20 votes

What’s your dream career?

“Dream” as in something you’d love to do as a job, with no consideration for its feasibility whatsoever. You don’t have to worry about pay, location, requirements, trainings/skill development, etc.

If you could choose the work that you do without having to worry about everything else tied into that decision, what would you do, and why?

33 comments

  1. eladnarra
    Link
    Not a true answer, but at the moment? My dream job is not having to have one at all. I could focus on my health, which fell by the wayside with my current work (plus COVID); there are a lot of...

    Not a true answer, but at the moment? My dream job is not having to have one at all. I could focus on my health, which fell by the wayside with my current work (plus COVID); there are a lot of potential diagnoses I'd like to finalize or rule out, and I have at least one surgery in my not so distant future.

    If I wasn't working, I'd have more energy for finishing my web dev certificate. And once I finished, I could work pro bono for small nonprofits and mutual aid groups to make them websites, or to help them make their existing websites fully accessible.

    12 votes
  2. mtset
    Link
    While my constant refrain regarding questions like this is "I do not dream of labor"... I don't know that this is actually true, just that I believe that it should be. On the more realistic side,...

    While my constant refrain regarding questions like this is "I do not dream of labor"... I don't know that this is actually true, just that I believe that it should be.

    On the more realistic side, I do like working on software - I just wish it were possible to make money working on ethical software, rather than all the stuff that currently gets funding. Even my current employer, whose mission I deeply believe in, has to do some slightly shady stuff to satisfy our investors. If I could work on operating system stuff, open source applications, or even commercial applications not tied to predatory cloud services, I'd be much happier.

    One of my best friends is an absolute wizard with configuring and scripting open source desktop apps. They have a huge collection of scripts, all deployed to their various computers with Nix, which do everything from beautify their desktop to automatically classify their e-mail. They're not a professional programmer and don't have a degree in computer science - they're just a Linux and open source "power user". I would love to open that kind of thing up to more people - but there's no money in it.

    8 votes
  3. [2]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    Director of Special Projects. It's basically a role custom made for me. It involves working within a larger company, working with all of the different departments to make sure they work together...

    Director of Special Projects.

    It's basically a role custom made for me. It involves working within a larger company, working with all of the different departments to make sure they work together well. I love tweaking systems and making things work together well, but I'm tired of actually running a business of my own. Being able to do the optimization work without having to do all the running of a business sounds like my dream job.

    5 votes
    1. wcerfgba
      Link Parent
      Sounds like there is a lot of overlap with Business Analysis and Organization Design areas, this is also something I am interested in :)

      Sounds like there is a lot of overlap with Business Analysis and Organization Design areas, this is also something I am interested in :)

      2 votes
  4. Gaywallet
    Link
    About 3 years ago I helped start and have served as a leader on the pride employee resource group at my work. During this time I've worked on a number of issues, but one I've been working the...

    About 3 years ago I helped start and have served as a leader on the pride employee resource group at my work. During this time I've worked on a number of issues, but one I've been working the entire time is healthcare benefits and policy. The system is incredibly resistant to change, for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly because it is people's job to resist some of this change and the change requires actual resources (imagine covering as much transgender health as we are required to by law 😱). It's had me thinking that I might actually greatly enjoy a job advocating for and helping a system adapt to the needs of it's employee resource groups. I find myself spontaneously reaching out to have meetings with people, plead the case, and keep things moving. While I have no formal training in this regard and the glacial pace of change has at times made me upset or second guess this as a potential career, I can't help but think about how much more fulfilling it might seem. I've spent my career life in healthcare. I take great joy in affecting outcome for people who need it and take great pride in the fact that I know, for a fact, that I've personally saved the lives of thousands of individuals and improved the lives of countless others by helping to institute change on a systemic level on a variety of projects which included things like reducing the time to detecting Sepsis, improving surgical outcomes by helping track documentation and identify patients which may need additional care, improving patient flow by helping to discharge patients which are ready, identifying patients at high risk of readmission and providing extra resources, and more. However, targeting a specific at need population and improving their access to health care, in particular a population which I highly resonate with is something which seems even more rewarding to me at this point in time. Perhaps it's because I resonate with this minority group, or perhaps it's just a desire for change, new challenges and making a difference to people who I know could use a break... I'm not sure precisely what it is, but I've found myself drawn towards this potential career path.

