Friday Question of the Day – What is your Dream Job?


Admittedly I’m pretty lucky in that I love my current my job very much. But I’m just curious what others think. For me, I think maybe one day I’d like to try radio host – you’d get to meet lots of interesting folks and I could still wear jeans or track suits everyday. How about you – what’s your dream job? I guess broken into two parts like a ‘realistic dream job’ and a ‘fantasy dream job’?

156 Comment

  • Realistic: Live in CO and own a “Specialty Farm”

    Fantasy: Formula 1 Race Driver

    • +1 on the F1 driver. Actually, I’d appreciate being able to race in any world-class league (WEC, United SportsCar, IndyCar, Super GT, etc.)

      Realistic: Go-Kart track owner/operator

  • Alternative rock icon. Not a “rock star.”

    Though I would also have to include any job with the potential to make substantial changes to this country’s foreign policy.

  • Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”

    • +1. Was just about to write this! Traveling, eating, drinking, meeting interesting people all on someone else’s dime. Best life!

  • NFL team owner, and preferably with the vast amounts of personal wealth that comes with it.

    • jim_ed

      This is mine also. The bar for success is set so low – don’t be audibly racist, don’t get popped drunk in a car full of pain pills, and don’t sue your fans. I feel like I have the skills to do that.

  • Retiree…

  • Daily Show correspondent.

  • Kept man of a wealthy, famous, attractive woman. No doubt.

  • Philanthropist. So I’d have to start by having/having access to a lot of money. I’d like to be on the committee that chooses the MacArthur Fellowship recipients.

  • tonyr

    My dream job is how I plan to spend my retirement … sitting on the couch in my underwear, drinking beer and watching TV. Hey, we all have our hopes, dreams and aspirations.

  • DC bicycle courier – in the 1990’s. Are there any left?

  • Oh fun, I’m glad this is up to distract me during my LATE night of work!

    Fantasy: Own a little backpacker inn in a beach town in south east Asia. Nothing super fancy but a step above a hostel. Beach bungalows, a bar, and a little restaurant with just a few things. Really similar to a place I stayed in Hoi An, Vietnam. This is a fantasy because I only want the fun parts and none of the crappy parts, like unclogging toilets or chasing snakes out of rooms or something.

    Realistic: Funny enough, my realistic dream job is probably exactly the job I have now but with better hours and benefits, and less stress. Like if I could have the most fun half of my current workload. That’d be amazing.

  • well, it involves a casting couch…

  • Stay at home dad.

    • I am a stay at home dad, and it is my fantasy and reality! It has its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

  • binpetworth

    Taco taste tester
    Kitten cuddler
    Trivia researcher
    But I’m happy with my day job; I don’t plan to change careers anytime soon, though I have considered becoming a DC tour guide as an “encore career” when I near retirement

  • Realistic job- Because I’m a DC nerd, I would really like to go back to the Hill and be a Chief of Staff

    Unrealistic dream job- Professional soccer player in Europe. I would be in great shape and be able to live in different cities around Europe.

  • Traveling the world writing about beer and liquor.
    Oh_Sweet_Thing’s hotel idea but in Central America or the Caribbean.
    Live off money made from film scores.
    Live off money made from synthesizer building.

    • Beau- you start the small hotel and I’ll run the dive shop. Life made. We will make sure it’s stocked with good beer and liquor.

  • Work at NASA, preferably on a program related to the telescopes or plantary exploration.

  • Tug Boat Captain

    • ambititious!

      • I was in the Navy and I can tell you this is a great job. Tug Captains and Harbor Pilots make between $200,000 and $400,000 a year and work about 3-4 days a week. Its stressful, but if you like working outside on the water and living in a major coastal city, its a good deal.

  • architect

  • From yesterday’s post. I want to be Liam the Cat of Capitol Hill. “He leads a life of leisure.”

  • NFL football commentator

  • Realistic dream job: Full time musician who somehow makes enough money to live my current lifestyle.

    Fantasy Dream Job: Full time musician who makes enough money from touring, record sales, etc. to be rich as a rock star and not have to work full time.

  • Realistic: microfinance or work on food project in international development while living abroad.
    Fantasy: Ballet dancer, travel or food writer

  • Becks

    Chinese History Professor at a good University
    Travel Guide to Asia
    Independently wealthy Philanthropist. I would create a start up for women returning or starting in the work force that provided interview clothing, make up , accessories, and career training.

