Dream Job

In the financial independence community, I think we sometimes get stuck on reaching financial independence and the long-term goals of how we’re going to get to our “FI date.” But what happens if you didn’t have to escape the “real world” and your career that you disliked. What if the path to financial independence wasn’t such a rush, and you did not want to leave your career with its associated paycheck? Do these dream jobs you hear people talk about actually exist?

You know these people I’m talking about… “I’m a teacher (replace teacher with nurse, physical trainer, writer, counselor, etc.), it’s my DREAM job, it’s my passion! I would do it even if I didn’t need to work.” Are they for real? Do they really enjoy their job that much? I’m sure you’ve met these people before. I can’t decide if they’re being honest, or they are just trying to justify their career path to others. I’m sure many of these people are honest, and for that I am very happy for them. Not everyone can find a career they are passionate about and enjoy doing day-in and day-out, while earning a paycheck.

So I started to think, what would be my dream job? I have not figured it out yet (or at least have not found the cahones to quit my career to figure it out), so I came up with a few ideas of what my dream job may be:

1) Maintenance at an RV Campground

Pros: I had this job about 15 to 19 years old, and I loved it. I was making $12.50/hour by the time I was 19, which wasn’t bad. I got to hang out with my friends all day, do some manual labor like weed whacking, and every weekend there was a bevy of teenage girls who were dragged there by their parents because they weren’t allowed to stay home alone while the parents went away.

Cons: No health insurance, pay probably wouldn’t go up much from there, seasonal job in nature, and I won’t even comment on the teenage girls.

2) Certified Financial Planner

Pros: I have always been interested in becoming a CFP. When I had interned at a regional accounting firm during college, I shadowed some people in the wealth management division. I got to sit in on an financial assessment of a woman who wanted to know how her family was doing financially. I loved the meeting, and even 20 year old me came out of the meeting with a whole list of things her and her husband could be doing better. I would really be able to help people out with their personal finances if this was my career (and if they took my advice).

Cons: I would definitely not work for an affiliated adviser as I would refuse to push investment products and strategies on my clients. I would have to work for an independent adviser, and then still I would be reporting to a higher-up and perhaps all my ideas wouldn’t reach my clients. To make this career work I would have to work for myself, but it would be a long road of trying to build up my client base. And I don’t know if I would like taking calls from certain clients every time the S&P dipped a couple percentage points.

3) Carpenter

Pros: My father has always been a DIYer and performed all the electrical, carpentry, and plumbing repairs at our house growing up and I would be his assistant. I’ve assisted in the building of porches, wiring houses, plumbing for hot water heaters, etc. I always liked this work because I was learning something new, hanging out with my dad, and building something tangible that served a purpose when it was completed. My favorite of these tasks was definitely carpentry because I liked using the saws, drills, and hammers.

Cons: A lot of these jobs are unionized and I would have to go through a whole apprenticeship period which would take years. I’ve worked in a lot of these settings when I was in HS and college, and I don’t know how well I would get along with my coworkers and bosses due to different interests. So if I was a carpenter, I’d want to work for myself, but then I’d have to find all my clients with currently no referrals or real experience.

4) Farmer

Pros: My grandparents owned and operated a dairy farm down the street from me when I was a child. I would ride my bike down to their house after school, on the weekends, and all summer long to help out my grandfather. I’d help milk the cows, hay the fields, pick vegetables, and anything else that arose. It was nice to be outside (if the weather was nice) learning about farming and obviously every boy loves hanging out with their grandfather.

Cons: This career is requires some extreme manual labor which can take a toll on the body. Also if you are starting a new farm, there can be huge capital outlays for land and equipment. This career requires your attention 24/7 and wouldn’t have much time to pursue other hobbies or interests.

5) University Professor

Pros: After obtaining my masters in accounting, I somewhat seriously considered getting my PhD and becoming a professor. Accounting professors were in high demand, and if you got into a decent program they would PAY you to obtain your PhD. And then starting salaries at universities after the 4 or 5 years it took to obtain your PhD averaged about $150k a year! Plus think of the pension, time off, and other paid for benefits!

Cons: A big part of being a professor at a university is publishing your work. I don’t know how excited I could get about coming up with ideas to regularly write about in the accounting field. These blog style posts on topics that interest me are way better.