    On a slightly different note, my return to the academic side of AI and ML has had me increasingly aware of ethical implications and issues with existing models. While I have some experience with prediction and have participated in the creation of several models in healthcare around discharge, cancer mortality, palliative care and other issues - I've found it increasingly hard to be involved outside of data collection. This makes sense because I've worked in highly competitive and world renown organizations and the people working on these models are PhD statisticians, much more versed in the training and knowledge needed to make a highly performing model. However, I've realized that having the theoretical framework and good understanding of model design seems to be all that's needed to work in the realm of AI/ML ethics and to serve as an advisor to the structuring of a model - noticing potential pitfalls in the data that is being trained on and advising the people constructing the model also seems like an area which I could break into that's within the realm of prediction without requiring too much more formal schooling and I've found myself also drawn to this possibility. After all, we've all seen some of the issues with AI/ML with chatbots that became incredibly racist within a short period of time, but many may not be aware of how issues like this affect healthcare in particular and underserved, underrepresented, or otherwise minority groups. I attended a fascinating talk about how an AI/ML model was racist towards black people and how the researchers reverse engineered this problem by improving the model directly, and I also see the possibility for working on the ethics of these models and serving in the capacity of a systems architect or advisor could greatly benefit minority groups and their healthcare and healthcare opportunities.

    5 votes
  5. [10]
    cloud_loud
    (edited )
    Link
    I know it’s a very popular thing on the internet to say stuff like “dream jobs are just you being brainwashed by capitalism” or whatever. Which if I was a self-proclaimed socialist I might have a...

    I know it’s a very popular thing on the internet to say stuff like “dream jobs are just you being brainwashed by capitalism” or whatever. Which if I was a self-proclaimed socialist I might have a moral dilemma to deal with, but since I’m a self-proclaimed liberal I don’t have to deal with any of that.

    That being said, I wanna make movies. Screenwriting is what would be my focus. Throughout the pandemic I’ve been working on various screenplays. I plan on submitting one to the Nichols competition in the hopes that I place as a quarter-finalist at least, so that I can get an agent. Hopefully that leads to any type of writing job.

    5 votes
    1. [8]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      I don’t really get the idea that dream jobs are a side effect of capitalism. Don’t most people naturally have an interest in something that they’d like to put time into most days?

      I don’t really get the idea that dream jobs are a side effect of capitalism. Don’t most people naturally have an interest in something that they’d like to put time into most days?

      3 votes
      1. [7]
        mtset
        Link Parent
        Yeah, this is a common sleight-of-hand liberals use to disparage a lot of what the Left talks about. It's possible to understand a "a job" as simply "a thing you do that is rewarded by society"...
        • Exemplary

        Yeah, this is a common sleight-of-hand liberals use to disparage a lot of what the Left talks about. It's possible to understand a "a job" as simply "a thing you do that is rewarded by society" and "labor" as simply any work you perform, and that's completely fine. That's the spirit I took this question in, for instance.

        On the other hand, under a Marxist analysis of economics, "labor" and "job" have a pretty specific meaning: work performed under coercion from the economic system. What coercion depends on the system - in feudalism, if you don't work, you'll be whipped, jailed, or murdered. Under capitalism, if you don't work, you'll lose access to food, housing, healthcare, and the protection of the state.

        So, when I say "I do not dream of labor", it's true - and I would venture to say that's true for a lot of people here. These jobs are all (or mostly) things we would do that contribute to society, and we would do them even if we were not being coerced. Kinda throws the whole "if we give people a right to housing/food/medical care, they won't do any work and society will collapse" thing into doubt.

        13 votes
        1. [6]
          teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          Well it would be true of the work that no one wants to do. But I don’t think society would collapse.

          Kinda throws the whole "if we give people a right to housing/food/medical care, they won't do any work and society will collapse" thing into doubt.

          Well it would be true of the work that no one wants to do. But I don’t think society would collapse.

          1 vote
          1. [4]
            Micycle_the_Bichael
            Link Parent
            It’s worth noting that we don’t really have a good idea for what “undesirable” jobs would look like if the jobs were designed with people in mind and not minimizing cost/maximizing profit.

