I was at a career fair last week, and this was the first question I was asked by an interviewer. The man had a denim shirt and was very nice. But this still threw me for a loop. It was one helluva first question.
What’s my dream job? We just did introductions, man. We’re just getting to know each other. You don’t know my favorite color yet, or where I’m planning my next vacation (it’s here).
My dream job is hard. It’s challenging. It’s like that English teacher from high school who never gave you over a B+ except when you really, really blew her away. I want to work with people who demand excellence, and who ask me for my absolute best.
I’ll try to give it to you even if you don’t ask for it, but it’s a lot easier when you do.
My dream job involves a lot of jumping out of buildings. Not literally, per se, because my mother wouldn’t be able to live with that. But I want someone to say, “Hey, can you do this?” and the answer to be, “No, but I’m going to learn right now!” Man, those are the best jobs.
My dream job doesn’t settle. For bad ideas, that is. Because some (not all) bad ideas are just under-thought ideas. They’re like baby ideas that haven’t been given time to grow and ruminate into something mind-blowing. So my dream job requires a lot of heavy thinking.
And you know what helps with heavy thinking? Creativity. The ability to make a bad joke, realize it’s bad, and then make a better one. Experimentation and trial and error. Creativity without self-consciousness–but always with a purpose.
Creativity is that voice that sits up and says, “Today, we make something rad.”
My dream job keeps me up late and brings me in early. It requires a lot of coffee and determination and maybe a glass of wine at the end of a long day. Most importantly, my dream job means curious people, great interpersonal relationships, and consistent innovation.
But instead, because I was sweaty and nervous, I told this guy I really wanted to be a copywriter. Or work in public relations. I wasn’t really sure.
You win some, you lose some. At least I know my answer for next time.