Do you dislike your job? Feel it’s not a good fit for you? Wonder why you chose the profession you did and think you might be happier if you could start over in a new one? You are far from alone. Studies show that more than half of people in the US workforce feel the same way.
What if someone had written a book when you were young, that had helped guide you into a career you love? Karleen Tauszik has done just this.
When I Grow Up, I Want To Be… is a progressive career journal for children, from age 6 to 18. If used religiously, when a child reaches 18, she will have a comprehensive record of her ‘interests, achievements, talents, likes, and dislikes,’ for most of her childhood; vital memories that are often lost as children grow. Kids spend just 15-20 minutes each year answering five key questions, designed for their age group.
Tauszik once taught career workshops overseas in Thailand for men and women who had come out of the sex trade, who found they often didn’t know what sort of jobs they wanted to do next. This issue wasn’t unique to Asia. ‘Back at home, I kept seeing study after study showing that more than 50% of American dislike their jobs,’ Tauszik said.
As a former Human Resources (HR) professional, Tauszik wanted to improve others’ enjoyment of work. ‘I was hearing in the news that a significant number of workers were actively disengaged from their work,’ she said. ‘We run into these people all the time– the disgruntled store clerk, the customer service rep who is no service at all. Think of the impact that has, not only on us as we deal with those sour attitudes, but also on the business they work for and on the person working in that job.’
‘In HR, I saw firsthand people working within their area of passion contrasted against those who were not, and I saw the effect of each on the business,’ Tauszik said.
She uses this knowledge to develop a book for kids to start recording and remembering their ‘true strengths, talents and interests.’ ‘I’ve always been interested in personal development, success, and the need to work in an area where you are passionate about what you’re doing, ‘ she said, and hoped that writing a guide for children would ‘help to improve those dismal statistics for the upcoming generations.’
But why a book for kids and not adults? ‘With the increased interest in finding our passion, we see more and more people who are retiring from a day job and finally pursuing their lifelong interests. How much more could they have contributed if they hung onto to those interests from childhood and pursued them more aggressively as a career?’ she said, ‘But talents and interests from the younger years are often forgotten once adolescence hits, and kids are pulled by societal pressures, peer pressure, and well-meaning guidance counselors and parents into careers that will be ‘stable’ and pay well.’
‘I’ve had great feedback from adults who said their child or grandchild enjoyed filling in the answers, but we’ll have to wait quite a while to see the lasting effects. The book was released in 2016, so it’s going to be another eight or ten years before some of those children need to make vocational decisions. My hope is that they’ll look back through their copy of When I Grow Up, I Want To Be… and make decisions in line with their true talents and strengths. It would be lovely to see a positive change in those dismal statistics!’ she said.
Tauszik has been asked many times if she plans to write a similar book for grownups. She said ‘there are actually quite a few popular books already that address how to find your greatest interest. I always recommend Chris Guillebeau’s book, Born For This,’ she said, ‘As the title states, the book helps you find what you were born to do and helps you see how you can actually do it.’
Tauszik said that she contacted ten authors of bestselling books that were related to the theme of When I Grow Up, I Want To Be… and ended up with ‘great endorsements from Barbara Winter, who wrote Making A Living Without A Job, and Chris Guillebeau. Both of them quickly saw the value of my book and jumped on board,’ she said.
Tauszik has also published a separate, stand-alone book for kids on goal setting, called Every Kid’s Guide To Goals.
‘Every Kid’s Guide To Goals is aimed at teaching kids a skill that will benefit them for a lifetime. It explains, with child-related examples, how goals work, the benefits of having them, and how kids can set goals that are achievable,’ said Tauszik. She hopes the process of working through goal setting will help kids ‘understand the process, importance, and rewards of goal setting.’
Ironically, in writing a book to help others find their way into careers they would enjoy, Tauszik found herself living her own advice. ‘At my day job at the time, I got bored easily and didn’t look forward to the week ahead,’ she said, ‘I always felt a stark difference between the work I did writing my books versus the work I did for my ‘nine-to-five’ job,’ she said, ‘While writing, the time flew. I felt that I was creating something significant.’ Tauszik now works as a full-time author and writer.
Learn more about Karleen and her books at KarleenT.com.