            It’s worth noting that we don’t really have a good idea for what “undesirable” jobs would look like if the jobs were designed with people in mind and not minimizing cost/maximizing profit.

            10 votes
            1. [3]
              rogue_cricket
              Link Parent
              Yeah. I've been a knowledge worker for basically my entire adult life and making a pretty good living but my favourite job ever was minimum wage customer-facing work as an assistant at a nursery...

              Yeah. I've been a knowledge worker for basically my entire adult life and making a pretty good living but my favourite job ever was minimum wage customer-facing work as an assistant at a nursery (the plant kind not the baby kind). The main problems were of course the poor quality of life afforded by the pay, and the occasional customer who clearly had classist hangups about interacting with someone in a service position. If those things were eliminated, I'd strongly consider finding more work like that again and completely wasting my degree, lol. I liked it so much I volunteer at a garden co-op during harvest season - I tend the produce/seed stand on weekends.

              Sure it's not heavy physical labour or draining septic tanks or whatever. But service is also often seen as really unpleasant or boring and I find it enjoyable, so I'm sure there's something for everyone.

              Plus I like to think that there are a lot of people out there who just want to contribute meaningfully in general, regardless of the exact nature of the work. I LIKE to sell the produce, but I'm also down to do some weeding and watering if that's what we need, you know?

              9 votes
              1. [2]
                Omnicrola
                Link Parent
                I feel like there's a lot of jobs that even if nobody likes doing, some people at least don't mind it. For instance @mtset mentions cleaning dishes in a commune. Do they want that to be their...

                I LIKE to sell the produce, but I'm also down to do some weeding and watering if that's what we need, you know?

                I feel like there's a lot of jobs that even if nobody likes doing, some people at least don't mind it. For instance @mtset mentions cleaning dishes in a commune. Do they want that to be their entire job? I'd speculate not. However maybe that's a way to arrange things in a utopian society without wages. Take the tasks nobody "wants", and split them up among a few people who don't mind doing it some of the time.

                4 votes
                1. mtset
                  Link Parent
                  Yep! And, also, the 8-hour work day is mostly manufactured; knowledge workers are just as or more productive when working fewer hours, and at least for me, housework and creative work don't come...

                  Yep! And, also, the 8-hour work day is mostly manufactured; knowledge workers are just as or more productive when working fewer hours, and at least for me, housework and creative work don't come out of the same gas tank until they start impinging on my deepest reserves of energy, so I feel like I'd be pretty happy doing four hours of chores for the community living space, a two hours break, and then four hours for doing creative/knowledge work. Or better yet, switching off day by day!

                  6 votes
          2. mtset
            Link Parent
            I think it's worth interrogating whether or not there is work that nobody wants to do, in a situation when they're not alienated from the products of their labor. As an example, I'm pretty sure...

            I think it's worth interrogating whether or not there is work that nobody wants to do, in a situation when they're not alienated from the products of their labor. As an example, I'm pretty sure I'd be happy gardening and cleaning dishes on a commune (and have been pretty happy working mess when I've had the opportunity to do so); the hellish nature of agricultural work and food service comes mostly from alienation and bad working conditions.

            9 votes
    2. mtset
      Link Parent
      Can I ask what you think "self proclaimed socialists" do dream of?

      Can I ask what you think "self proclaimed socialists" do dream of?

      2 votes
  6. [3]
    corleone
    (edited )
    Link
    "Imagineer". Not in the meaning used by the Disney corporation -- something broader. Every day I would come up with ideas for apps, videogames, TV shows, books, comic books, movies, etc. I would...

    "Imagineer". Not in the meaning used by the Disney corporation -- something broader. Every day I would come up with ideas for apps, videogames, TV shows, books, comic books, movies, etc. I would make my desires clear, and choose creative and technical professionals which I believed were the most adequate to fulfill my expectations. They would have full artistic freedom, including to go against my initial orientations. I would not be involved in the actual productions at all. Zero interference on my part. Just tell me when it's ready!

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      This sounds like you want to be the "idea man" in Hudsucker Proxy. You know, for kids!

      This sounds like you want to be the "idea man" in Hudsucker Proxy. You know, for kids!

      4 votes
      1. corleone
        Link Parent
        Yes, that is what I want!

