Unfortunately, very few of us wind up with our dream job . . . The kind of work that doesn't seem like work because you love it so much. Assuming it would have been attainable, profitable and sustainable, what career path would you have chosen? AND . . . What did you wind up doing instead?
I am a woodworker, furniture maker and cabinet maker. Have owned my own businesses and worked for others. If I could wake up tomorrow with the knowledge to do something else it would be a surgeon. I am old enough to realize that there are a lot of people out there who need help, I would like to work in some place where I could do that, Do not care about money, has never been a motivation for me, caring for others and doing something that could make a change for others would be great.
I wanted to be an archaeologist, inspired by reading how Schliemann hunted for and found the gold treasure of Troy ... but my father put the kibosh on it (and where i grew up, one only became legally independent of your parent at age 21). In later life I devoted lots of time studying geology, independently, as a hobby ... and find it very rewarding and absorbing, but still .... would’ve been wonderful !
A dream job is still only a dream part of the time. No matter what you do, you have times that you dream of doing something different.
My profession was one I chose as a teenager and pursued and am glad I did, but after getting my degree in education I did not get a teaching job and worked in a good different career (publishing) for a number of years then got back into teaching at 30, and have been doing it for 16 years. It’s something I enjoy most of the time and am good at, but sometimes I think I wish I had become a brewmaster or an historian for a long running brewery (I also have a master’s degree in historical research).
I’d like to have been the Jane Goodall of the big cat world. Or at least something where I study animals and work towards their preservation/conservation etc.
As for what I actually do, I coach people on various software development frameworks and how to work better as a team. I really enjoy my job. I love the people I work with, feel good about the company I work for, make a decent living, and generally feel good getting up in the morning and when I go home for the day. I’m pretty damn lucky with what I have.
I always wanted to be a music performer. But for every one person you hear on the radio there are a thousand that are just as good but not as lucky. So I decided to do the music job part time and get an education in electronics engineering. Afterwards I got a grad degree in management/economics. I worked my way up the ladder in the Aerospace industry while I continued to develop my music career in parallel.
If I could have, I would have pursued dancing, singing or owned a bookshop/coffee shop. Although singing and dancing are hobbies of mine and I am an avid and voracious reader, most of my work was in an office. My favorite was working for the State of Wisconsin's Hearing Office where I worked for 13 attorneys and transcribed the results of the hearings. I also was the manager of an appliance parts store where most of my clientele were men and I had lots of fun flirting and joking with them. The other 'job' I had was a landscaping company my late husband and I ran in North Carolina and Florida for ten years.
Growing cannabis. But it is still illegal, the most dangerous thing about it. Ended up working for the government in order to get the same benefits as Mitch McConnell. He once suggested a constituent do just that when the person complained about not having health care insurance.