Dream (Dream[Dream Job]Job) Job
March 15, 2002 1:29 AM   Subscribe

Dream (Dream[Dream Job]Job) Job If only I was so lucky. What do you do for a living?
posted by crasspastor (64 comments total)
And what the fuck would you rather be doing? When my boss asks me to go to the store for potatoes I nearly palpitate in excitement. A cigarette to be had on the way? The sensation of going on a field trip again? You bet I'll go to the store for some Yukon Golds!

That's my existence and probably explains the MeFi refresh rate from my IP.
posted by crasspastor at 1:35 AM on March 15, 2002

I'm waiting to die.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:37 AM on March 15, 2002

That should be:

If only I were so lucky.

Now I'm really sounding like a service industry sucker.
posted by crasspastor at 1:42 AM on March 15, 2002

I want Tom Hanks's job from Big.
posted by donkeyschlong at 1:55 AM on March 15, 2002

Ah, I read this book years back where this guy 'Danziger' got a scholarship to travel. He wrote an interesting book about it later - 'Danziger's travels'. Appying for a scholarship like that sounded like a wonderful idea then, sounds like a wonderful idea now too

Also, if only I figure out how to join BBC ....
posted by justlooking at 2:08 AM on March 15, 2002

Imagineer. It's a job. Oh yes. A wondrous job.
posted by j.edwards at 2:16 AM on March 15, 2002

I got laid off from my job a technical writer last Friday afternoon. :o(
posted by alumshubby at 4:20 AM on March 15, 2002

I got laid of from my job as a technical writer last July. So any kind of paid employment would be nice, thanks.
posted by Summer at 4:48 AM on March 15, 2002

I'm really not sure. I'm so wrapped up in the need-to-aim-for-six-figure-income quest that I don't really know. Maybe run a bicycle/cross-country ski store. Maybe be a feature journalist. Or maybe do advertising for a list of clients I chose. By the way, I'm an attorney, which won't be that bad once I can find people I actually like to work with.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:58 AM on March 15, 2002

typhoid carrier
posted by monkeyJuice at 5:29 AM on March 15, 2002

I got laid-off from my job as communications specialist three weeks ago. At the mooment, I'm living off of my severance package. I really should be looking for another job, but the prospect of work fills me with dread at the moment. Weird, huh? A decade or so of work, and you become convinced that it's impossible to find a dream job. Ach, maybe I just woke up in a bad mood. But it's a good link -- jolted me out of my "all work is bad" train of thought...
posted by Badmichelle at 5:30 AM on March 15, 2002

disgruntled desk jockey. i hate my job--no, actually, i hate working. my dream job would be to hit the powerball. i tell people here every day that if they see me with the big check on tv...that's the last time they'll see me, cause i'm sure as shit not coming back to the office!
posted by macadamiaranch at 5:39 AM on March 15, 2002

I know how you feel, michelle. The thought of going back to work, answering to a boss, having to justify myself all the time, dealing with office politics, travelling, etc etc, fills me with dread. But the thought of lifelong poverty is worse. If only I could make this damn freelance thing pay more. If anybody needs anything written on broadband technologies, digital TV or new media advertising/marketing in Europe or the US, come to me first. I'm really, really good, honest.
posted by Summer at 6:02 AM on March 15, 2002

I was laid off from a job I'd come to hate last October (I worked in the media department of an ad agency). I took the rest of October and all of November off and dyed my hair blue, travelled, and enjoyed myself. I started looking for work in December.

I got lucky: the first job I interviewed for is the one I got, and while I did take a pay cut for the job, I'm ever so much happier. I work at a private not-for-profit substance abuse prevention agency now, and I love it. It's completely different from working in advertising (which is basically all I'd done after getting my degree), and it's very satisfying to know that the work I'm doing now will make a positive difference in people's lives instead of convincing them to buy a car, pizza, or grass seed.

Dorothy L. Sayers in her novel, Gaudy Night, talks about the concept of a "proper job"; that is, a job that you have to do. The example in the novel is that the main character is a detective fiction novelist, who had in the past been on trial for murder. Someone asks her she doesn't feel that she should be doingsome other kind of work, and she replies that writing murder mysteries is the thing she's best at, and why should she allow proper feeling (or what society sees to be proper feeling) to get in the way of her doing what she's best at?

There seems to be such an emphasis on making piles of money in American society, that actually enjoying what you do is a foreign concept to a lot of people. That strikes me as being rather sad. I don't know what I'm driving at exactly, but work and "proper jobs" and trying to maintain a balance between enjoying what I do 40 hours a week and what I'm able to do the rest of the time on the wages from that work is something I've done a lot of thinking about in the last few years.