  • Popular neighborhood blog operator.

  • realistic: Bike mechanic. If I lived near a school where I could go part time then get certified and hired I would do it. But I don’t want to move to Oregon. 🙂 I tinker with my bike repairs and I think it would be fun to work with bikes all day long.

    fantasy: Sofia Vergara’s personal masseur.

  • Owner and main cook of a barbecue joint. Both realistic and fantasy. Realistic because the owner of Franklin’s in Austin got his start by cooking brisket with a small smoker in a parking lot. Why couldn’t I start small and do something like that with my Big Green Egg? Fantasy because I know it’s nearly impossible to make it in the restaurant world and people in this area don’t understand or appreciate real barbecue.

  • Fantasy – restaurant critic in a major city
    Realistic – judge
    Realistic2 – GS-15 government lawyer who puts in a 40 hour week, treads water and makes decent, but not great money (note – I don’t really want this, but I’m coming off a really tough month and the slow pace appeals to me right now).

    • GS-15 is not great money to you? Jesus Christ.

      • Not great when compared to the legal field as a whole.

        • I would think the government pension and TSP would balance that out, but some people just want that paper, I guess.

          • they don’t compared to super big law.

          • The government pension isn’t much and really requires you to work the last three of years of your career there to take any sort of real advantage.

            Also, the tsp gets great gains, but the contribution isn’t great. I left the government and my new company pays 11% into my 401k, which more than makes up for whatever pension I would earn over several decades of government service. Government employees generally get screwed. The system is basically set up to create a revolving door.

          • Yes, except that in my experience most government employees (aside from certain Hill/presidential staff and political appointees) work less than almost anyone in the private sector these days. On an hourly basis government employees make way more than most people in almost any field – and generally do less per hour.

            That being said, in a few specific fields (lawyer being one), the top of the private sector pays way more per hour than government work. Although, again, you have to work way more hours.

      • I’m old, and have been working for a long time.

    • PDleftMtP

      I hear you. We have done the “what if we were GS-15s” math a bunch of times. Of course it’s more than enough to live on; it’s when do you retire, what if one of us gets sick, etc.

    • Ha, we work our 40 hour weeks because the gov’t can’t pay us to work additional hours. And most of us do work additional hours, we just don’t claim them. In addition to my salary being 100k less than people working my job at a firm, I don’t get any of the firm benefits like a paralegal, any kind of bonuses or gifts, paid bar fees, paid training anywhere other than DC…. I work for the gov’t because I believe in public service, not because I’m lazy.

  • Recipe tester with someone else to do the dishes!

  • nicole curtis, hgtv’s rehab addict.

  • Dream: Burt Wolf’s job
    Real: Realtor–which I started two years ago!

  • Something that engages my mind, hands and body, fresh air a plus. Proud of what I do in my current position, but I’m convinced another 30 years of mostly sitting at a desk will slowly kill me. Maybe a park ranger?

  • Fantasy job: Sports broadcaster / journalist; Cookbook recipe tester; Chef (but mostly the glamorous stuff we see on tv and the back breaking, work my way from bottom to top, stand on my feet 14 hours a day stuff kept to a minimum — fantasy, ok?); or something like Anthony Bourdain’s current gig (high five Anon @ 10:58 pm).

    Dream job: I’m almost 30 and I know this sounds idealist but….any job where I know I have a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of children and/or those less fortunate.

  • Realistic: university professor with tenure
    Fantasy: cheesemonger and winemaker in Nor. Cal/the Pacific Northwest
    Fantasy: a globe-trotting trust fund baby
    Fantasy: a producer for Frontline

  • Emmaleigh504

    Fantasy: Rich housewife with a full time maid or 2 depending on the size of the house(s).
    Realistic: librarian

    • Emmaleigh504

      *librarian some where else

      • I applied for a job at the University of Mississippi’s Blues Archive in the mid 90s. That was one of my dream jobs back then. Didn’t get it. I might have if I had listened to my father and finished library school.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Yeah but, Mississippi. I think you dodged a bullet there.
          My dad, also a librarian, applied for job at the baseball hall of fame. Thank god he didn’t get it, I would have had to run away from home.

          • No, I’ve visited Mississippi several times and loved it there. Also, Oxford is supposed to be a great town.

          • Aren’t you from neighboring Louisiana? Stones, glass houses, and all that.

