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Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Do you even know? Have you thought about it? Most people’s mind races back to their childhood and what they wanted to be before the reality of life hit them. Reality comes in many forms – financial restrictions, marriage, children, mortgage payments, etc. The dream job is often relegated to the realm of other dreams such as winning the lottery, discovering a new planet, or driving a Maserati. The mini-van world is reality.

Does that mean you can’t have any portion of your dream job? The average American will change jobs eleven times in his/her lifetime. The same average American will change complete career fields three times. Just because you are doing one thing right now, doesn’t mean that you can’t change directions at some point and go down a different path.

Let’s look at an example. Joe always wanted to be a competing downhill skier. He grew up in Colorado and skied as much as possible. He was pretty good but not Olympic material. When Joe was sixteen, his father died and Joe had to start contributing to the support of the household which consisted of a family of six. Joe took on a part-time job at the local discount store and on weekends he taught skiing at the local ski resort. At age eighteen, he joined the Air Force so he could see some of the world. Sixteen years later, Joe has a family of his own, is now a manager of a large discount store and has a mortgage.

Sound familiar? Is Joe completely out of reach of his original dream job? At the ripe old age of thirty-four, competitive downhill skiing is probably not physically possible for him anymore. But the thrill of competition of some kind still is and so is just skiing for fun. Joe also liked the environment of skiing – the mountains and the snow. Along the way, Joe discovered he really enjoyed being around kids, maybe as a result of being the oldest in a family of six children.

To achieve his new dream job with some elements of his old, Joe made some changes. He moved his family to a mountainous region where he was fifteen minutes from a ski resort. He took a job managing a large toy store which used his work experience but also allowed him to work with children. He started teaching ski lessons to children on the weekends and working with handicapped children on the slopes. He found a win-win situation. He married his learned employment skills with his interests and situated them in an environment that he loved.

Sometimes, the dream job of your childhood is just not possible as an adult dealing with reality, but you can be like Joe and find a happy medium. Today, when asked what his dream job is, Joe always replies “Exactly what I’m doing now.”

November 2005 / December 2005 /


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