While she was joking, there was some truth to it. (At least, I'm pretty sure there was- it seemed like it.) It got me thinking- why do people work jobs they don't like? What job out there do you want to have, but feel you can't get (for whatever reason)?
I tried working the "regular" jobs. I worked at a movie theater, a kid's toy/clothing store, a video rental place, a restaurant, a bank, a bookstore, and a call center for a cruise line. The jobs were all interesting, and all had their good points and fun parts. But I'm really bad at being treated like a replaceable number. (The video store wasn't like that- it was locally owned by two wonderful people, and for the majority of my time there, I was the only employee- it was probably my favorite job. I left when the owners sold the place and the new owners hired only family.) I place life, education, and family above job (because jobs are replaceable, but family and life are not, and education is one of the most valuable things our species has), so when I had to choose, I never chose the job.
I was never fired from a job, but a few times I did not leave under my own will (the kid's store I was only hired seasonal, the bank manager at the time told me that if I didn't quit then she'd fire two other people, which I found out later was false). I don't regret having so many jobs (over about a 6-year period) because I learned a lot at each job, met interesting people, and came to understand a little more about human nature.
When you find the right job for you, it won't feel like a job most of the time. You'll love what you do, and you'll do it well. I'm a writer, and I love it. I'm also an actress, and I love that, too. Writing and acting make me happy, and they satisfy me more than any large paycheck or ample benefits ever could. I'm not making much money right now (read: I'm barely scraping enough to fill my gas tank) but I can feel that it'll grow. Not meaning to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty good at writing, and I feel very strongly that if you chase your passions, then the money will chase you. Eventually, the income will start to snowball and I'll be able to live comfortably off my writing. (read: with a lot of hard work, determination, and patience.)
But let's talk about you now. Do you like your job? Is it what you dreamed of doing when you were a kid? If it isn't, then maybe it's time for a change. Ask yourself what's stopping you from going for what you really want. Whether you dream of being a great world leader or a garbage man, do it! Do what makes you happy. And those "reasons" why you can't? They're just excuses. Here, let me show you some:
*"I'm too old to do what I want to do. It's too late." FALSE! It's never too late. My grandpa, for example, didn't find what he loved to do until he was 56. When he talks about that job, he always says how happy he was and how much he enjoyed it. There was an article recently about a woman who always dreamed of getting a degree, but life kept getting in the way. She finally got her degree- at age 96!! And she was so happy. I have a character in an unpublished book that says "You're only too old to dream when you're dead." So go out, get it.
*"I'm not smart enough to do what I love." FALSE! Yes, you are. If you don't have the knowledge or skills now, you can get them. Read about it, practice, consume everything you can about it until it fills your being and you can recite every detail of it in your sleep. If it's what you love, you'll love learning about it. Take classes, do an internship, whatever it takes. Which brings us to our next point...
*"I can't afford to take classes or learn skills. It's too expensive." FALSE! There are a ton of opportunities for inexpensive learning out there. There's also a ton of opportunities for scholarships and grants (millions of dollars go unclaimed every year- seriously, apply for some scholarships and grants). Some are specific, others are wide open, but there's a scholarship or grant out there for everyone. No matter who you are, you qualify for dozens of scholarships. (For example, I qualify for a minority scholarship that's available because I'm left-handed. No joke.)
*"I don't have the time to do what I love." FALSE! We make time for what we want to do. I make time for writing, family, and classes. Take a look at your time- do you watch television every day? That time can be used to study, learn, go to classes, and anything else you want to do. Unless you're working a job that requires you to be there and working for 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, you can find the time to work towards the job you really want.
*"Everyone tells me I can't do what it is I want to do." FALSE! FALSE! FALSE!!! Who cares if other people believe you can do it or not; what matters is if YOU believe you can do it or not. If people tell you that you aren't able to do something, then don't ask them. You know what you are capable of; most people are actually capable of a lot more than they give themselves credit for, and you're probably one of them! Anything is possible, and if you bring to mind any of the most successful people in history, none of them started out in the success they found. For example, Walt Disney came from a farm family in the middle of Missouri. He didn't finish school (though education, partiticularly self-education, was extremely important to him). When he came out to California, he had only a few dollars he borrowed from an uncle and a small suitcase of clothes. He was turned down at every studio he applied to work at. But with hard work and dedication, he built an entertainment empire. People told him not to make Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs because "who would want to sit through 80 minutes of animation?" People told him not to build Disneyland because "who would want to go to a place like that?" But he ignored the naysayers, and did what he believed in and what he loved, and you can too. The most successful and amazing people come from humble beginnings, and all of them had people who advised them not to do what it is they had in mind. History and innovation is made by people who ignore the naysayers and do what they believe in.
So... think about the ulimate dream job you want to have. What's stopping you? The only true answer is you are.
The only limits we have are the ones we give ourselves.