          • Emmaleigh504

            PG: My mom’s side of the family is from MS so I’ve visited my whole life. It’s sooo boring. But I guess Oxford could be nice. If you are into that sort of thing.
            DCD: Even thought they both suck at education et al, South Louisiana and MS are vastly different places. Plus I’m from New Orleans, a fun place to live.

    • Formerly Broken Jaw

      but you’ll have great sterling silver!

  • Comedy writer. Or a self supporting artist….I’m about halfway to the latter but i find myself listening exclusively to comedy podcasts while i’m working which makes me wonder if i’m a frustrated comedy writer.

    • See you at Improv night? I’m going to start spending my spare time writing comedy to hopefully present at next year’s local Fringe Fest.

  • To own a boutique paper store that also sells fresh flowers, and to have person I fully trust to run it so I don’t have to be there all the time!

  • Bette Midler circa 1970.

  • Fantasy dream jobs:

    Editor of a high profile style/travel magazine where I can travel freely and contribute my own pieces

    Successful owner of a B&B on the water

    Philanthropist: Would focus on building schools throughout West Africa

  • I would love to be a mortician. Not a funeral director, but an embalmer. My whole life I’ve wanted to do this, but for various reasons never pursued it. My boyfriend is expanding his job search to other parts of the country, and I told him if we move, I’m going to school for Mortuary Science. I love my current job, but it’s DC specific, so if we move, I’d have to do something else, and that’s what it’s going to be.

  • I work in my dream profession: grantmaking. If I had all the resources in the world, I would love to run my own grantmaking foundation.

  • Ice cream shop owner. Preferably not in DC. A little gourmet ice cream – but not too much so that people don’t want to bring children. Have an area where we can have kids birthday parties, some outdoor space, too.

    Pipe dream.

    • Out of curiosity, why not in DC? Is it just your goal in general to get out of the city or is there something specifically unappealing about running an ice cream shop here?

  • Band leader for a Ray Conniff tribute band.

  • Fantasy: Singer turned Japanese game show contestant.
    Realistic: NPR radio host/personality. I want to be Ira Glass.

  • Realistic/Fantasy job: The work I do now! I am a coach and adviser who helps people learn the truth about themselves and to love it. I do this for individuals, couples and a small company.

    The ‘fantasy’ aspect would be doing it for all aspects of a larger, do-gooder company that would provide stability and inspiration.

    A resident Counselor Troi.

  • Professional rock climber.

  • I’d actually really like to break into science writing. Any ideas?

  • Fantasy – Derek Jeter circa 1994, for the next 20 years. Seriously, who had a better life than that guy? And I grew up a Mets fan.

    • Alternative Fantasy Job: Finalist on American Ninja Warrior (my daughter’s new favorite show).

      • Oooo I want to add that to my fantasy job! I love that show.

        • I would not be at all surprised if my daughter came home soon saying she wanted to change her name to Kacy. Plus, watching a 7 yo spider climb to the top of her doorway is really cute.

  • magpies

    *~DREAM~*: bird specimen preparator for a natural history museum.
    Possibly more realistic: part-time small critter taxidermist, part-time community mobilizer for learning and doing nature stuff.

    • I had a friend who did that! I thought it was odd given that she was a vegetarian, so not really into dead animals. But she didn’t seem to mind.

  • Food Network/Cooking Channel host. No question.

  • My current job with 2x the pay.
    To own a B&B in a quaint little beach town.

  • Professional female surfer that owns a tiki bar in some remote awesome island place. I would also have a harem of super fine men.

  • Being unassigned in Silicon Valley!

  • Bear

    Fantasy: National Geographic photographer.
    Realistic: Start my own small consulting firm in international development, so I can be the boss!

    • Your fantasy job was my dream job as a small kid growing up in a small town and devouring National Geographic magazines every month as a window into a wider world. I marred a PJ instead. Oh the compromises of adulthood. 🙂

  • Supreme Court clerk, author/treasure hunter a la Clive Cussler, counsel for UNICEF, volcanologist

  • I’d like to rescue the disappearing village cheeses of Spain and France–learn the processes and teach them. Plus have my own cheese cave.

  • Formerly Broken Jaw

    Fantasy: I’d like to host a live talk/cooking show and since I’m an extreme introvert many episodes would be just me reading the paper, playing on my phone or watching someone else’s show.

    Realistic: I once thought the perfect job was the job I started 11 years ago at a large non-profit but I’m really tired of the stress of the annual lay-off season (still going on BTW).

  • Pilot – 747, 757, or a 777.

