What did/ do you want to be when you grew/ grow up?


didn’t quite make it

This question always flustered me when extended relatives asked. Always figured I’d end up a writer or an artist, but I’m not good enough for those so… dunno. Still don’t.

Sounds like a great Tom Cruise film.


Film maker

I did end up as one of those but not sure how I feel about it after nearly 15 years of it.

Not sure when really young, maybe doctor or footballer. When I was a teenager I wanted to be a sound engineer and work at gigs/in recording studios.

Astronomer (primary school)
Sports journalist (secondary school)
Music journalist (6th form and into uni)

I remember writing something for the 6th form paper once, and this absolute dick of a guy standing on the steps and reading out sarcastically to take the piss out of me. I don’t know what I’d ever done to upset him. He also wrote some homophobic graffiti about me in big block letters on the toilet cubicle door. (I’d assumed that people would have grown out of being bullies by the time they got to 6th form, but there we were).

An artist.

(Still do haha)

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It must be nearly time for your testimonial match, I guess?


I have chocolate ankles due to numerous ligament injuries so it’s high time to hang up the boots.

Junior School - Train driver
Early Secondary School - Sports Journalist
Late Secondary School got into computing and now I’m a programmer.

Never quite got into the appeal of being a train driver. You don’t even get to steer them.

I absolutely got that sense too but couldn’t quite articulate it.

The big action scene involves Tom piloting a special fighter jet he’s invented to destroy [Nazis? Enemies of L Ron Howard?] while wrestling with his faith and saying the Hail Mary.

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Always thought the answer was nothing but that was because the careers advice at school consisted of saying you could work on a building site or in a factory so if you said you didn’t want to do either of those things you were treated with incredulity.

In reality:
Columbo style detective. Actually think I could have cut it as a police detective but the pseudo military aspects of the police mean I could never do it.
Chef - loved cooking and one of the few things I can actually do but am allergic to so many foods it was always impossible.
Documentary film maker and/or photo journalist. Never pursued those just due to a lack of self confidence I guess.

Not this that’s for sure.

Wanted to be a big-shot Hollywood movie director

Our careers advice at school consisted of asking us for 3 interests or hobbies and then sending us an information leaflet about careers in those areas, with no discussion about what you might actually be suitable for. So like, I said that I like animals and got a load of info about becoming a vet, because they didn’t ask “are you extremely squeamish” or “do you actually like your biology classes”, either of which would have made it clear that being a vet was not the career for me.

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Really, really wanted to be a musician full time. Am not, but still playing music so all good really.

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Baffling how awful most careers advice in the UK still seems to be. I mean mine was from a different era but it still seems such an undervalued thing. So many kids would benefit so much from an adult who could properly listen and mentor them.


my uncle always says he’s still not sure what he wants to do with his life

he’s in his 70s

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Wanted to be a musician

Then I did a music degree and realised that being a musician in a submissive role didn’t appeal to me in any way. What I’d always enjoyed the most and dreamed of doing was the freedom of being in a band, writing our own tunes.

Playing in jazz bands, orchestras, brass bands etc. was great fun but the idea of doing it for a job didn’t appeal. Part of this was because as I got older I got more and more interested in other things, particularly watching sport.

If you want to be a musician you have to sacrifice your evenings and weekends and I didn’t want to do that. So instead I ended up worked in a call centre, which meant… my evenings and weekends being fucked. So at that point, my ambition was to work 9-5 so that I could eg. watch the champions league knockout games without taking annual leave. Eventually that happened. Was great.

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