What I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up

Original Spanish version published in El Comercio newspaper (Peru) on August 13, 2015

I always go around interviewing people for all kinds of reasons, but the other day the shoe was on the other foot. This time I faced a question I was not ready to answer: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I had not thought about that for a long time. What did I want to be when I grew up? When I remembered, I felt touched by my own innocence…

Here it is: When I was little, I wanted to be a missionary. I saw myself caring for children and people in need in the high mountains of Peru, teaching them things, sharing their life and circumstances. I think that dream became my own because of a friend who always talked about that project. And, you know, that dream came true for her in time.

Not for me. Though I found the idea compelling, time passed and I thought about being a doctor, like my dad. I saw myself in the hospital with patients; helping to cure people, doing meaningful things that would leave a legacy and change the lives of many.

However, with adolescence, I became interested in other things, and those altruistic dreams were set aside until they were eventually forgotten. In the end, I chose the major studied by many of us who do not know what to study: Business Administration.

My first jobs helped me to know myself, define what I liked and what I did not. I was fascinated by marketing, so I moved away from finance. But it was not until I was 33 that I found what I truly liked and what I still have a passion for today. That is when I found myself in a complicated and painful family situation related to unemployment. A company that did not act in a socially responsible manner towards the people it let go gave me the clue. That situation led me to get in touch with the company I work for now, and to convince them that I was the ideal person to open a branch of their offices here in Peru.

And, you know what, now that I think about it, I believe my projects as a child were not totally lost, because though I have not literally followed them, I think that the essence of those dreams that floated in my head have continued throughout my life, as a common thread.

Today I dedicate myself to helping people from all over the country to regain control of their lives when they find themselves without a job, when they have lost what they thought was the security in their lives. I help them get back up on their feet and look to the future with a plan to help them recover their dreams and regain control of their careers and lives. I help them become their own business.

That is my life now, and it has been for the past 20 plus years. My dream today is for other Peruvians –like me– to make their dreams come true as well. And I feel really good doing that. Guess what? I just realized that, after all, I am being true to that little girl I was a thousand years ago!

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