Only a quarter of the UK workforce has fulfilled their childhood ambition, according to a survey of 40,000 people by Friends Reunited.
The website asked its members to remember back to their first day in secondary school and say what they wanted to be when they grew up.
Old stereotypes rang true with nurse coming out top (23%) as the most dreamed of job for girls and scientist for boys (18%). Teacher and hairdresser came in second and third for girls respectively with soldier and then footballer for boys.
However, little over a quarter of the 40,000 respondents said they had fulfilled their childhood ambition.
Half of those that missed out on securing their dream job said they had ‘changed their mind’, 14% said they ‘failed to meet the grade’, while 10% of women and 5% of men cited ‘family commitments’ as the reason.
Overall 6% had not given up on their early plans and were still working towards a career in their chosen field.
Steve Pankhurst, founder of Friends Reunited, said: “We wanted to find out how many people went on to fulfill their dreams and how many had followed a different course entirely in life.
“I wanted to be a fireman when I left school, but changed my mind when I found out the pay was rubbish,” he said.