When I Grow Up...
How do you know what you want to do for a living before you try it?
I ask my kids every once in a while what they want to be when they grow up. It's fun to hear their responses. For those of you that know my boys, (ages 6 , 7, and just turned 9) this can lead to some interesting conversation. I have heard a variety of options.... from construction worker or police, to professional wrestler or NFL player (the Steelers, specifically). My most motivated child (ha ha), will sometimes reply with "nothing." He wonders why he can't just stay with me forever? Yikes!
When I was asked this question as a child, I would reply with "secretary." I just loved to type! I would ask for a type writer for my birthday. Not a fake one, a real one. I even got my wish! I never ever said, "When I grow up I want to be a travel agent." I think back though, and realize that I took all of the steps towards this career without even realizing it. Before the age of 10, I would write a family newsletter (on my type writer, and eventually computer) and send out to my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins. Also, before a family vacation, sometimes my dad would have me call hotels to make reservations. I was always interested in the atlas that my dad kept in the magazine rack as he would map out our family road trips. I signed up for a frequent flyer number at a young age, called the local travel agent in Fergus Falls to book flights for family members coming to town, and memorized populations of towns around the country. I can even recite the 50 United States in alphabetical order! (thanks, music class!) Looking back, I appreciate so much the family trips my dad planned out for us, even though I'm sure it was anything but pleasant traveling with 4 females. (my mom and two sisters) Lucky me, I eventually learned to just volunteer to be the kid in the middle of the back seat. It's true, the middle child is the peace maker at heart. I see this in my middle son as well!
After graduation, I still didn't know what I wanted to do. I checked out a couple of cosmetology schools, but still wasn't sure. So I applied for a job as a corporate travel agent, and began the summer of 1998. The job was a perfect fit, as it was a fast paced environment, challenging, full of geography, and I got to utilize my computer and phone skills. I also met some wonderful friends. Along came the internet, 9/11, and so much in the industry changed. In 2005, I began my career in leisure travel. I still did small business reservations as well, but with a more personal touch. I have always loved the industry, but selling dreams to people and getting to know and become friends with so many clients has really changed my life. I love my career, and am happy to share my "typing" and "trips" with you all!
(by the way I am sitting here trying to think of exactly what my old type writer looked like, ahhh - the memories!)