If you could do anything to make a living, what would you do? And why?
It’s a lighthearted (and somewhat trite) question, but a serious one too. Unfortunately, I think people struggle with this emotional inquiry everyday.
I am NOT talking ninth grade, school guidance counselor crap…e.g., “Billy, what do you want to be when you grow up?” No. I am talking about the real deal. You have lost your job, or something inside of you has clicked and you decide – now is that time, I am going to pursue the life/job that I have always wanted.
With the present economic and financial situation (ruin?) happening in the USA I started to think about what would happen if I had to get a real job and what the heck would I do? Don’t get me wrong, owning the Palmetto Guesthouse B&B here in Culebra is a REAL job seven days a week.
But, if people stop traveling because they don’t have money, well, I will either need to create a new job for myself or go out hunting for employment. Which would be sad because I am trying to keep the dream alive for people, so that they realize they DON’T have to be stuck in a cube…
One of my Last Job Opportunities
I can still distinctly remember Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) offering me a really cool job as one of the leads on their Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) project a few years ago.
Essentially I would have been creating a universal worldwide set of mapping data and associated attribute information that would all line up and fit seamlessly together (much harder to do than it sounds).
However, when they told me that I could not work remotely, we were living in Samoa at the time, I had to turn them down because I could not see myself living in San Bernadino or Redlands, California (nothing against those great places).
Thinking About a Job
Yesterday, for the first time in a very long time, I decided to go and look at an employment site just for kicks because of the economy. Man, it was damn scary! I think I glanced over 100 jobs looking for something that described me and…nothing, not even a scrap resonated with me.
Later, when I went for my run in the afternoon, I suddenly found myself thinking –
“What would my ultimate job description (besides retirement) be?“
I like what Chris Brogan is doing as a social media evangelist and as the unofficial mayor of “Twittertown” but he is well established, with a reputation that would be very hard to replicate. Then there is Becky McCray who helps small businesses to successfully use and figure out all of this online stuff, and I thought, that would be pretty cool.
Additionally, I must say, the work that Pam Slim is currently doing, wrangling corporate types and helping them to figure out that there is life beyond the cube, is very inspiring!
I could seriously see myself trying to help people to lead the lives that they were meant to lead and not one that they think they “have” to lead.
However, before I get to me, I asked some folks on Twitter “What would be your ultimate job or life description be?” and here are the replies I got:
Pam Slim – write about things I love for people I care about. That would be ideal!
Sean Bohan – Educator helping clients & users navigate digital waters including social software, advertising, user experience & strat. Or woodworker
Terence Chang – My ultimate job will be paid to travel luxury for life and work 4 hours a week online.
Daniel Kam – to build people up through encouragement, getting one another to be our best in the areas we are strong in, & have fun while doing so!
David Cubed – New Media Expert Business
Stephen Cooper – I’m doing it right now…working as a personal trainer
Katie McCarthy – great person
Liz Scherer – to be able to tap into creative resources that insure that women’s healthcare needs are efficiently & effectively addressed.
Ed Healy – to be content
Emil Sotirov – hiker…
My response, the job and or the company that I would consider going back to work for, must contain the following elements:
- be able to work remotely
- rewards innovation and creativity
- have happy, optimistic people
- part of the work must involve giving back (in some form)
- would entail networking, promotion, and connecting like-minded individuals
- no middle-management
- *health insurance – why is health insurance now considered a luxury item?
What the above qualifies me for (or as) I am not really sure, but if you know of anyone looking for this type of person, please let me know.
Or, how about If I had to create my own job (remember I said you can do anything) and work for myself?:
I have always had this fantasy of running a landscaping business during the summer on either Nantucket or Block Island for six months and then traveling, making documentary movies, and surfing for the other six months.
In reality this is probably not possible at this stage with three dogs to look after, but I’m not giving up hope.
How about you, if you could do anything to make a living, what would you do? Why?