6) Personal Finance Writer

Pros: While I’ve only been writing posts on this blog for a couple months, I thoroughly enjoy getting my thoughts and ideas down on paper. Personal finance is obviously a subject I’m passionate about, and I would love to spread any knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years to anyone willing to listen. So many great writers ahead of me have taken their time to teach others like myself, and I would love to return the favor to the next batch of personal finance students with posts like Post College Finance Guide or Keeping up with the Joneses.

Cons: I have no formal journalist background whatsoever, and my blog is a baby and therefore I don’t have much experience in the field and it may be quite hard to convince someone to pay me to write about personal finance or my other interests.

7) The Suze Orman Show (or better yet The Fervent Finance Show)

Pros: Please don’t laugh! But one of my guilty pleasures is watching The Suze Orman Show. I don’t know why I still put myself through the torment of watching it and cringing every time someone calls and asks a ridiculous question. It usually goes something like:

I make $50k a year. I have $7k in credit card debt, $45k in student loans, and $4k in my retirement account. Can I buy a $40k convertible?

Even though I do not agree with all the advice she gives, she does give great advice to personal finance novices that are clue-less about where to begin or how to get themselves out of debt, and she definitely does not hold back! She does not seem biased as it she tells people when their financials advisers are trying to take advantage of them and that whole life insurance policies are crap. She also usually recommends low cost index funds which I like. If I had her job, I would get to give advice that I felt would actually help the listeners and I wouldn’t have to charge them for it because I would be earning my income from the advertisement revenues.

Cons: Yelling at all the people calling up asking me if they can fund their large purchase by putting it all on their interesting bearing credit card.

In all honesty I think #6 takes the cake! If I had a career that I was exited to show up to, was passionate about, and provided me with a paycheck, it would make reaching financial independence that much easier! Now I just need to convince CNBC to let me take over when Suze retires from the program. Shouldn’t be too hard…

What is your dream job? Are you currently living it? If not, what is stopping you?

34 thoughts on “Dream Job

  1. Lifestyle Accountant

    Wow, I feel like all those jobs sound pretty cool. I sometimes daydream about doing manual labor jobs instead of accounting, just so I can be outside, active and not having to use my brain at full capacity. But my true passion is financial planning so I would have to say CFP is my dream job. Do you listen to The Radical Personal Finance Podcast? That’s a great show, plus the host Joshua Sheats, is a CFP and gives really great advice about the financial planning career path and he’s a millennial as well but wise beyond his years. He’s one of the reasons why I even considered getting into financial planning because he’s proof that you don’t have to be a slimeball financial advisor. I used to be a Suze Orman fan too but once I discovered FI, it felt too mainstream, but still entertaining. It’s good that you are pursuing your personal finance writing on the side now so one day it’ll help you take her job.
    Lifestyle Accountant recently posted…Selling My HouseMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Hi LA. I do not subscribe to the Radical Finance podcast, but I have heard of Joshua through an interview on another podcast and will give his podcast a listen.

      As for the adjective “slimeball” to describe certain “financial planners,” it’s sad that we hear way more of these stories than success stories. LivingaFI had a post “Top Zero Things I Learned From a Financial Planner” where he described a meeting he had at work with a Fidelity CFP. Now I’m not knocking Fidelity, just speaking from LivingaFI’s experience, but I was not impressed by the “advice” that was given. Such as moving funds over to Fidelity to actively managed funds instead of Vanguard passive. Move funds over to Fidelity since expense ratios are more competitive today (LivingaFI showed an example where the comparable Fidelity fund to a Vanguard fund had more than 3x the expense ratio). Tried selling him a Fidelity credit card. And advocated timing the market.

      If I wanted to be a financial planner I would definitely have to go the independent route, and work for a team that truly was looking out for their clients’ best interests and not trying to make an extra buck selling crappy investment strategies. As Suze Orman would say, if your financial “adviser” tries selling you a whole life policy, never speak to him again.

      Thanks for stopping by LA!

      Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Great point GYFG. It’s 2015 – I should stop thinking of a career as a job for one employer doing work in one niche. Diversifying my income streams as well definitely sounds appealing!

      Reply
  2. Holly@ClubThrifty

    I have a lot of dream jobs that never quite happened. Maybe in another life!

