Skip to main content

Can't find your dream job? it could be child's play

Print E-mail

Jobcentre Plus shows how childhood career aspirations may hold the key to job satisfaction

Children in the UK dream of becoming a teacher, footballer or police officer, according to research released today for Jobcentre Plus, part of the Department for Work and Pensions. Other professions appearing in the top ten of youngsters' aspirations were vet, fireman, hairdresser, nurse, dancer, doctor and driver.


The poll of 397 primary school aged children, conducted by LVQ Research revealed that boys are most likely to aspire to sporting or 'protection' professions and girls to caring or nurturing professions. One in ten boys (10%) dream of being a footballer and 7% a police officer or fireman, whilst 13% of girls would like to become a teacher and 9% a nurse.


Jobcentre Plus advisers can help you take a fresh look at how your childhood dreams can translate into career reality, by helping you assess your interests and looking at job opportunities that relate to these. Commenting on the findings, Jobcentre Plus adviser, Jenni Vardy said: "Many of us have childhood dreams of what we want to be when we grow up, often related to our interests, hobbies or natural skills. However, as we reach adulthood these aspirations often get forgotten or appear unattainable. When looking for work it is often worth considering hobbies and interests, as we are more likely to be good at something which we enjoy and which comes naturally. And there are often lots of opportunities which can incorporate hobbies or interests."


Jenni continued; "If football is your passion, coaching training courses can be available at local football clubs, in particular for Jobseekers aged 18-24, or opportunities working as a groundsperson or in hospitality at a football club. If you're interested in getting into teaching, one way might be to offer to help out at your children's school or look into becoming a classroom assistant, which can lead to a qualification. Those who aspire to be vets could start by trying voluntary work at their local RSPCA or animal sanctuary to see what it's like before looking for a job working with animals. Jobs could range from an administrator at a veterinary surgery to being a stablehand. There are lots of different options available, it's just a question of thinking laterally around where your interests lie."


Jobcentre Plus helped Ruth Jordan, aged 62, turn her love of cross-stitching and decoupage into a successful business. Ruth said:


"When my arthritic condition worsened, I took up cross-stitching and decoupage as a hobby. Then I started to make greeting cards, which were very popular locally. My daughter, Catherine, suggested I could develop my interest into a small business, and that's when I contacted personal adviser, Ivan Wright, at Broker North East, part of Jobcentre Plus, who helped me turn my hobby into a really successful business."


Jenni Vardy gives some tips on what to think about when considering making your 'hobby' your job:


* Ask yourself questions to identify if a job already exists which involves your hobby or is it something that would require you to start your own business? For example, if you're interested in fashion have you considered a job in retail, or if you like music, a job in a record store?


* Does the job or career sector you are thinking of require specific qualifications? If so, don't be put off. There are many opportunities to train/retrain to obtain these.


* If you don't have a specific hobby, think about what you enjoy doing in your spare time. Do you enjoy being around people or do you prefer spending time alone? If you like spending time helping out at your children's school, you could obtain a teaching qualification to work with children. If surfing the internet and computers are your thing, consider web-design or IT.


* Talk your thoughts through with a friend or an adviser to sound out different ideas and work out how a new job would really fit in with your life and best suit your requirements.


For more information on job opportunities visit or speak to Jobcentre Plus on 0845 6060 234.