  • Realistic: I want to work for a Madagascar-focused organization doing their PR and marketing.
    Dream: No job at all, please. Give me my free time, and I’ll easily keep busy traveling and volunteering.

    • L2, are you a fellow Mada RPCV? I spend a lot of time daydreaming about how to turn my post-PC education and experience into a career that involves something like 70% time in the US and 30% in Mad.

      • No, I’m not a RPCV. Would love to hear about your experience there though! I’ve had a fascination with all things Mada for 15+ years. Have visited, done some volunteer work (my paper on strategies to improve education in Madagascar just got accepted to a journal!), and plan to do more volunteer work, but haven’t figured out how to do it professionally. Current situation is pretty fine considering I make decent money and have time to volunteer, but …

  • Travel food writer, second best teach cooking skills to kids. Someday when my nephews and niece are old enough to visit me on their own we’re going to take trips to the farmer’s market and then come home and cook up a storm.

  • My job, with tenure . . .

  • I’m already doing it – just wish it paid better!

  • Record producer.

  • i have my dream job. but i’m also making under the DC poverty level.

  • Realistic:
    Human rights clinical professor at a small law school
    Middle school or high school U.S. government or some sort of international government/politics teacher

    Less realistic but still doable:
    Writer who tells stories of people working on human rights around the world

  • laduvet

    a Creative Director – dealing with antiques, art, and design… i think graphic design, branding and marketing can be coupled in there too.

  • justinbc

    When I was a kid I was fascinated by Indiana Jones and wanted so badly to become an archaeologist. As an adult I know that job is nothing like what he portrayed, but I still think if income was no issue it would be what I would enjoy doing most. I just love old stuff.

  • It could happen: Bestselling romance novelist. I would dye my hair an unlikely shade, and wear lots of caftans and dangly earrings, and be a little tipsy most of the time.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Will you be my BFF and come to my “sewing circle” (martini fueled gab fest) when I’m a rich house wife? Or heck, now! I have the Martini Lady glasses!

  • Reality: I’m actually leaving (what was once) my dream job: advertising creative. Actually quite rewarding, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

    Reality: Will soon embark on my own entrepreneurial venture that aligns my advertising/marketing/PR experience with my current “night-job” passions (sorry to be so cryptic, but that’s all I can say right now).

    Fantasy (though not as fantastical as I might think): I was actually born to do Charlie Rose’s job. And: I know I could actually do it much better than he could, because I would actually *listen* to my guests, and their ideas/insights, as opposed to what he does, which is bloviate over theirs….

  • Art gallery owner of a huge, gorgeous space.

  • Realistic: Writer. Write and illustrate children’s books mostly.

    Fantasty: Deep sea diver or competitive surfer or Padma from Top Chef.

  • Fantasy: Being a DJ and tastemaker on the scale of the UK’s Gilles Peterson. (However, given that he was demoted from the BBC”s Radio One to the lower-profile Radio 6, Gilles Peterson is probably also fantasizing about being Gilles Peterswon.)
    Realistic: Probably something like my current job, but maybe with more interesting subject material. And with my current boss rather than the one I’m being switched to.

    • I forgot another fantasy dream job: being the music supervisor for a TV show.
      This doesn’t really count as a dream job, but every time I think about Metro’s (poor) signage, I want to go into business as a signage consultant. I don’t understand how they can do it so poorly; the London Underground kicks Metro’s ass in this department. (In other departments too, but you’d think Metro could do a good job with signage, even if it doesn’t run as often as the Underground or have as extensive a network.)

  • Definitely $250,000/year giving out erotic massages to beautiful women.

  • Right now, my dream job is any job I can get that will pay me enough to live on.
    Then, when that’s taken care of, I can fantasize about dream jobs.
    Job market sucks.

  • For about 7 years I did my dream job – Pastry Chef – and although I still love pastry, I feel that the other side of food, the part where it is healthy, affordable, and actually nourishes people, has become more and more appealing to me.

    Realistic: Open an online baked goods/candy company that actually turns a profit decent enough to live on.

    Fantasy: Open said online baked goods company, be wildly successful, and then step back from every day operations to begin reforming nutrition, and nutrition education in Public Schools. Oh yeah, and have a Literacy focused non-profit, and own a string of renovated row house condos, have an assistant to take care of my nearly unwise number of rescue dogs…..

  • Ground breaking linguistics professor and researcher turned political commentator/activist

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