Last week I saw a Tweet that almost broke my mind:
If money isn't a consideration, what would be your dream job? Assuming you can also work at your own pace and don't have to deal with any workplace BS. I don't know why, but I'm thinking Marine Biologist. Wouldn't be cool to work with neat ocean creatures? @MrTakoEscapes
— Retire by 40 (@retirebyforty) August 10, 2018
(Due to my broken mind, please be gentle with me while you read this article.)
I’m so envious that Joe, from the awesome blog Retire By 40, knows what he’d like to be. A marine biologist is so specific. I actually live in hotbed of marine biology so it’s something I’ve talked about with my kids. (This is assuming that Pokemon trainer isn’t a valid career path.)
What would I want to do for work? I’m not sure, but I think Lloyd Dobler narrows it down for me:
“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.”
Mr. 1500 took the idea and ran with it.
He went from pharmacy to computer programming in college. That connected with me because I loved programming computers since I was 8 or 9. I also was a pharmacy technician in college. I remember thinking, “Why would anyone want to spend their day looking at back of tablet labels?” I don’t know if I could come up with a career I disliked the idea of more. I’d get physically nauceous most of the time I went to work. It was that bad… but it paid really well.
I got my computer science degree and a few jobs after that. Unfortunately, somewhere around 20 years of programming was enough for me. I was fine if it was just programming computers, but I didn’t like the office politics. I also couldn’t deal with the business development stuff. I’d explain why something was a terrible idea, but I still had to do it.
When I left my last job, blogging filled the gap. Of course blogging is the best career ever… except it’s not. Do you know anyone who has blogged for 12 years on a single topic like personal finance? You get to the point where you run out of ideas and write articles like, “What would your ideal work be?” (Then your wife comes home and ask what you did today and the answer of “stare at my computer and hope that words come out” doesn’t sound so good. Not that this has ever happened to me.)
So what else is there? You can see what else I’m doing here. I do a lot of dog sitting as I often write about. That’s mostly great… except for when it’s raining (mud!) and there are just too many dogs that need sitting. Or worse, there was the time when one dog just freaked out and bit another dog. I suppose it’s good that it is rare enough to have happened only once in 3 years. Dog sitting doesn’t particularly pay well either.
The beauty of the question is that I don’t have to stick to what I’m doing. Almost everything that makes money is in play (sorry Pokemon training).
So here are my ideas on what I could potentially do:
Professional badminton player – My wife used to say that I should try out for the Olympics. I love the complement but I highly doubt I’m even the best badminton player on my own street… and there aren’t a lot of people who live on my street.
Football coach/writer – Sometimes I think this could actually be something I could do. Unfortunately football is so popular that the competition for almost any job in the area is extreme. Also, it seems like 90% of the gigs are just trolling Patriots fans to try to get website clicks.
Guitar musician – The combination of my baby hands and having forgot the one chord I knew 13 years ago doesn’t bode well for this.
Magikarp – I’m making sure you are paying attention.
Teaching children computer programming using toys – I saved the most serious one for the end. It’s so specific that you can tell I’m really interested in it, right? There’s only one problem, I don’t know if I have the patience to deal with children over the long term. My kids stress me out sometimes, but other times teaching them something new is one of the experiences I’ve ever had.
At the end of the day, I think Lloyd summed it up best:
I can’t figure it all out tonight, sir, so I’m just gonna hang with your daughter.