Explore What’s Possible!


Watch “100 Kids Tell Us What They Want to Be When They Grow Up” (3-min video) from Hi-Ho Kids.


  • How would you answer this question — “What do you want to be when you grow up?”


One way to answer the question about what you want to be when you grow up is to use a Westernized version of a Japanese concept called Ikigai.

This version of the concept says to ask yourself:

  1. What do I love?
  2. What does the world need?
  3. What can I get paid for?
  4. What am I good at?

How would you answer these questions?

When you’re young, you can focus on discovering what you love and what you are good at.

As you get older (into teenage years), you can also focus on what the world needs and what you can get paid for.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

It can be fun to think about the possibilities! Of course, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed by the question. You don’t have to decide your career right now. For now, just enjoy the exploration.

Possible Careers

Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) gives a wide range of possibilities listed from A to Z. Do any of these interest you? Notice how many possibilities there are!

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Botanist
  • Computer Programmer
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Electrician
  • Fashion Designer
  • Genetic Counselor
  • Hydrologist
  • Industrial Organizational Psychologist
  • Jet Engine Mechanic
  • Kinesiologist
  • Lawyer
  • Marketing Manager
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Quality Control Inspector
  • Research Analyst
  • Stonemason
  • Translator
  • Urban Planner
  • Video Producer
  • Workforce Development Specialist
  • X-Ray Technician
  • Youth Program Director
  • Zoologist

What other possibilities can you think of? Keep in mind that many jobs today (such as social media managers or YouTuber) didn’t exist 20 years ago, so the job you end up doing might not even exist today.

For now, the very best thing you can do is pay attention to your inner compass and focus on what sparks your interests!

Explore More

To close out, make a list of as many careers as you can think of, starting with everyone you personally know.

Watch “Small Talk” from CBC Kids to hear different kids talk about what they want to do when they grow up.


  • What careers do you want to learn more about?
  • What is one thing you can do to explore it now?

No matter the career you’re interested in, it’s highly likely that someone has written about it or made a video. Search what’s possible!

Optional Interview: If you or someone in your family knows someone who does a job you’re interested in, see if you can interview them.


  • What does your day look like?
  • What skills should I be developing now to do what you do?
  • What advice do you wish you’d been given?

You might find that their work is a perfect fit for you — or you might find that the more you learn about their work, the less you actually want to do it. Either way, it’s good to know those things sooner rather than later!

“Nothing will work unless you do.”