A confluence of activities today gave me the inspiration for this post. Our 45th President will be inaugurated today just up the road from our home here in Virginia. I’m sure President-elect Trump, along with many others in his Cabinet, consider taking this step as the culmination of various efforts and actions aimed at getting their “dream job.” I can say with strong confidence that their version of a dream job is not mine. The other activity today that inspired this post is a lunchtime visit to one of our two beautiful, intelligent, charming daughters in college. Anytime I think about Michaela or Peyton and the opportunities in front of them as college students who are trying to figure out what to do with their lives, I think of the massive confusion I felt when I left home to join the Air Force at 18. Like our lovely girls, I saw the necessity to choose a profession, a career, a dream job, as incredibly daunting so I just put on my cavalier veneer and went with the flow (as well as what the Air Force offered me.) Since then, I’ve had dozens of different jobs in at least five distinct professions as well as a couple side gigs as a coach. Were any of them my dream job? I enjoyed almost all of them and have great memories of the accomplishments, failures and especially colleagues I worked with in each of them. However, I don’t think I could have picked any of them when I stepped out of my parents’ home 32 years ago. So I’m going to give three ideas about what a dream job might be for me after more than three decades of trying to figure it out:
1) Secret Traveler: This is the travel industry version of the secret shopper. I’d randomly join tours to places around the globe–everything from three day cruises to tourist traps in the Caribbean to month-long safaris in Africa–to provide travel companies, airlines, cruise lines, etc detailed, objective and candid feedback about the service their employees provide as well as suggestions to improve their offerings to better appeal to 50-year old white guys. It’s a popular market segment now and is expected to grow significantly under the Trump administration. Plus, being inherently lazy, I wouldn’t have to work very hard at all for this job. Basically, I would just eat, drink, sleep and occasionally sign up for various excursions during which others wait on me hand and foot.
2) Ambassador to Norway. Just so I could act like one of my Viking ancestors for fun. Don’t judge 🙂
3) Dad. Okay, this one Iv’e done. And guess what? It IS my dream job. Mostly because of those beautiful, intelligent, charming daughters we have. I couldn’t be prouder or more satisfied than I am with the way they are living their lives and setting examples for others. Whether they can figure out their dream job at some point or even stumble across it accidentally, I know they will be successful, meet some amazing people and occasionally learn from a mistake or two. Can’t wait to see the places they go and the things they will do!