What do you want to be when you grow up?

26 Jul

I sometimes am asked to speak to different kinds of students about their career options. It might be U Vic or Royal Roads undergrads, or high school students. A while back I had a really challenging gig: speaking to my daughter’s Grade 2 class. Man, I was nervous.

When you’re talking to little kids and everything comes down to your ability to hold their attention (or they will start wiping boogers on the kids beside them), you have to get real, real fast.

Why is advertising a good career and why would Grade 2 kids give a crap about something so far down the road?

Because it’s fun.

I showed them a direct marketing piece I did for Telus. When you open it, a few dozen little bunnies fall on the floor. The entire class scrambled to scoop them up in this gigantic, screaming, midget moshpit. A hilarious, chaotic moment.

It wouldn’t have worked on the U Vic students, who are so blasé about bunnies.

The kids asked me so many questions:

> Do you have rabbits in your office? (No, but we have dogs.)

> Do you work in a zoo? (Yes)

> Does Lola – that’s my daughter – give you ideas? (She gives me all of them.)

> Would you rather be a doctor? (I couldn’t have dogs in the office if I was doctor!)

> Is that ketchup on your face? (Yes, um, actually. Hmm.)

They agreed that it was a COOL job and I walked out of that classroom realizing what a killer career choice I have made.

If what you do for a living seems exciting to kids, it will probably be exciting for adults too. And that makes for a good long-term job.

A few weeks later I was asked to speak on a panel to U Vic students about career options and, for a change, I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about.

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5 Responses to “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

  1. Chris Dallin July 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Should have said, (Yes, um, actually … yummm.)

    • dougbrowncreative July 29, 2010 at 4:15 am #

      It wasn’t my ketchup though Chris…

  2. designingrenee November 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Your love for your career is honestly refreshing. 🙂

    I bet your daughter was really proud of you that day!

    I did a belly dance demo in my daughter’s grade 4 class once. Danced with a sword on my head, I did. But I digress.

  3. dougbrowncreative November 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    I’m sure most of the kids would rather watch you belly dance with a sword on your head then listen to me bleating on about advertising. Any career options in belly dancing?

  4. designingrenee November 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    But I didn’t have bunnies!

    Nope. It’s a use it or lose it kind of thing. I haven’t belly danced in about 5 years.

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