One of the questions that I ask every Cool Jobster that contributes to this site is, “What education, training or just plain luck does it take to get a job like yours?”
“But what if those things don’t matter?”, I asked myself recently (2:15am this morning, actually). What if I could spend a day or two having any job I wanted, and somehow magically possessed the education, training and luck required to be competent at it?
Here for your consideration are ten Dream Jobs and the reasons I’d like to try them for a day or two. Some of these jobs are a little out there (and one doesn’t really exist any more), but I hope you enjoy them just the same.
1. F-14 Tomcat Pilot. I recently saw an air show that featured the US Airforce Thunderbirds aerobatic flying team in F-14 Tomcat jets and was completely flabbergasted by the speed and power of these incredible machines. The adrenaline rush of flying at Mach 2 (2100mph) has got to be fantastic and the focus and teamwork required is almost superhuman.
Bonus reason: As a Tomcat pilot I’d get to play beach volleyball with Maverick and Ice Man on my day off!
2. Trauma Surgeon. This is another profession that requires superhuman levels of concentration and coordination (which I don’t normally possess): it is also one of the few jobs that literally involves life and death on a daily basis. The confidence to cut another human being open with a knife and poke around inside them (with permission, of course!) and walking into an operating room knowing that someone’s life is in my hands are things that I’d like to experience.
Bonus reason: I’d get to wear cool scrubs and Crocs to work every day.
Second bonus reason: In the tradition of fictional trauma surgeons B.F. “Hawkeye” Pierce and Robert “Rocket” Romano, I would insist that everyone refer to me by a cool nickname like Carrie “The Cutter” Lowery.
3. Cult Movie Director. Many of us in our blogs try to give our readers a glimpse of how we see the world…but if you gave me a few million dollars, I’m sure I could do a better job of it than I do here. The greatest movie directors have the ability to oversee hundreds of actors, crew and support staff whose only purpose is to bring the movie director’s vision of the world to all of us “wonderful people out there in the dark.”
Movies have brought me great pleasure in my life, and I’d love to be able to bring a few million of my closest friends into my own strange world.
Bonus reason: I’d do a hip-hop remake of “Smokey and the Bandit” starring Will Smith as the Bandit, Andre Benjamin as Cletus Snow, and Michael Clarke Duncan as Buford T. Justice. (Can’t you just HEAR Oukast doing “East Bound and Down”…or is it just me?) Note: Please remember how cool MY casting choice is when an actual lame remake of this movie ends up starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell…
4. Decorative Artisan. When I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC recently, I was struck as always by the exhibit of Sevres porcelain. It’s not that I’m all that excited about gaudy vases and scenes of French Aristocracy, I’m just awed that anything so delicate should be treated with such care for hundreds of years (I average reducing a plate or glass to shards once a week). I feel the same way about antique furniture and instruments as well. It would be an amazing feeling to make something that was not only functional, but beautiful and valuable enough to be preserved and used for centuries.
Bonus reason: Modern artisans get to play with power tools!
5. Wet Nurse at Versailles circa 1779. Although the job of wet nurse became obsolete in Western society after the invention of baby formula, back in the 17th and 18th centuries it was common for peasant girls to be hired to nurse the young babies of the rich and the aristocracy. I fondly remember the nice rush of calming hormones that occurred when I nursed my own son many years ago, and it beats eking out a living doing hard labor on a farm.
My cursory research indicates that wet nurse is still an actual occupation in some developing countries and parts of China, but I’d much rather do it at Versailles.
Bonus reason: Get to live in a castle and meet Marie Antoinette.
Second bonus reason: Putting this job on the list will probably freak out anyone who has not had the experience of nursing a child…
6. Reality TV Producer. Okay, I confess: I am addicted to reality television. I spend as much time wondering how the “drama” of these shows are created and captured on film as I do devouring the shows themselves. Getting to be a producer would allow me to be a “fly on the wall” and possibly let me be the one to stir up trouble between Bret Michaels and Bimbo #6 on Rock of Love 3, or spend time explaining to the current bunch of Survivors why a particular contestant should be “voted off the island”.
Bonus reason; Get to invent catch phrases like “voted off the island” that become a part of popular culture, and perhaps find out if Tiffany “New York” Pollard is as scary in person as she is on TV.
7. Psychotherapist. This is one of the few jobs on the list that I actually think I might be good at with the proper training. I’m interested in what people do, but I seem to be even more interested in why they do it. My particular mangement style to mediate conflicts at work is to explain to Employee A why Employee B acts the way she does and vice versa. It would be cool to be paid $175/hr for this activity instead of just in aggravation.
Bonus reason: I haven’t mentioned it about any dream job yet, but it would be pretty great to have a job that actually helps people!
Second bonus reason: Have an excuse to buy a really cool leather couch for the office.
8. Olympic Swimming Coach. I wanted to include a teaching job of some kind on my list, and being the coach for an Olympic athlete or team or athletes seems like the coolest gig around. I keep hearing Michael Phelps say during interviews, “It would have been impossible for me to achieve this without my wonderful coach, Bob Bowman!” Considering Michael’s accomplishments, that’s a lot of credit for the winningest Olympian of all time to hand over to someone who doesn’t even have to compete. I think having Michael Phelps saying “I owe it all to you” is some of the greatest praise any teacher ever received.
Bonus reason: Don’t have to actually get wet, and get to wear a high-tech stopwatch on a lanyard!
9. Typographer. A typographer is someone who designs fonts and typefaces…and those are things we all interact with every day in print ads, online and even in the books we read for pleasure. I’d love to be a part of creating pop culture, the look of a decade, and something people use every single day — with almost complete anonymity outside the small group of people who are involved in creating typefaces. If you’d like to know a little more about why this is such a cool job, check out “Behind the Font“. (It’s also hilarious!)
Bonus reason: I might actually get to know which “Zapf Dingbat” is which!
10. Royalty. I know it’s a job that you can only get by having the right DNA or marrying the right prince (my pick: Prince Harry, of course…he’s dreamy!), but I’d prefer to be born into a royal family and find out what it’s like to have a job from the moment of my birth. What is it like to be 7 or 8 years old and know that you’re eventually going to be the head of state of an entire country? Comparatively few people in history have ever been in that position, but of course I’d enjoy being one of them!
Bonus reason: Crown jewels! Blingtastic!
So there you have my list….now tell me, what’s YOUR dream job?