        Yes, that is what I want!

        4 votes
  7. Kuromantis
    Link
    Running a somewhat successful social media platform sounds neat, because you basically try to build a better site environment than other social media platforms. Legislative and political work, AKA...

    Running a somewhat successful social media platform sounds neat, because you basically try to build a better site environment than other social media platforms.

    Legislative and political work, AKA writing bills to address what you see as problems, trying to convince voters and legislators that the policies you propose are good, making caucuses and alliances of like-minded individuals to advance stuff, AKA the idealized conception of politics sounds pretty cool to me actually. It's kind of sad politics is so far away from that ideal, and even if it weren't, people, even if they're fairly similar politically are too different to truly get to this idealized discourse-o-cratic ideal.

    Artist and musician seems like fairly typical answers to this type of question, and for good reason, since basically drawing or composing what you imagine in you mind for a living is always a "what's not to like?" idea of life ignoring all the practical problems around issues. Making websites and games for fun also fits the above ideal.

    Teaching is also a nice one because explaining how various aspects of the world work to people isn't a bad ideal, even as someome not used to talking to other people IRL.

    Pollster (the part of it where you come up with questions to ask people and split people into individual demographics) is also a pretty fun one because coming up with questions you think would be good to ask in order know what people's and which people's preferences and opinions on stuff are sounds pretty informative on a conceptual level.

    4 votes
  8. [3]
    Omnicrola
    Link
    Pretty much what I'm doing right now! I get to create immersive experiences using cutting edge VR tech. On top of that it's not just for entertainment it's for education, which gives it a much...

    Pretty much what I'm doing right now! I get to create immersive experiences using cutting edge VR tech. On top of that it's not just for entertainment it's for education, which gives it a much deeper meaning and purpose for me personally. I get to dip my toe in a huge range of different areas knowledge and learn new things almost every day. And all of it is relatively low pressure, with no deadlines set by the sales department or pointless meetings with middle management about KPIs.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      In another comment somewhere on here, you described a meeting you had the other day with an architect where you could explore the architect's design in VR, and I thought that was the coolest damn...

      In another comment somewhere on here, you described a meeting you had the other day with an architect where you could explore the architect's design in VR, and I thought that was the coolest damn thing I'd heard in a long time -- very "we are living in the future". I had no idea stuff like that was happening, but it makes complete sense and is a great use of the technology. I can only imagine what it's like for you to sit on the design side and explore this incredible new possibility space.

      I'm happy that you're able to live your dream!

      3 votes
      1. cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        One of my best friends used to have a very similar job as @Omnicrola. He worked for a medical company designing VR experiences for them, which they would then showcase at trade shows, conferences,...

        One of my best friends used to have a very similar job as @Omnicrola. He worked for a medical company designing VR experiences for them, which they would then showcase at trade shows, conferences, and the like. As an example of the things he did while working there, he once had to design a realistic looking animated heart and its surrounding coronary/vascular system, so that people could put on a VR headset and be taken on a virtual tour that showed them how some of the company's products (e.g. stents, artificial heart valves, etc) worked. He is now at Google working on YouTube VR, but still speaks pretty fondly about that old job for the same reasons Omni mentioned about why he loves his.

        3 votes
  9. Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    Honestly it is really hard for me to say. I've got some idea's I'll throw down though. Engineer/Install Technician for Starry: This is by far the most specific dream job for me. Starry Internet is...

    Honestly it is really hard for me to say. I've got some idea's I'll throw down though.


    Engineer/Install Technician for Starry:

    This is by far the most specific dream job for me. Starry Internet is a company I've been following and/or applying to for about as long as they have existed. I think my first application went in when they had just gotten an office downtown and had ~20 people working in it and only serviced Boston. They quickly are adding more and more cities to it. Why I want to work for Starry: They are an ISP that exists because they think the ISP oligarchy is terrible. They say that they think affordable internet is a must in modern society and I agree. From an ideological perspective I agree with them a lot. Recently, they've really started putting their money where their mouth is by donating computers and internet to different groups in need (some for groups that work with at-risk teens, some for homeless shelters, etc) because they seem to truly want to help people in need. I like that a lot. I started learning Rust and Javascript just so I would look better on my resume to work for them. If money wasn't an issue, I'd love to be an install tech for them too. Really I would do most roles to help see them succeed.


