No Yellow Brick Road? Don't Sweat it

By Rose Trenker

Analyst | Canadian International Office (Summer Student)

What do you want to be when you grow up? An accountant? A website developer? An Olympic Speed Walker? There’s a question that you’ve heard a million times before. That question can be intimidating, especially when most of us can’t even decide what we’re having for breakfast. At this point in my life, I’m lost for an answer. I have no yellow brick road to follow. I don’t even know where I want to go right now. Here are my confessions of a university student who doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a princess when I grew up. By grade 12, reality hit and I realized that the job market for it wasn’t too hot, so I went on to apply to business schools. If you had asked me again later in grade 12, I would have had no idea. Applying to business school was something that I took a chance on. I walked in on my first day of class and hoped that I hadn’t just ruined my life.

Fast-forward to my life now, and I’ve reached a new turning point. I’m making big life decisions about what to major in and what I want my career to look like. I typically consider myself the type of person that has a plan for my life. At least, that’s how I like things to be. But as it turns out, the only time I haven’t had a set plan comes down to what is arguably the most important decision in my life: my future career path.

I always thought the people I looked up to, with the coolest suits and most professional sounding LinkedIn profiles must have always had a plan. The funny thing is, when talking to those people about how they ended up where they are, they all say the same thing: “Hard work, taking opportunities, and a little bit of luck”. As it turns out, hardly anyone knows exactly what they want to be when they grow up.

The “Happily Ever After” ending of this story is that there isn’t one. You might never have that moment of “this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life and this is exactly how I’m going to do it”, and that’s okay. Not knowing exactly where I was going used to scare me. Actually, it still scares me. But I’ve realized that no matter where I go, I’ll always have those thoughts, and that the best opportunities have turned up when I was least expecting them—like my summer at Deloitte. Whatever happens, life has a funny way of placing you exactly where you need to be.

Rose was an Analyst summer student in our Canadian International Office. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Business Administration at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Did you find this useful?