I'll shut up now. ;)
posted by eilatan at 6:26 AM on March 15, 2002

It's a gimick. The first person to say "My dream job is right here" becomes an honorary VP, with salary.
posted by LuxFX at 6:32 AM on March 15, 2002

I presume that i am not the only artist on here who works a 40/hr dayjob doing something totally out of field in order to pay for the resources to produce work.
It's a weird feeling -- i'm young (only 2 years out of school), but i have an overwhelming sensation that if i were more consciously driven towards financial success there are MANY thigns i could do very well. But instead, in order to really get moving in my carreer, i have had to find the tennuous balance between the job that will best allow me to live comfortably and realistically finance my creative work and the job which will absolutely not require me to stay long hours, and which i know i can drop totally out of my consciousness as soon as i leave -- so i will have the energy to DO creative work.
It is a very very hard predicament, because the day job is inane enough and my position subordinate enough that on the days i don't have a lot of confidence in my creative work, i begin to feel really very pathetic about how i have somehow -- with all of my education and experience and insight -- landed in this shitty job where these shitty people tell me what to do all day.

Can anyone relate?
posted by milkman at 6:37 AM on March 15, 2002

freelance photographer. wife too. dream job. lots of travel. independent. happy.
posted by ig at 6:49 AM on March 15, 2002

Both of my parents went back to school for advanced degrees while in their late thirties. Seeing this as a child, I've always believed that it's never impossible to simply change one's career whenever it becomes unfulfilling. I’m just about done with my BS in computer engineering, and I’m planning on going to grad school to study AI. If that’s not fun, I’ve got dozens of other ideas (I would love to be an industrial designer or a record producer, for instance), and got plenty of life left to make up my mind.
posted by Eamon at 6:52 AM on March 15, 2002

I'm a lawyer. I think there are at least 5 of us actively posting. Scary.
posted by Mid at 6:53 AM on March 15, 2002

I'm an internet strategist (yes, there are still things to strategize)/ webDev manager. I love my job, it's not perfect but I'm in a position to make a lot of changes, get things done right, lean back in my chair and think, and spend time reading MeFi as 'research'.
posted by Mick at 7:01 AM on March 15, 2002

I want to be a superhero of some sort, so this rubber and spandex suit with nipples on it won't seem quite so freaky to people.
posted by dong_resin at 7:01 AM on March 15, 2002

I want to be a superhero of some sort, so this rubber and spandex suit with nipples on it won't seem quite so freaky to people.

I'd be a pornstar pretty much for the same reason.
posted by Cyrano at 7:06 AM on March 15, 2002

It's not as much fun as it looks.
posted by dong_resin at 7:20 AM on March 15, 2002

I once had somebody suggest working the phone- or cyber-chat-sex trade. I'm seriously considering it, since I'd probably be able to work evening hours. Also, I have no real qualms about verbally play-acting with people to get them off provided I'll never have to meet them in person. And if anybody asked, I'd just say I was doing telemarketing between tech-writing jobs.

Any of you attorneys know if that's actually legal to do, or how I find out if it's legal? Anybody knowledgeable about whether it pays anything?
posted by alumshubby at 7:20 AM on March 15, 2002

I knew someone in Seattle several years ago who did just that, alumshubby. She worked for one of those companies that advertise in the big, glossy mags. Her husband took care of the child while she sat in another room on the telephone for eight hours a night. Her take: The money was great, but the job was booooring.
posted by NsJen at 7:43 AM on March 15, 2002

Donkey- I'll take Tom Hanks' job, too, if Elizabeth Perkins comes along with it.

Honestly, I know much less about what my dream job is than about how I think it should make me feel. I went through a pretty serious bout of depression at the end of college, trying to decide what I'd be doing for the rest of my life. I knew it wasn't anywhere near as final, but it felt that way. I felt rudder-less. Dumb luck, I fell into a wonderful job as an interaction designer for a web-services firm, which fulfills quite a few of my goals in a dream job.

Truth is, what got me out of my depression was a realization that what I wanted wasn't a job, or a career, but rather, a string of them. My goal is to be a rannaisance man, to have tried a bit of everything. Long shot, but a worthy goal at least, and one I'm happy with.
posted by kahboom at 7:56 AM on March 15, 2002

I'm a communications-marketing-technical-support services utility-infielder/troubleshooter for a gang of high-suit financial-services corporate thugs. Our motto: "Making Rich People Even More Richer!"

