Childhood Dream JobsBy Gini Dietrich

My seven-year-old niece wants to be a mermaid when she grows up.

So much so, in fact, we bought her and her sister mermaid tails for Christmas (as shown in the photo above) and I’m fairly certain it was the gift of the century.

She really believes this is a career to be had by grown women.

But it got me thinking…how many of us are doing what we dreamed we would do at that age?

To find out, I took to my Facebook page and asked. Nearly 160 of you answered.

Now I have the fun job of taking all of that content and putting it into something easy for you read.

To get there, I had Mr. D read me all of the answers and I compiled a list. One thing to note: If the person listed more than one thing, he combined them all into one job (firefighting waitress, for example).

Some of these are really funny.

Childhood Dream Jobs

Please allow me to introduce a great variety of childhood dream jobs.


  • Lindsay Bell wanted to be an actress and singer. She would sing in the bathroom facing the window so anyone passing by might “discover” her.
  • Nancy Myrland wanted to be an actress.
  • And so did Liz Scherer.
  • Pilar Iglesias wanted to be an actress until she choreographed a dance to “Live a Virgin” and her mom said she’d never get to perform it in public.
  • Ken Jacobs wanted to be an actor.

Animal Lovers

  • Susan Kuhn wanted to be a dog kennel owner.
  • Tara Geissinger wanted to be a marine biologist.
  • Janet Fouts wanted to be a horse trainer.
  • Tracy O’Dowd wanted to work with large animals.
  • Mike McClure wanted to be a marine biologist.
  • Susan Murphy wanted to be a veterinarian who practiced law.
  • Aimee West wanted to be a large animal vet (until she saw one put his hand up a horse’s rear end).
  • Katie Gutwein wanted to be a marine biologist.


  • Sean McGinnis wanted to be an architect (which I find fascinating because he majored in acting and then went to law school).
  • Arik Hason also wanted to be an architect.


  • Betsy Decillis wanted to be a ballerina who was Governor of New York.
  • Pamela Grow wanted to be an artist.
  • Terreece Clark wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer and then back-up for MC Hammer.
  • Kerry Gorgone wanted to be a singer.
  • Sarah Hamilton wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer.
  • Cris Hay-Merchant wanted to be a ballerina.
  • Steven Streight wanted to be a poet.
  • Bradley Smith wanted to be an artist.


  • Keena Kincaid wanted to be a Martian (an astronaut on Mars).
  • Amanda Oleson wanted to be an astronaut who was a ballerina on weekends.
  • Joseph Haslam wanted to be an astronaut, but the closest he got was dating some spacey girls.
  • Dawn Rasmussen wanted to be an astronaut until she read “War of the Worlds” and got so scared that, for years, she would look out the window and see a moving light and think the world was ending.


  • Ron Smith wanted to be a cowboy.
  • So did Josh Wilner.
  • And Randy Bowden.

Fictional Characters

  • Caitlin Muir wanted to be Nancy Drew. Totally acceptable. She is smart, curious, and interesting.
  • Kate Nolan and Eden Spodek both wanted to be Pippi Longstocking. I LOVED her braids!
  • Thom Holland wanted to be The Great Mouse Detective.
  • Nabeeha Hutchins wanted to be Wonder Woman (Nabo, I’ll let you borrow my shirt; I got one for Christmas!).


  • Jeff Willinger wanted to be a firefighter.
  • Clay Morgan wanted to be a storytelling Army fireman.

Ice Cream Truck Driver

If you can believe it, there were multiple people who wanted this job.

  • Jon-Mikel Bailey was one. He wrote a plan for to drive a Step Van.
  • Marcus Micheli wanted to be a space cowboy who drove an ice cream truck.
  • Marc Girolimetti wanted to be a truck driver (but I thought it’d be funny to list it under here).


I guess this isn’t so uncommon!

  • Jim Mitchem wanted to be a merman.
  • Maggie McGary wanted to be a mermaid.

The Olympics 

  • Kate Finley wanted to be a figure skater (to which Laura Petrolino responded and said she was one and she would send photos to Kate that she could Photoshop her face on).
  • Jen MacDonald wanted to be an Olympic skier.
  • Laura Click wanted to be an Olympic gymnast.


  • Nikki Little wanted to be a pilot.
  • Marty Thompson wanted to be a Navy pilot.
  • Mana Ionescu wanted to be a fighter pilot.
  • Don Stanley also wanted to be a fighter pilot.


We had lots of professional sports players.

  • Kevin Vandever wanted to play pro football.
  • Brian Meeks wanted to play pro baseball for the Reds.
  • Christopher Barger wanted to play pro baseball for the Red Sox.
  • Bill Dorman wanted to play pro football.
  • Stacey Hood wanted to play pro soccer.
  • Tony Gnau wanted to be a pro football player.
  • Mark Story wanted to be the starting second baseman for the Red Sox (I think he and Barger are going to fight!).
  • Virginia Mann wanted to be quarterback for the Chicago Bears (which would be 10,000 times better than the one we have).


  • Amy Koehler wanted to be a teacher.
  • Sherilynne Starkie, too.
  • Tom Webster was a little more specific – he wanted to be a professor.
  • Anne Boedeker wanted to be a teacher.


  • Jure Klepic wanted to be a forensic anthropologist.
  • Paula Kiger wanted to be an entertaining mom.
  • Jason Konopinski wanted to be a fly fishing guide.
  • Mark McClennan wanted to be a superhero.
  • Vanessa Williams wanted to be an archeologist.
  • Heather Tweedy wanted to be  a secretary.
  • Brad Marley wanted to be a morning radio show DJ.
  • My aunt Jamie wanted to be a doctor who acts.
  • Jaimie Field wanted to be a professional baton twirler and tambourine player.
  • Jay Cadmus wanted to be a speller (he was great at spelling!).
  • Lisa Denton wanted to be Santa’s helper.
  • Barry Moltz wanted to be a Rabbi.
  • Kat Krieger wanted to be a writer.
  • Jen Phillips wanted to be a fashion designer.
  • Joel Libava wanted to be a doctor.
  • Rosemary O’Neill wanted to be a florist.
  • Edward Bury wanted to be a news reporter.
  • Heidi Sullivan had no idea what she wanted to be.
  • Jen Wojcik wanted to be a meteorologist.

Hilarious Answers

  • Kenna Griffin wanted to be a mob wife. I’m pretty sure I didn’t know anything about the mob until high school, let alone as a child.
  • Sam Parratto wanted to be Samantha from Bewitched.
  • Laura Petrolino said she wanted to be President. Considering one of our clients thinks she owns Arment Dietrich, I’d say it’s a dream come true!
  • Michael Koehler is my BFF from high school and he wanted to be Super Grover. I think I shall make him a cape for Christmas.
  • Tom Martin wanted to be Mr. Clean!
  • Rob Biesenbach wanted to be a smarty pants (his answer was to question everyone who asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up).
  • Christopher Penn wanted to be a ninja.
  • Brian Vickery wanted to be an assassin with a conscience (I’m thinking he’s really Dexter).
  • Elissa Freeman wanted to be  wanted to be either “That Girl” (Marlo Thomas) or Mary Tyler Moore. Both had hair that flipped up at the ends, lived in fabulous apartments and had great jobs and boyfriends.

And now it’s your turn. What did you want to be when you were seven years old?

P.S. If you’d like to see all the color commentary attached to these childhood dream jobs, you can find it on my Facebook wall.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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