Yeah We Could Talk About “Dream Jobs”

There is no dream job because if one is dreaming about it one isn’t doing it yet. If one starts doing it and finds one loves it, it’s no longer a dream but rather a job one loves. At that point there are inevitably things about the job that are not ideal but one clings to the memory of what was once the dream.

I dreamt of being a recording artist but look at Kurt Cobain.

I dreamt of being a bestselling author but look at David Foster Wallace.

I dreamt of being a college professor but look at Dr. Friend (My miserable American Lit professor who hopefully has retired for his sake)

I never dreamt of being a 4th grade teacher but It has become my career and I embrace it. I should note that I would never have been given the opportunity unless I had worked for an advanced University degree.  I didn’t sit around through my 20’s waiting for someone to show me the way.

Here’s the story: in 1997, Santa Ana School District grandfathered me in and hired me to teach on an emergency credential. Three years later I earned enough experience and college classes to obtain a preliminary teaching credential. A few years after that I cleared my credential. I’ve been teaching now for 17 years. It’s not an ideal job by any stretch of the imagination. There are a few things about it though that you might find dreamy:

  1. My contract requires me to work only 186 days a year.
  2. I some days get off work in time for the matinee movie price.
  3. I develop skills in people not financial profits.
  4. I have a reasonably static routine.
  5. I have a respected profession in my community.
  6. Some years I get to go on field trips.

I read a story once told by a psychologist. He described a place where every discontented person was directed to put their life’s burden. When all had done so, they were released to take back whichever person’s burden they wanted. The end of the story was that after weighing enough of them, everyone took back her/his own.

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