What Do I Want to be When I Grow Up?

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My only focus since I was the (likely world’s first) five-year old making to do lists was to keep moving forward. I didn’t know if any of the extra curricular activities, AP classes, internships or networking events would get me where I needed to be but I knew it couldn’t possibly send me backwards. I’ve also always said (and believed) that it’s better to busy than bored and I continue to make sure that not a day goes by that doesn’t bring me even the tiniest step closer to being better than I was the day before. The issue was, and is still is, that I don’t necessarily know where I’m headed.

After side projects and extracurricular activities in high school that most likely did nothing but give me more anxiety than I gave myself, I chose to take my talents to the University of Florida (Go Gators!) to get a degree in Telecommunications Management. I had dreams of using my passion for reading and writing to work in television. Throughout college, I would write down quotes from my friends that I was certain would be plots in my future television pilots. After graduation, I moved to New York City to begin my dream job with MTV2. I worked on two shows, one being Wild N Out, which reached an audience of 1.1 million – making it the highest rated-show in MTV2 history at the time. I didn’t make it through the entire first season before deciding that show business, and NYC, just wasn’t for me. It was very discouraging that after just the second day at my “dream job” I was already thinking, ok, now what?

Although I never saw myself as a forever Floridian, I needed the Sunshine State. Being raised by two entrepreneur parents, I needed independence as well. I returned home to get my MBA in Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University while also working at a marketing firm, where I learned how to combine my favorite hobbies into a full-time career. I spent about a year and a half at the marketing firm, where we helped entrepreneurs and startups get off the ground with anything from naming the company to finding investors. It was empowering and exciting to be involved in so many different industries that I had never expected to learn anything about.

This would be the part of the story where I realized marketing was it and I had found my calling. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to write that plot twist into my own life.

giana pacinelli

These days, I’m an Account Manager for an advertising agency, a Skimm’bassador for theSkimm a new member adviser for Emerge Broward, and I do freelance writing for New Times and ContentBacon.

Figuring out what you “want to be when you grow up” is a lot harder and more complicated than it was when I was five. For a lot of jobs (i.e. news anchor, doctor, baseball player) you have to know where you want to be at a young enough age where you can begin actively preparing. Sometimes, by the time you realize this, it’s too late. Most times, however, you never figure it out. I don’t think I’ll ever know what I want to do for the simple fact that I want to do everything. I’m interested in real estate, owning a sports bar, writing a novel, working for the Dallas Cowboys and definitely most interested in saying “to hell with it” and traveling the world and writing a travel blog. I’ve learned through several quarter-life crisis’ that sometimes that’s ok. Although many will tell you otherwise, you don’t need to pick one thing to do. Most people don’t. A study from Forbes says that people will have 15-20 jobs in their lives. Once you (or I) come to terms with the fact that there will never be just that one job, you (or I) can start enjoying the ride, trusting the process and believing that all the bumps and turns are part of the journey. I use to think that a career was the one thing in life you can control, that’s why I focused so hard on it. Unfortunately, you can’t even control that. So for now, and maybe forever, I’ll stick with continuing to be better than I was yesterday while enjoying the mystery of finding out where it will take me.  

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