    Right now, I am extremely happy working as a writer. Not only am I self-employed and able to work at home, but I have a lot more control over my income than I ever have. I don’t think I could go back to working for anybody else ever again.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…Here’s Why It Always Pays to Shop AroundMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      I don’t blame you for not wanting to work for anybody but yourself. Being an employee is the pits! I’m glad you were able to find a career where you are self-employed and able to control your own destiny when it comes to income. That is definitely a goal of mine, and hopefully I can make it happen sooner than later. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  3. Debtless in Texas

    I too would love all of those jobs and have thought about them…except for the RV maintenance. That is the nice thing about being FI, you can do whatever you want whenever you want!

    It reminds me of that old question, if you didn’t have to worry about money – what would you do? Pick any of those. Or all of them.

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Yeah I think RV maintenance would go away once I decide to purchase a home. That will give me enough maintenance to fix my lust for it 🙂 If I didn’t have to work for money, I’d probably perform all the maintenance on my house, maybe a little woodworking/carpentry on the side, write on my blog, and whatever else fancied me for the day!

      Reply
  4. Jon

    FF:

    I’ve discovered your site via comments on other pages. You have a good perspective on things. I too enjoy the Suze Orman Show ( and was actually on the show asking ” How Am I Doing?” a couple of years ago. ) Sadly…tonight Sat. 3/28 is her final show. I will temper the loss by reading your blog. 🙂 Nice work here…

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Thanks a lot Jon! Wow, that’s awesome, I hope she have she gave you a good grade.

      It is quite sad though that it’s done. I already have it set to DVR since I have some college basketball to watch. Cheers!

      Reply
  5. Steve Adcock

    Honestly, my dream job is being retired. But if I HAD to choose something that I’d enjoy doing for the rest of my life, it would be a photographer. I’d take the jobs that interested me and ignore the ones that I don’t. Even better, a travel photographer and have the client fund my travel expenses…combines my two passions – travel and photography.
    Steve Adcock recently posted…10 questions with 1500days.comMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Hi Steve. I’d have to agree with you, but I left “no job” off my list. I think the key is just to have the freedom to do what you want. If one day I woke up I wanted to help a friend build a deck on their house, or coach a youth baseball team for a season, or just do nothing, I would have that option and that I believe is my end goal.

      I too love to travel. I’m not on the Go Curry Cracker level, but week long trips do suit me well and I think your idea of a travel photographer definitely sounds like a lot of fun. If you enter that field let me know how well your clients pay you, and then maybe you’ll have some competition 🙂

      Reply
  6. Dawn

    I think running a campground in a southern state could be a lot of fun. But I am not that mechanical and not sure I like tourists that much!
    I love my job now but wish to work only per diem instead of trying to work extra to pay off debt. I could retire in this job then work a couple days a month. That would be cool 🙂 nothing dreamy about working in a lab but I like it.

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Hi Dawn. Consider yourself a lucky one if you enjoy your job enough to want to do it a couple days a month after “retirement”. I think one thing that is important to me if I chose to work part-time once I retire from a full-time career, is that I work for myself. Of course this is easier said than done. Take care!

      Reply
  7. The Money Mine

    The section on the Suze Orman show made me laugh, I’ll have to check that show out. I do not know if there is a dream job, I have already had 4 different jobs, in small and large companies, in various industries and they were all ideal at the time I chose them. Only after a few years I found out I wanted more and I was looking for another job to keep growing.
    Maybe you can start with one of those and when you’re in a need for a change, move to the next!

    I like your blog and I nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award here http://www.themoneymine.com/liebster-award/. It’s a way for the community to discover new upcoming blogs and learn from each others!
    The Money Mine recently posted…Liebster Award!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Why thank you Money Mine! I’ll head on over to your blog to check out the post. I’m glad you have enjoyed the content thus far. There is plenty more planned!

      As for Suze Orman, her 13 year run on CNBC ended this past Saturday. What I learned from the series finale was how popular she was and had won multiple Emmy’s which I was unaware of. Take care!

      Reply
  8. The Finance things in life

    I started making my own list automatically half way thru yours. To name a few from the top of my list: Scubadiver, F1 racer and Ship captain.
    I guess if I scale it down a bit there is nothing that stops me from being the very best snorkelling, go kart driving, row boat captain in the world. Hmmm… Maybe I should put that as a goal for this year. Thanks FF for an inspiring post.