But in my heart, I'm a dancer!
posted by UncleFes at 8:06 AM on March 15, 2002

I want Huell Howser's job. Just wandering around California with a small video crew talking to crazy people. Perfect!

For those of you who want to be a freelance photographer (like I used to be), its great except that there's about a zillion other photographers for every paying job out there. And a half a zillion photographers willing to work for free. Good luck!
posted by mrhappy at 8:15 AM on March 15, 2002

I spent my twenties getting a PhD in English. Couldn't find a good teaching job, so I went into editing. This was '95, early internet. Someone suggested that the project I was editing should be put online, and I volunteered to figure out how to do it. It went well, so I became a webpage editor. Did that for a year, changed jobs, went to work for a big accounting firm, built up my skills over 3 years, then began looking for something closer to my dream job.
Found something pretty good at the Library of Congress--interesting, somewhat creative work, strict 40-hour week, walking distance from home, GS-13, so the pay's decent.
My point is, I never envisioned doing what I do now when I was in grad school, or even after I left academia to go into editing. Once I found my stride, though, things moved along pretty quickly. I could settle in here for the long haul, or use this job as a jumping-off point to something even better. There are good jobs out there, if you look in the right places, and take the little opportunities as they come along.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:16 AM on March 15, 2002

NsJen: Technical writing is boooring too...at least in phone sex I could use some creative flair, not to mention vocabulary. The somebody in question said I would better than Nicholson Baker's Vox, which I've never read; so as long as I didn't burn out, it might be fun for a while.


I found a Web bbs where I can learn a little more about this.
posted by alumshubby at 8:35 AM on March 15, 2002

I'd be a research librarian for NPR.

(and while I don't know if I'll make it to the end, I have started down the path)
posted by jennyb at 8:43 AM on March 15, 2002

Brain surgeon. I'd like to spend a week as a brain surgeon.
posted by jfuller at 8:50 AM on March 15, 2002

alumshubby: I imagine it could be entertaining for a while, so long as you get to say more than "oh, baby. Oh yeah, baby." once in a while. *teasing*

I'm dipping my toes into technical writing this weekend for the first time, as such. I can see why you might not be thrilled with it. Personally, I'd rather be off arm-wresting a database into submission (all the thrills, chills and moments of heart-pounding excitement I need).
posted by NsJen at 8:50 AM on March 15, 2002

NsJen: Just remember, you can't use the word very. :o)

Having technically written for over 15 years, phone sex would just be more well-organized communication to a highly specialized audience for me. I'd add some vocal theatrics to scratch the ol' dramatic itch.

Obviously I'd be working the gay trade. I'm lucky in that I have some gay friends I could solicit for technical advice. But do lonely women call male sex-chat lines? Being a cyber- or phone-gigolo was what my (female) friend and I initially discussed.

If it paid anything, I'd actually be a child day-care worker or assist in a senior adult-care center -- two sides of a very satisfying-sounding coin. I can handle unpleasant stuff like poop and disagreeable behavior with quiet good humor and gentle firmness. Having a lightly autistic son will teach you that.
posted by alumshubby at 9:07 AM on March 15, 2002

alumshubby: But do lonely women call male sex-chat lines?

Yep. I've never done it myself (being the too-easily-entertained-to-get-that-lonely type) but I've known a few women who have admitted to it. I was in the room when a friend of mine called a male line as a joke - she said that it sounded like she'd caught him asleep because he couldn't say anything more than "wha? Huh? Oh, yeah."

No very, eh? What about extremely, massively or excessively? *grin* Fortunately, the company intranet has a section devoted to technical writing how-tos. My plan is to rough-draft the paper, then spend a couple of days using that resource to polish it, then have it proofed by a real writer.

I spent two years in Alzheimers care and I agree; if it paid anything, I'd probably still be there. Yes, there's lots of poop and disagreeable behavior, but the mental and emotional satisfaction makes it worth the time.

Okay, I'd better shut up and get some work done.
posted by NsJen at 9:35 AM on March 15, 2002

NsJen: If you need any help or boring ol' war stories, let me know and I'll get back to ya.

