What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?

My son’s question about work has had me thinking. I don’t have to work right now, in my current life situation. But what if my situation changes? What if our financial situation changes… tomorrow. What work could I find?

It’s not like I had a career and took a break to have kids. I got married straight out of college (well, saying that makes it sound like I actually graduated) I was half a year away from graduating with a mediocre GPA. Not because I wasn’t good at design, I was very good when I finished my projects and attended my classes.

I attempted to go back to university while my husband was doing his masters in London but that didn’t work out so well (Didn’t work out so well because of the AWAL nanny) But I was more focused and determined than the first time around. Never the less… I didn’t end up with a degree so it doesn’t really count.

This bothers me. Why? Because I have had to fill out forms that ask for my level of education (once for one of Saud’s schools) and I filled that one out with “university degree” because I couldn’t bring myself to write “high school degree”. It also bothers me because I have curious children who will eventually ask me about university.

Every once in a while I look online for distant learning courses in graphic design. I sometimes wish I could go back to university again… but I digress. What would I be good at if I had to get a job tomorrow?!

I am not saying I never worked a day in my life, but all of it has been philanthropic work. Volunteer stuff. Work that lasted, at the most, a week. Now I am “working” full-time with an amazing Down Syndrome school but again, its volunteer work. And while I am available for them all the time I don’t have to go in to the office. A week could pass without contact between us. But is there anywhere that would hire me for a paying job that is something I actually want to do?

I would love to work in something creative. Advertising, copywriting, marketing. All of which need a degree. I could get a menial job at an advertising agency and work my way up! I know I would be a terrible teacher (S agrees). I can type… maybe I should work on my CV. I speak 3 languages… (as long as I don’t have to speak the third fluently, in the right tense or for longer than 5 minutes).


Mother, editor, secretary — 2002-presemt
I practice my mothering with 3 current children and a 4th on the way. Throughout my mothering I am also an editor to my husbands emails, my children’s projects and  other family members for diverse things from job descriptions to references to complaint letters. I’m good with words.

University student — 1998-2002
Spend time in London studying graphic design. I was very adept at meeting new people and rationalizing dropping classes and missing deadlines. I had a deep appreciation for the art of walking (which is non-existent here in Saudi) and an intimate knowledge of the north london high streets and, of course, Selfridges. The work I did do during my time at university got A’s and rarely B’s. Otherwise I got F’s for skipping classes.

Overly dramatic high school student — 1992-1997
Nightmare child. I did not lash out in any way or scream or shout I just did nothing. I didn’t do homework (that was so simple it would have taken no more than 10 minutes to complete) and got into trouble the next day without fail. I refused to study knowing I will get grounded. I spent most of my time grounded (including once on my way out to my own birthday party). I pulled it together in my last year of high school. While I never got good grades for lack of effort I always worked just hard enough to never fail any of my classes. (There was NO WAY I would have ever had the guts to tell my mother I failed a subject!)

annoying clingy primary school student — 1985-1992
Or so I was told. Most stories about me when I was too young to remember involved me crying, clinging, or throwing a fit. The parts I do remember I was crying, throwing a fit or fighting (physically) with my older sister. I’m not sure what kind of student I was, I think a good one… How bad can you be when you’re in kindergarten? As for first grad to 6th… I guess I was just fine.

Some University (That’s never impressive!)

I type… fast.
I am AMAZING at researching (ask anyone who knows me! I am practically addicted to it).
I am persuasive (good marketing skills)
I am trilingual (English Arabic French).
I have traveled a lot and experienced many cultures.
I write.
I am a good public speaker.
I am adaptable (haven’t really unpacked all my things since 2009 and am still sane… relatively)

Ok, I could list the different campaigns I worked on for charity. I could list the different causes I helped raise money for. I could list the time I helped my sister marketing new products the company she worked for were launching. I could write a proper, more impressive, better worded CV. But without work experience or a degree who would hire me?

This is not a ‘feel sorry for me’ post. These are just the thoughts that go through my head from time to time. My cousin once told me if I can’t get the ‘lack of degree’ thing off of my mind till now then I never will unless I actually get it. So maybe that’s the answer…

It’ll have to wait till after I have my 4th baby, I open up my little business (that is in the works) finish helping with the marketing campaign of the school I am working on, and, finally, furnish and move into my new house.

Would you hire me? As what?


  1. you forgot to add to your skills
    “i am also a wife who manages to be a Great mother of three kids and blog about it at the same time while staying happy to be who i am”

    you know,for a profession that you were taught to do at a certain time,your work will speakout for you more than your degree,there is an uncountable times where ive heard or met entrepreneurs who always say “they have great degrees and Zero skills” and “he has no degree,but goddamn his work just pops out”

    we are in saudi,where there is still lack of controle over the labor force and you should take that to your advantage,i can definitely say you are indeed persuasive,so you already have everything in check,all you have to do is make a plan,and start.

    and btw,many,many successful graphic designers work from home,somthing that might be of benefit for you especially with the fourth yamaamaa enthusiastic screamer coming along the way.

    you will get there,rest assured :)

  2. Well, je vous parle en francais alors,c est plus sumple pour moi.En fait je pensais au metier de journaliste comme vous aimez ecrire et etes assez bonne pour ca , en plus vous etes persuasive, j ai lu qu il fallait ce genre d avantages et aussi l histoire, enfin c est une idee.
    Ps: sumple non simple, j ai du mal a corriger sur le Ipad des fois.

    • J’ai aussi pensé devenir journaliste, mais j’ai oublié les noms, les dates et les faits (facts? Lol) je ne suis pas sûr que je serais tout bon.
      The rest will be in English since my mother will have a heart attack of I butcher any more French (she speaks it fluently lol) but children’s stories was also something I was really interested in! To write and illustrate… Btw! I love that I totally understood everything you wrote! Lol
      merci pour les idées!

  3. Hey, I don’t know you, but I saw you linked to Amalah’s blog.

    Are you living in Saudi now? Could you get any piece work or contracting from afar? I don’t know alot about your country, just that a company I know something about would never send me there, as a woman, no matter how qualified I am. Good thing there are plenty of accounts other places…

    You sound like you have some wonderful skills and talent. Also, graphic design doesn’t take any particular amount of time or a degree. You have it or you don’t. I’ll bet you have it. :)

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