By Zak Rosen
On our Facebook page, we recently asked you what your dream job as a child was, and what your dream job is now. That got me thinking. As so many of us are dependent on wage labor, how can we begin to think about our “dream” jobs? It’s almost as if we don’t have time to think about what we would really want to do. Or maybe we know what we’d ideally do, but don’t realistically think we can actually make it happen. But I think maybe we can actually do what we want to do. In fact, we’ve reported stories from all over the country about people who are, yes, DOING WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.
In Brooklyn, we met Mark and Matt Levy, a dynamic and hilarious family of tour guides who are doing what they’ve always done; loving the hell out of Brooklyn. And now through crafty marketing, and lots of sweat, they’ve figured out how to make a living doing it.
In Milwaukee we met Jim Godsil who thinks that “we’re at the end of the epoch of charismatic individuals, and we should start thinking about charismatic communities.” After being blown away on a tour of Growing Power, one of the country’s most innovative and intensive urban farming operations, he and a group of diverse, but like-minded people, took over an old rust-belt factory, and transformed it into an aquaponics laboratory where they sustainably grow fish and vegetables indoors!
In Oakridge, Oregon, we met Becky Chamberlin, who, with her partner Greg Spoon, owns and operates the Trailhead Coffeehouse. Since opening just less than a decade ago, they’ve inspired a new legion of crafty and passionate entrepreneurs in rural Oakrdige.
All of these people seem happy and fulfilled. They’re doing what they love, and having an impact in their immediate communities. I should stress though, that none of them are getting rich by any means. They’ve sacrificed money and time to realize their dreams not so they could afford to buy a new car, or remodel their kitchen (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), but so they could get up in the morning and not dread going to a job they didn’t believe in. All of these aforementioned people work ridiculous hours, well beyond 40 a week, but they don’t really seem to be counting their time spent “at the office.” Instead, it seems, that their lives are now inextricably linked to their work. And I doubt that they even consider what they do a job. Yes, it is indeed work…a lot of it, but it’s their work, their project, on their terms.
We love these kinds of stories, and want to hear more of them. Tell us yours!