My first step into trying out this strange-but-wonderful career change will, of course, be to explain to Mrs. alumshubby what I intend to do, then talk her down out of her tree when she has the predictable conniption fit. :o)
posted by alumshubby at 9:49 AM on March 15, 2002

Mr. happy,

a zillion other photographers for every paying job out there. And a half a zillion photographers willing to work free. Good luck!

very true. still, we can't complain. we don't work for free, and we work a LOT.

you just have to work HARDER than a zillion others, and don't give up.

it helps if its your passion in life.
posted by ig at 9:49 AM on March 15, 2002

Kahboom: Truth is, what got me out of my depression was a realization that what I wanted wasn't a job, or a career, but rather, a string of them. My goal is to be a rannaisance man, to have tried a bit of everything. </i?

How, I wonder, is that different than being a dilletante?
I don't mean to be snarky, really, it's an honest inquiry about a question i often ask myself.

posted by milkman at 10:11 AM on March 15, 2002

do some of you seriously not make 6 figures? how do you live?
posted by goneill at 10:17 AM on March 15, 2002

I, as you all know, am a PC salesman. My dream job however would be working in A&R for these guys. I've even been toying with the idea of creating my own themed boxed-set at home and fed-ex-ing it to the company president in some kind of geurilla job-hunt move.
Failing that, I would gladly take any job with this bunch including fetching coffee, if that's all they had.
Of course, both these companies are arms of globo-mega-corp Time-Warner, which means I'd be furthering corporate world domination as I lived my dreams. In these cases, I could live with it.
posted by jonmc at 10:38 AM on March 15, 2002

Me, editor. I am currently researching names for a large and well-respected database of "top" people in the US and world. What would I do? Screen new SpongeBob episodes for comedic value. If that job is taken, I would want to be a sports writer, but only if I could report for my team, and be given full license to trash anyone else.
posted by adampsyche at 10:54 AM on March 15, 2002

Working for Lonely Planet (or some other cool travel book chain) travelling about researching new books or verifying old ones. That would ROCK.
posted by aacheson at 11:04 AM on March 15, 2002

I want to be a filmic storyteller. Barring that, I'll take a job reading and posting to MeFi all day.
posted by bingo at 11:22 AM on March 15, 2002

I'm pretty much already in my dream job; "special sections editor" for Phillyburbs.com. For the most part, I get to write what I want about whatever I want, and generally give the news editors heart attacks and migraines.

You just can't beat a job that will let you spend hours looking for the 'perfect' picture of Uncle Fester, just so you can make fun of it.
posted by Perigee at 11:47 AM on March 15, 2002

The BBC has a great idea and it should be required for all politicians: get a real job, and try to catch a clue about how the people you pretend to represent live and think and feel.
I worked in the woods in Alaska and I worked at the dog pound. I was an auctioneer and a graphic artist. All these and many other jobs were steps along the way toward my rather simple goal of owning my own organic farm, which is what I do. If you love what you are doing, you have it made. If you aren't there yet, keep your goals in front of you and use your jobs as steppingstones.
posted by Mack Twain at 11:53 AM on March 15, 2002


Well, I suppose the only real difference between a modern day renaissance man/woman and a dilettante is one of positive/negative connotations... It was quite possible at one time to be at the very forefront of many fields- physics, mathematics, medicine, art, architecture, etc. Da Vinci is probably the best such example... Today, it takes a lifetime to just keep abreast of developments in any one of these areas.

What I'm hoping for, is to know enough about a number of different areas, to have experience in a large number of fields. Aside from making my life varied, my guess is that there is a layer of knowledge above/melded with all of these fields, that I would like to take advantage of. Call it a sort of intellectual syncretism. These fields are all related at some level, and they have much to learn from eachother.

Example: I studied refugee issues for some time in school, and would like to go back to studying complex humanitarian emergencies. Perhaps even doing something about them. My experience in art, perhaps even in interactive and web design might be of use here? In a small company, I'd like to be the guy who can say "why hire someone outside for that? I can do it."

Write your PR materials, Sir? Certainly. Build you a content management system? I'll make the new logo! I'll look to answering those policy questions for you, Mr. President. Screw in your lightbulb? Absolutely.

I guess another, less pejorative or hifalutin term for this would be "Jack-of-all-trades"
posted by kahboom at 12:16 PM on March 15, 2002

toward my rather simple goal of owning my own organic farm, which is what I do.

wow. i love the idea. reminds me of my slight aspirations to become an estate gardener. maybe i should look back into that. anyone need their shrubs pruned? lawn mowed?
posted by fishfucker at 12:47 PM on March 15, 2002

I'd be happy to be a rhythm guitarist in a jazz big band doing the Freddy Green four-to-the-bar thing. Yeah, that would work for me.
posted by tommasz at 1:02 PM on March 15, 2002

I would be a preschool teacher in the morning and have the afternoons free to paint, write, cook and or read.
The kicker is that while doing this I would make enough money to live comfortably.
posted by mmm at 1:10 PM on March 15, 2002

great thread. warms my soul.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:42 PM on March 15, 2002

Sarcasm, Paris?
posted by kahboom at 2:33 PM on March 15, 2002

Forming a band, and selling 100,000 copies per album, direct from the web site, no middleman. Making $40 or $50K per year so I wouldn't need a job.