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Thanks for stopping by. You seem like an adrenaline junkie! I haven’t done any of those, but I do have my boating license. Although nothing I’ve driven can be described as a “ship.” My favorite part of the water is being at the beach, or on a boat someone else owns 😉

      Reply
  9. Vawt

    I must admit I like watching the Suze Orman show, too. I think my dream job might be a part time version of what I do now (being a CFO). Helping small business make sense of their finances and creating budgets, growth plans, etc. would be fun to do. Of course, I like doing that for friends on the personal finance side already, it just doesn’t bring in any money!
    Vawt recently posted…Keeping Up With The Blogger JonesesMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      If you can find a part-time job that you enjoy and pays you a decent salary, then achieving financial independence should be no problem at all! That’s great you help friends (and that they are willing to listen) with their personal finances. Its not producing an income but I bet helping your friends is rewarding enough! I try to give advice, when its appreciated, but most of the time I feel it goes in one ear and out the other.

      Reply
  10. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply

    I envy those who have a “dream job” that they are passionate about. No need to dream about early retirement when you enjoy going to work and are getting paid to do it. I’ve been thinking about this recently too because…if you find something you love to do and it pays you…you don’t have to “work” another day. The personal finance freelance writer could work but I’d probably get writer’s block plus I like the freedom from deadlines with my own blog (so maybe blogger). Being a financial planner was a consideration but I’m not the best at communicating my thoughts and I’m not the type who could get a lot of clients. Not sure it’s my personality.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Are You Afraid to Take the Leap?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Steve from thinksaveretire.com commented his dream job is being retired. Maybe that is your dream job too! And there is nothing wrong with that. I think in the end this is my goal as well, as it will give me the freedom to wake up everyday and choose what I want to do that day. Maybe it will earn me income, and maybe it won’t. The freedom is what I want!

      Reply
      1. Andrew

        Haha, maybe, but I’d still want to do something productive and contribute to society…not just lounge around the beach drinking a Corona (though that would be part of retirement no doubt). I really envy those who have found something they are passionate about and it pays the bills…though I guess if I wasn’t worried about paying the bills it would increase my options.
        Andrew recently posted…The Rumors of the Death of the “Millionaire Next Door” Have Been Greatly ExaggeratedMy Profile

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    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      I’d have to definitely agree. Maybe I’ll be a wave of change in financial education and prompt every university to require a Finance Literacy 101 course for all incoming freshmen! Don’t steal my idea now! 🙂

      Reply
  11. Clay

    Ran across your site when reading a post at GRS. How I ended up here at this post I’m not sure. Nice little site though, homeboy. I’ve hovered around the types of work you’ve mentioned up top over the course of time. Great minds think alike I guess… at least financially literate minds. Keep up the good work here. Gotcha bookmarked. I’d ad Freshwater Fish Biologist just because it involves science and outdoor life.

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Thanks Clay! I do love the water. Especially when it’s going out on a friend or relative’s boat that I don’t own and have to pay for or maintain 😉 So for myself it would be charter fisherman, especially striped bass.

      Reply
  12. DC @ Young Adult Money

    I think sometimes it’s important to avoid the “what’s stopping you” or “why are you not currently in your dream job?” questions. Sometimes it’s true that people are not working towards their dream jobs, but in many cases dream jobs take time and are not something that you can simply “start” one day. One dream job of mine is to launch a startup and sell it for a few million dollars. It’s not going to happen overnight and perhaps not even within the next ten years. What I can do, though, is slowly work towards it. Another dream job is to own a counseling clinic or network of counseling clinics. Again…not going to happen overnight and most likely won’t happen for about 20 years.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…7 Actions You Can Take to Pay Off Your DebtMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      I agree with you DC. But then again it becomes much harder as people get older to branch out and take on additional risk. Some people have wifes/husbands, kids, mortgage, etc., while right now I have none of those to worry about and support. But for others years of saving and a spouse with a predictable income are definitely benefits to waiting.

      Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Well isn’t that a conundrum! A good one to have I suppose. Personally I don’t think I could love a job I had working for someone else, so I would probably take that job I enjoy and parlay it into a entrepreneurial endeavor if I could. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

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