What do you want to be when you grow up, Bridget?


A question you’re not often asked after age ten. Maybe that’s why I think LOI’s advertising campaign (only in Dutch unfortunately) is so cool: a business man in a suit who does not know the answer to that question. Because why should we stop thinking what we want to become? If you ask yourself that question regularly, you make sure that you do not just get stuck into a position you’ve outgrown. It is fine if you decide to do something else after ten years. Why would you have to do the same thing your whole life?

From pilot to veterinarian

I changed my mind a lot as a kid. My dreamjob ranged from pilot to sundae ice cream maker at McDonalds (?! Very specific Bridge, but when I was little, there were no cool McFlurry’s and those 50 cents cones I really disliked without any sauce) and then from fashion designer to vet. Until I found out that you also have to put animals to sleep and cut them open. Thanks, but eh, no thanks.

I did know I didn’t want to do the same thing for 40 hours every week. Still don’t want to, by the way. Every day a different profession sounded amazing to me. I made a weekly schedule: Monday I’d work as a lawyer, Tuesday as a doctor, Wednesday as a hairdresser, Thursday as a patissier and Friday voluntarily at the animal shelter. I still carry a part of that philosophy today. After all, I do several things side by side. I also soon noticed that I wanted something that was mine. Where as a child I thought that I could braid friendship bracelets and sell them and ‘become loaded’ (ha-ha, if you wish for numb fingers, I’d totally recommend doing this all day), I later on became a bit more realistic, starting my own business with a talent that is more sustainable. BridgetJ was born in 2014.

Doing something big

This is also something that I have had in my head from a very young age: I want to do something big! I am someone who is convinced that every job is important in the chain of our collective success. Treat the CEO with the same respect as the janitor. I firmly believe in that. But also because everyone in the society does work that suits him, I know that I really need a job with enough challenge. That feeling of needing to reach the top shelf of the kitchen cupboard for which you need to be on your tippy toes. If things go too easily, I quickly lose interest. But many employers do not want to give you ‘something so difficult’. They are always looking for someone who already has a lot of experience in that job/task. I still look for that rare exception who looks beyond this standard and says: ‘she has never tried that before, so I think she can do it’. Thus the mighty Pippi Longstocking.

What did you want to be when you were little? And what are you doing now?

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