Short tours of clean venues on weekends and summer.

Lots of foreign travel in between, and volunteer work.
posted by 4midori at 2:36 PM on March 15, 2002

User-interface developer for a software company small enough to listen to my ideas, but big enough to get interesting work and that appreciates the value of doing things right first time. I guess 2 out of 3 ain't bad...
posted by normy at 2:38 PM on March 15, 2002

Piano player in a whorehouse.
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:44 PM on March 15, 2002

normy: If that software company actually listens to technical writers too, give me a shout. It'd be a first for me, and I've worked in a whole bunch of shops.
posted by alumshubby at 3:54 PM on March 15, 2002

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet - a pawn and a king
I've been up and down and over and out - and I know one thing:
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

That's life - I tell you - I can't deny it:
I thought of quittin', baby, but my heart just ain't gonna buy it
And if I didn't think it was worth one single try
I'd jump right on a big bird and then I'd fly
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:46 PM on March 15, 2002

i'm a lowly student, but my dream job would be to work for these guys. 'theory as product'...that would rock.
posted by juv3nal at 5:13 PM on March 15, 2002

Right now, I'm a Senior in college (a job in it's self) and a union stagehand. Whenever I'm not in school, I'm working rock concerts, conventions, and school functions.

Im wanting to get into the management side of venue operation, so after i get my BA in Theatre, I'll probably take off a year, then go back and get a BA in Business Administration.

It's close to my dream job but not quite. I rather sit on my lazy ass all day, watch tv, and get paid for it. :P
posted by ewwgene at 8:09 PM on March 15, 2002

I'll bite on this....originally came to DC to go to grad school. Got the MA in poli sci, worked customer service at the big non-profit that has less clout than you may think. Needless to say, I left there, mainly because I really did not get the sense that they cared to promote people (like me) that really wanted to put their knowledge to work. So, went back to school, got into network infrastructure, got hired by a slightly more ethical Big Five company....and work with MrMoonPie to boot. ;-)

Really I don't know what my dream job even IS anymore...guess I find that my interests in the tech side right now are so wide I have the happy problem of trying to figure out exactly what I want to do. Although, tell you the truth, either getting into training or tech writing might be my speed right now.
posted by PeteyStock at 9:17 PM on March 15, 2002

Heh heh. I love my job. I read the comics first thing in the office, every day. I love what I do (update website, care for technically-challenged coworkers). My boss is very good to me, allowing me to smoke whenever I want/need to, vacation on a day's notice, etc. The job title doesn't really matter, it's not really that descriptive. It should read "problem solver."

But is my career going anywhere? I took this job about 2 years ago, more money than anyone without a college degree should even hope to achieve.

I suppose if I ever do go to college, it will be to study law. I love to argue, piss people off, and do research on mundane things such as burning bans and church/state separation.

But not just yet.
posted by schlaager at 9:34 PM on March 15, 2002

I suppose if I ever do go to college, it will be to study law. I love to argue, piss people off, and do research on mundane things such as burning bans and church/state separation.

schlaager:Please, do yourself a favor and research law school (and a career in law) more before you make that decision. $100,000 is a lot of debt to accumulate because you "love to argue". And the vast majority of your work will NOT be researching issues you care about. Heh.

I'm a law student at the University of Michigan. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about law school.
posted by gd779 at 6:07 AM on March 16, 2002

So, what's with the parens and the brackets and the repetition of the words?
posted by kindall at 12:20 PM on March 16, 2002

Echo effect, I think, kindall.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:14 PM on March 16, 2002

Personally, I'd love to be a pro soccer player in England for a season. The money's great and you'd get the buzz of 40,000 lunatics screaming at you.

I've done a lot of horrible jobs as well as lived below the poverty line. I know what it's like to have nothing and feel like I'm going nowhere.

But I did stick it out and follow my heart (when I should've possibly gotten a bank job) until I had my chance at making something happen for myself. I grabbed onto the opportunity when it came my way and now run some pretty successful websites.

I'd rather win the FA Cup, but what I do now isn't all that bad at all.
posted by skinsuit at 4:27 PM on March 17, 2002

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