Children, despite having absolutely nothing useful on their resumes, are extremely confident in their ability to secure just about any job that could be had in this world. Imagine if your five-year-old self walked into an interview for an open astronaut position:
Tell me about yourself, Nicky.
That’s great. Do you know why they float?
Legally, I shouldn’t know your age. If you don’t get this job you could sue NASA for age discrimination. I’m sure you wouldn’t do that kind of thing but…okay, moving on. What did you go to pre-school for?
“You have a bald head like my dad.”
Regardless of how charming your inability to pronounce “Rs” may have been, no reputable employer would have hired you. Yet you were positive that without any prior schooling, vocational training, royal blood or motor skills, you were uniquely qualified to become a:
And I’m sure the list went on, which is exactly the point. Kids have an unnerving sense of confidence because they have no limits. The lucky ones with loving parents are told from the time they begin to blink, “You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to (except color on the walls).” It’s not until we get older and start to doubt ourselves that the little pieces of our self-assured makeup begin to chip away. Doubt creeps in. Imposter syndrome pokes its heads around corners. Sometimes I wonder if these are the monsters we so feared underneath our beds.
As we get older, we start to assume the opposite of what we once knew so definitely: that there’s no way we’ll ever grow up to be X.
But it’s Love Your Career Month on Man Repeller. In honor of that, let’s all try to channel our inner child egoist once again. Clearly we had something big and important going for us back then. We knew something that our older and more cynical selves don’t know now. In the comments, list your childhood dream job — no matter how silly or stupid or not-actually-a-job it is — and then try to remember what it was like to feel super, super sure about it.
Then reassure yourself with the knowledge that for every bit of wisdom your younger self could likely impart on the current you, at the very least, the you now knows better than to comment on an interviewer’s striking similarity to a cow you once saw. In fact, when paired with social tact, who knows how far those limitless dreams really can go…
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.