My Dream Career is... | Teen Ink

My Dream Career is...

November 14, 2018
By jojojordan116 GOLD, Hartland, Wisconsin
jojojordan116 GOLD, Hartland, Wisconsin
12 articles 0 photos 0 comments

My mother stresses over another potential client. She works for herself now, recently parted from her boyfriend’s landscaping business. Cleaning houses and doing chores people would rather not do for themselves, she continuously looks for more cleaning jobs to cover rent by herself. She doesn’t have savings to fall back on, and will need to work until the day she physically cannot. She tells me with a sad look in her eyes, “I never expected to be cleaning houses when I was your age.” She has worn hands, reddened by the scrubbing, and she cleans more toilets than I ever hope to touch in my life. My dream career is everything hers isn’t.

One of the cooks I work with scrambles around the kitchen, doing his best to keep up with the bustle of the night. He does the job of many, cranking out food despite the time limit he has. The dishes pile up because we don’t have our dishwasher there to help tonight. I work around him, prepping my own food, already knowing it will be busy tomorrow. He accidentally makes a mess, muttering to himself as he works around it, lacking the time to clean up until later into the night. Later, he puts things away in the wrong spots and takes shortcuts so he can leave earlier, earning mutters and grumbles from the rest of us. My dream career is everything his isn’t.

One of my managers at my second job complains of leg pain. She worked twelve hours already today when she wasn’t even supposed to be. She was filling in for another manager who decided he couldn’t make it. She hasn’t had a break because they’ve been busy, she tells me. I cover for her the best I can while she gets her first bathroom break in hours. She’s worked here for 9 years and barely has anything to show for it (other than the leg pain). We’re overworked and our business is understaffed. Communication is horrible and the tension between managers is a constant. My dream career is everything this one isn’t.

My father works late into the night or early in the morning. He gets time off to see my brother and me every other weekend, and to see our half brother during the week. He gets full coverage and a nice pay, and he has retirement savings. He works hard and his efforts are recognized—but he’s tired most of the time. He does hard labor with his hands, welding together metallic skeletons for amusement attractions or zoo exhibits. He has interesting stories to tell, but his apartment is small and barely fits us my brother and me while we’re there. My dream career is some of what his is and some of what his isn’t.

My dream career will be fulfilling, something I can be proud of and brag about to my family and friends. It will allow me to live without having to take shortcuts. It will allow me to afford the necessities of life, and will leave me with savings that will keep me going after retirement. My dream career will allow me to have time outside of work, to catch up with friends and family. It will be with people who aren’t overworked and who are appropriately compensated for what they do. It will help me move forward in life instead of holding me back. My dream career will be something that gives me purpose, and I cannot wait to find it.

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