becoming a pilot.  My Dad was a private pilot, and I actually logged 7 1/2 hours toward my pilot's license... but then money got tight and I had to abandon those dreams.  I was 12 at the time.  I loved it, and felt at home in the sky.

This was near the end of the Vietnam war, and between my eyes not being 20/20 and countless military pilots coming out of the war and flooding the pilot market, it didn't make any sense to pursue flying.  Later in high school, I briefly toyed with the idea of enlisting, but wearing glasses, the best I could hope for was a rear seat... maybe.  I passed...

Years later, I toyed with the idea once again, but the thought of all the time away from the family while I might be flying around the country just didn't have the attraction for me it once held... I love my wife and family too much for that amount of separation.

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 06, 2023

I loved reading about your journey through your dream of becoming a pilot, Randy! Thank you so much for sharing. 😊

Tomislav Tobijas
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Sep 05, 2023

I was far away from dreaming about being a pilot or something like that. In fact, when I was a kid I really loved to go to fairgrounds when they would come into town. I actually didn't go on rides that much other than just checking out how those machines work and trying to reverse-engineer what I've seen and build Lego models from that. πŸ˜…
All those lights, music, and the whole ambient looked (and still looks lol) super cool!
So yeah, when I was young I wanted to be one of those fairground workers πŸ˜†

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 06, 2023

This is so awesome, Tomislav! Absolutely love how in childhood you had so much interest in the fairground and the mechanics of the rides πŸ˜„

Like β€’ Tomislav Tobijas likes this
Brant Schroeder
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Sep 05, 2023

Fireman.

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 06, 2023

A classic! πŸ˜„

David Blank
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Sep 05, 2023

I wanted to be a Police Officer like my Dad but quickly realized I didn't have the patience he did πŸ˜…

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 06, 2023 • edited

Sometimes forging our own paths turns out for the best! πŸ˜†

Like β€’ David Blank likes this
Dave Mathijs
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Sep 05, 2023

To be honest, I didn't have any. I always was in doubt and on the search for my direction. It turned out that I'd like to learn and help people solve issues, so naturally, my first real job was as a first line help desk agent.

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 06, 2023

Sounds like you were able to keep your options open and then find the best path for you, Dave! 😁

Dave Wuensch _Decadis AG_
Community Leader
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Sep 06, 2023

I wanted to become a professional athlete. But I think pretty much everyone dreams of that. :D

But right after that I wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 06, 2023

Both great choices! Was there a particular sport you wanted to take up as your profession, Dave? 😊

Ditte Simard
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Sep 07, 2023

When I was a kid, I really wanted to be President of the United States.  I would say things like "When I am President of the United States, I am going to get rid of homework" (still a great idea, someone should make that part of their political campaign).  I was heartbroken when I found out that I couldn't run for President due to being a naturalized US citizen.

After that, I settled on being an engineer like my Dad, then had a brief period of wanting to be a Classics Major my first year of college, and then settled on engineering again.  I was a Software Engineer for the first five years of my career and then became a full-time Scrum Master.  :)  I am currently a Release Train Engineer / Chief Scrum Master and absolutely love it.

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Raul Pelaez _TecnoFor - Marketplace Partner_
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Sep 07, 2023

mad scientist of course..

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Angelie Stephens
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Sep 07, 2023

I like that "mad" was part of it! πŸ˜†

Dan Breyen
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Sep 07, 2023

After playing my share of computer games (especially playing Oregon Trail on a teletype) and some rudimentary programming classes in Summer School, (Yes, I've programmed on punch cards!), I always wanted to do something with computers.  Here it is 30 plus years after college and I'm still working in the same field!

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Angelie Stephens
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Sep 07, 2023

That's pretty awesome that you found something you were interested in so early on and built on that, Dan! πŸ˜„

Monique vdB
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Sep 07, 2023

I wanted to be an English teacher - which I was for many years! But of course when I was a kid, "online community managers" did not yet exist because the internet didn't exist. πŸ˜‰  I think about that with my daughter now - her future career may not even have been invented yet!

