Sweet dreams

Perfect jobs are out there; you just have to look

Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2007

Walt Disney once said, "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." But what about dream jobs? Can we truly love what we do and get paid for it?

Recently, CareerBuilder.com and Disney Parks took a look at the idea of dream jobs and the people living out their fantasies. According to their survey of more than 6,000 workers nationwide, a staggering 84 percent of people say they aren't in their dream jobs. What's the biggest thing missing? Fun.

"What defines a dream job is surprisingly reminiscent of childhood wishes for many workers. Workers said they want to enjoy their work experience, apply their talents and feel like they're making an impact," says Richard Castellini, senior career adviser for CareerBuilder.com. "Having fun at work was the most important attribute of a dream job for 39 percent of workers, which heavily outweighed the 12 percent who said salary was most important."

Living the dream

Professions reporting the highest percentage of those feeling they are already in their dream jobs included police and firefighters, teachers, real estate professionals, engineers, travel professionals and nurses. Those professions with the least amount of workers feeling they have their dream jobs included accommodations/food services, manufacturing and retail.

Five finalists will be selected for each of the five "Dream Jobs" by the public. Along with their dream job, winners will receive a trip to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., in June. Go to www.careerbuilder.com/disneydreamjobs for details.

"As children, excitement and imagination played a major role in defining career paths. We dreamed of becoming firefighters, princesses and dancers," says Castellini. "But today, a majority of workers aren't living out the aspirations they had 20, 30, or even 40 years ago."

Find your dream job

So, how do you go about landing your dream job?

Learn more: Research your dream career and investigate those industry trends. Sign up for a class related to your dream job or one that will teach you relevant skills. Investigate similar jobs and their pay.

Find a success story: Talk to someone who has your dream job and ask about the steps taken to get there. Ask for advice and any secrets for success. You may be surprised to learn the downsides of your dream career. But don't get discouraged - this can help you fine-tune your goals.

Take inventory: What's keeping you from going for your dream job? Is it lack of training or education, the desire to pay off debt, family obligations or relocation? Map out a specific strategy for tackling each factor that might be an impediment.

Step back: If you can afford it, consider accepting a lower-paying position that may get you closer to your dream job. People sometimes sacrifice dreams in lieu of short-term gains. Your decision could ultimately help you achieve your goals.

Seek expert advice: Visit a career counselor to discuss your interests and help you establish a path and stay on it to attain your desired outcome. Before taking a job for less pay, talk to a financial planner who can suggest ways to budget if you to take a job for less money.

Where dream jobs come true

In the CareerBuilder.com and Disney Parks survey, a majority of respondents thought it would be fun to work at a Disney theme park (57 percent). And now, Disney Parks is giving Americans the chance to live out their "Dream Jobs" for a day in conjunction with its "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration.

Workers across the country can compete for a chance to win one of five Disney Dream Jobs: 1) a Jungle Cruise Skipper 2) Haunted Mansion Butler or Maid 3) Apprentice Pirate 4) Princess-in-Waiting or 5) Disney Park Parade Performer.

If you want to apply for a Disney Dream Job and you're 18 or older, go to www.careerbuilder.com/disneydreamjobs until Feb. 20 to win the opportunity to work at a Disney Park for one day. Contestants are asked to submit creative and original video resumes, including why you want to work at a Disney Park, qualifications and skills for your desired position, and why it's your Disney Parks "Dream Job."

Five finalists will be selected for each of the five "Dream Jobs" by the public. Along with their dream job, winners will receive a trip to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., in June. Check out the Web site above for complete rules.

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