What’s Your Dream Job?

Thinking about the holy question in a whole(y) new way

I was recently catching up with another Winnipeg transplant to the New York City area over a vegan burger and beer (shoutout Lindy Norris) and she asked me a surprising question - “what’s your dream job?”

This shouldn’t have taken me by surprise. I feel like it’s something I should have at the top of my mind, even if I’m not busy chasing it. We all have that one role, position, side hustle, or career that we’ve dreamt of, right? Or at a minimum, we know friends or acquaintances who have landed those types of jobs that tend to spark jealousy and wonder - even if it’s through Instagram - into our minds: How the hell did they manage that?!

Regardless, I was caught off guard, and after I stumbled through a couple out-of-this-world suggestions (golf course tester?) the question stuck with me long after our meet-up.

To answer this somewhat deceiving question, there’s a few things to consider, so here’s how I’m thinking about it, and I promise I’ll give you some job ideas I have at the end of the post:

  1. Define what makes something a “job”

  2. Define which part makes it a dream

  3. Can your dream job change?

Editor’s note: Consultants love things in 3’s, which is the only reason I came up with that list. Also - I’ve been alone in my apartment for 10 days now so you can tell I’ve spent way too much time in my head. Therefore: extra thanks for reading!

  1. Define what makes something a “job”

This is 2021. The answer is “literally anything”. Get good and consistent at something, pair it with telling a provocative story, and you’re all set. In the past we’ve bucketed “jobs” into a task that’s type-cast as provided by a traditional fluorescent-lit corporation, but times they are a changing. So next time you’re thinking about this (yes I realize nobody thinks about stuff like this), consider a blue ocean - there are no limits to your answer. Want to review peanut butter while on different cruise ships? There’s a (online) market for that.

  1. Define which part makes it a dream

This is super important. Is it what you’ll be doing every day (e.g., do you love talking with customers all day long); is it the company (e.g., you want to clean the toilets at Facebook to know you were working at a FAANG): is it the company’s values (i.e., would you make $24k per year helping your company bring clean water to West Africa?)

None of the potential answers are right or wrong, but it’s important to clarify if you’re trying to answer the question one way, or if you have multiple answers that check certain (or all) boxes.

  1. Can your dream job change?

In my opinion - absolutely. Some purists may say that your dreams are set and you should chase them to the grave, but for me I think your dreams, along with the answers to the questions above, change as you grow and evolve. The key here is accepting that’s okay. In 2012, running my own tutoring company was pretty damn close to my dream job. I went and did it for 6+ years and after that time, it wasn’t getting me as excited. People change. There’s no reason your interests and passions shouldn’t as well. I guess the takeaway here is to always be adaptable and don’t blame yourself if things change.

As I’ve thought about it, here are a few jobs (some realistic, some outrageous, some non-existent, yet) that I think would be absolute dreams for me:

  1. Arsenal analytics. Anyone who knows me knows that I love Arsenal and I love math. Combine the two and I think it would be pretty damn fun poring over football data all day to help improve the expected goals per game for the team I love. In addition, I think there are areas of football that are untapped from an analytics perspective, such as where fouls are committed and how much a yellow card is worth. Why would I love it? Working with data and football is the perfect combo, and being extremely invested in the outcomes of my work (aka winning) would be awesome!

  2. Taco Truck Owner

    I know that after the movie “Chef” was released, everyone wanted to own a food truck (if you haven’t seen it, it’s on Netflix) but I honestly feel it would be so fun - even to break even - for a year to see if you could make it work. Anyone who follows @vegrunrest knows I spend a large amount of time thinking about and cooking food, and I’ve sadly thought a lot about this too. My truck, with a partner, would entail 8 menu items: 3 vegan tacos, 3 non-vegan tacos, guacamole, and one beer. Thoughts?

  3. Health Coach: I actually despised writing those two words, but I would love to influence peoples’ health in some sort of positive way. I sometimes feel like I have pent up positive energy that is wasted on Zoom calls discussing the trends of pharmaceutical drug prices. I’ve worked in “healthcare” for 6 years and I honestly can’t say that I’ve had an impact on a single human’s health. So any opportunity to be an online motivator or coach or work at a startup where they’re truly influencing peoples’ health - I think that would be amazing.

Of course the scary part about this list, or even entertaining the question is potentially looking in the mirror and realizing you’re 10,000 miles away from your “dream”. Does it matter? No it doesn’t because tomorrow is a new day, dreams change, and your “job” is far from the only aspect of your life that matters. Don’t get caught up in LinkedIn. If you’re doing stuff that you enjoy for most of your day, you’re winning at life.

*Cur audience engagment*
So - the entire point of my post - drop your “dream job” below. I’d love to hear about them!

Thanks for reading, it really means a lot,

Mike