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Amanda Barber
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Sep 10, 2023

It's so wild to think about what the future holds for our children! 😍

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A doctor, a prosecutor, and then a recruiter. Now I am a writer.

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Angelie Stephens
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Sep 11, 2023

So much variation, I love it! 

Nirmani Kalakheti
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Sep 08, 2023

I always wanted to be a Pilot! Flying on an aero plane was exciting while flying and looking at the pilot!!

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Angelie Stephens
Atlassian Team
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Sep 11, 2023

A great choice! 

Cassie the Jira Mechanic
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Sep 08, 2023

Interesting enough I wanted to be a Nurse and spent most of my early career working in the medical field while going to college for my Nursing degree. But thru life's twists and turns I ended up falling backwards into IT and honestly love what I do. Nothing against the medical field but I think I am much happier where I landed.

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Angelie Stephens
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Sep 11, 2023

Super interesting! Sounds like you ended up where you needed to be, Cassie! 😁

Ram Kumar Aravindakshan _Adaptavist_
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Sep 10, 2023

When I was a kid, I used to love video games and wanted to become a video game developer.

I did come somewhere near that. After my degree, I was working in Software Development for about 10 years and moved to Product Support in 2013. Been in the same area for over 10 years. Now mostly focussing on Jira and ScriptRunner.

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Angelie Stephens
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Sep 11, 2023

Loved reading about your journey! Thank you for sharing, Ram! 😊

Andy Gladstone
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Sep 11, 2023

This is a bit of a repost from @Valerie Knapp's Friday Fun post, but so relevant here.

I don't think I had realistic dreams of what I wanted to be when I grew up in my elementary school years. It was probably something like "Baseball player" or Hockey player". Or maybe professional hide-and-go seeker. 

In my Junior High School and High School years I gravitated towards wanting to pursue a career in writing or journalism. How does that explain my B.S. in Computer Science??? I can draw somewhat of a straightline to it, but not in less than 500 words.

In some form, I am living my dream by using the written word for expression in my daily life (and here in the Atlassian Community). It may not be exactly what I envisioned, but it keeps me satisfied. I also use Confluence every day which is like writing an investigative piece or editing a headline article daily!

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Angelie Stephens
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Sep 14, 2023

You've had such an interesting journey, Andy! Thank you for sharing πŸ˜„

Like β€’ Andy Gladstone likes this

I dont remember what I wanted t obe as a small child, but as a teenager I swore I was going to be a journalist. Then I had a really good journalism professor in college who indirectly talked me out f it. 

Oh- I also wanted to marry a carpenter so he could build me a big house and at one time (after journalism) I majored in Architecture in college. 

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Angelie Stephens
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Sep 14, 2023

Loved reading about your path, Stephanie! 😊

Aaron Geister
Community Leader
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Sep 13, 2023

When I was a child I wanted to be a teacher. I went down that route and found it not to be what I wanted. I ended up in IT and found Atlassian and I love it.

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Amanda Barber
Community Leader
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Sep 13, 2023

What did you teach, @Aaron Geister?

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Aaron Geister
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Sep 13, 2023

@Amanda Barber I went to be a tribal language teach and tried for a degree in Native Studies and Bi-lingual teaching. I do one day want to go back to that when I get close to retirement age.

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Angelie Stephens
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Sep 14, 2023

Sounds like you ended up where you needed to be, Aaron! Hope you get to return to teaching eventually when you want to πŸ˜„

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As a child, I wanted to be a professional time traveler. I figured it would be a great way to see the world and learn about different cultures. I also thought it would be fun to go back in time and fix all the mistakes I made as a kid.

But then I realized that time travel is probably not possible. And even if it were, I'm not sure I would want to do it. After all, the present is pretty great. I have a job I love, I'm surrounded by amazing people, and I have access to all the information and entertainment I could ever want.

So instead of being a professional time traveler, I'm content with living in the present and enjoying all that it has to offer. And if I ever feel like going back in time, I can always watch a movie about it.

Like β€’ Monique vdB likes this
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