    Marine/Aquatic Biologist

    Again, kind of just a random thing I've wanted to do since I was a wee lad. I've always really liked being around or in the water, I care a lot about environmentalism and specifically about not letting animals die. I thought about doing Marine Biology for a while but I decided I was better and more interested in math and so I ended up a software engineer. If I could go back I would probably change that path. I'd really like to either work on coral reef preservation or do research on sharks/marine life in New England. This is probably the most "dream job" for me despite the fact that I am terrified of the ocean. Another nice/neat thing would be to study the ecology of Lake Erie, the Great Lake closest to my heart, which is why I said Aquatic Biologist and not strictly Marine Biologist.


    Apartment Handyman

    Idk, I think this would be really good. I like tinkering and trying to fix things, I like working on different things fairly regularly (not necessarily new, but breaking up monotony), and I like helping people and making their day easier by fixing problems for them. I think it is something I would like a lot in a world where I don't have to worry about making ends meet. It isn't a totally foreign concept to me, the mutual aid I'm a part of will occasionally help out with last-second emergencies for people (like helping patch the roof of a house right before a nor'easter hits and would have destroyed the inside of the house) so I very minimally know what I'd be getting myself into and I've really liked everything I've done.


    Teacher

    Keeping this one short: I love teaching about things I'm passionate about. I really do love it. I loved coaching sports and teaching people how to play them and improve at them. I loved tutoring/teaching math and chemistry. I do not have the organizational skills, the patience, or the financial security to go into teaching. Which is a bummer but it is what it is.


    Honestly though, at the end of the day my dream job is one that:

    1. Let's me help make the world a better place for others, large scale (internet access for all) or small scale (fixing a broken appliance in someone's apartment).

    2. Is dynamic. One thing I dislike about Software Engineering is I know basically what every day is going to look like. The specific tasks might change, but at the end of the day I know I'm going to wake up, go to my desk, open up my laptop, write code and be in meetings until EOD, and then log off. I'd love something with more spice in my day to day. Way back before I got shuffled teams, I use to get to go into our DC's and fix cabling issues and rack/unrack servers once or twice a week. That was great. It was a nice change of pace from coding while still being productive.

    3. Is something good for a busy mind. While I would love for my ADHD to be under control, that sound more like a "Dream Personal Growth" than a "Dream Job". (2) goes a long way with this, but my dream job is one where my ADHD is either a strength (idk if that exists) or at least not as much of a hard negative as it is in my current job.

    4 votes
  10. an_angry_tiger
    Link
    Professional beach and margarita reviewer.

    Professional beach and margarita reviewer.

    4 votes
  11. 3_3_2_LA
    Link
    A bit late to this thread, but definitely a music producer. Stay away from the limelight, make music, and in a sustainable fashion. The whole starving artist idea that's being punted around puts...

    A bit late to this thread, but definitely a music producer. Stay away from the limelight, make music, and in a sustainable fashion. The whole starving artist idea that's being punted around puts me off tho ha!

    4 votes
  12. vegai
    (edited )
    Link
    technical book author who can pull out _why's style (or more ideally something of my own instead of copying his). A total pipedream, I'm probably not that guy and that sort of thing cannot be...
    • technical book author who can pull out _why's style (or more ideally something of my own instead of copying his). A total pipedream, I'm probably not that guy and that sort of thing cannot be learned and when humor fails in tech books, it fails horribly

    • fiction might be fun too but I probably don't have talent at that and am not interested enough to put work into it

    • music producer -- I used to make music in the 90s with trackers, but haven't touched that a lot since. Probably bit of a pipedream

    • entrepreneur / CTO in some evolutionary (as opposed to revolutionary) IT field. This is most realistic, and I'm half-way there already. I would want my contributions to actually help the field simplify instead of the usual, what I perceive to be an application of the Monty Python skit "putting things on top of other things"

    • professional assassin of evil people (oh hi, you actually read this list through, cool!)

    • accidental multimillionaire with enough assets to live by dividends and then go full-time open-source developer or some other form of benefactor. Obvious pipedream and I'm afraid I might be too much of a lazy fuck to pull this off if I happened to land on a pile of gold

    4 votes
  13. Kremor
    Link
    I would LOVE to be a filmmaker however I don't see it as a realistic goal, so my second dream career would be able to write the software I want: A note app for researchers, something that links...

    I would LOVE to be a filmmaker however I don't see it as a realistic goal, so my second dream career would be able to write the software I want:

    • A note app for researchers, something that links relevant entries automatically, helps you to organize references, helps you analyze and process external data, allows you to export one or multiple notes to other formats (html, doc, pdf, epub, etc), and also has an agenda and todo list built in.
    • A modern window tiling manager that is incredible stylizable and doesn't suck when handling floating windows.
    • A website builder where's possible to build "any" website using basic blocks but also allows you to submit multiple images of the design and the app automatically builds the site for you.
    • An RPG video game with an open api so is really easy to extend the game and add your own quests. The idea is not to build a mod friendly game but a game that is continuously extended with user content. Did you wanted to see more of that minor character but their quest ended abruptly then guess what XXbunnyslayerXX just added quest pack for that character and you don't need to install anything just open the game. Of course some curating would be necessary.

    I have more ideas but I feel that the more realistic ones are not very interesting and the more interesting ones are not very realistic... for different reasons.

    3 votes
  14. Surira
    Link
    Probably a voice actor and/or drummer in a rock band. Feel so far away from anything fulfilling atm

    Probably a voice actor and/or drummer in a rock band. Feel so far away from anything fulfilling atm

    3 votes
  15. [4]
    hamstergeddon
    Link
    Own and operate a web development business geared towards small businesses. Something with fair rates to help local small businesses develop an online presence. Websites, social media, online...

    Own and operate a web development business geared towards small businesses. Something with fair rates to help local small businesses develop an online presence. Websites, social media, online advertising, maybe some marketing--we'd do it all. Most of my career has been spent working for companies like that, but I'd like to make money for myself for a change.

    Unfortunately I've got a mile-long list of reasons I can't do that (I have kids now so I'm afraid to take big risks like that, idk how to run a business, I can barely manage our family finances let alone a business', etc.). But in this scenario, all that be damned! It's all feasible :)

    2 votes
    1. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      The nice thing about web dev is you can create a business with almost no capital investment. The founders of the company I work for built the MVP of the app in their spare time. Within weeks...

      The nice thing about web dev is you can create a business with almost no capital investment. The founders of the company I work for built the MVP of the app in their spare time. Within weeks they'd quit their jobs because it had such impressive explosive growth. Interestingly it's a website that's geared towards helping small businesses.

      After a year we're at millions in annual revenue. The founders got seed funding after only a few months. When people ask them how they felt taking the financial risk they say that they didn't take any of the risk. The investors did. And they're right.

      Oh, and neither of them were professional developers. One has a BS in CS but I don't think he was working as a full time developer.

      4 votes
    2. stu2b50
      Link Parent
      That's actually like very feasible. Definitely a risk and a jump, but if it's what you'd enjoy I'd still look for opportunities to jump into it. If you work at a consultancy or something like that...

      That's actually like very feasible. Definitely a risk and a jump, but if it's what you'd enjoy I'd still look for opportunities to jump into it. If you work at a consultancy or something like that ("Most of my career has been spent working for companies like that, but I'd like to make money for myself for a change"), depending on the non-compete, might not be a bad idea to reach out to some former clients just as feelers. Might be less scary to throw in your 2 week once you have some contracts all but signed.

      "We'd do it all" is a bit too much though - as a solo consultant it's better to pick one area where you can demonstratively make a business impact and have prior case studies.

      4 votes
    3. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      As someone who's made a career of helping people very early on in their businesses, I can say that it's feasible even with the stated constraints (aside from the low risk tolerance.) The reason...

      As someone who's made a career of helping people very early on in their businesses, I can say that it's feasible even with the stated constraints (aside from the low risk tolerance.) The reason you so often see successful businesses founded by a "creative" and a "businessman" is because it's very rare for someone to actually be able to do everything by themselves. An employee or partner that handles the parts of the business you're not good at is pretty much always a good idea once you have the clients coming in.

      3 votes
  16. Protected
    Link
    Writer of fiction.

    Writer of fiction.

    1 vote