What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question we’re asked throughout our entire childhood and adolescence. Back then, we always knew the answer – fireman, astronaut, ballerina, rock star or likely some combination of them all. As we became the grownups we one day dreamed of being, the answer became more and more unclear. Maybe though, just maybe, that was because you weren’t aware of these amazing jobs.
There’s nothing quite like a nice, leisurely day out on the golf course to come down from a particularly tough work week. What if, however, that nice, leisurely day on the golf course was your workweek? For Jerramy Hainline, it is. As Director of Golf for Hilton Worldwide, Hainline oversees the sales and marketing for the company’s two dozen or so courses. What is his secret to success? “You have to play the product,” Hainline explains. That is Hainline’s polite way of saying that the crux of his job is traveling the world, playing at exclusive resorts and hosting journalists, sponsors and even famous golfers. How did he get this dream job? Well, he began as a professional golfer before being wooed by a Hilton exec to teach at one of Hilton’s resorts. The program became so successful that it branched out into the Hilton Golf Academy, and eventually, Hainline was rewarded with the title of Director of Golf.
Perhaps you’re not the sporty type. No problem. Do you prefer lying around all day doing nothing but watching those crime shows on TV? If so, this is a job for you. Why not become a TV corpse? Yes, you read that right – a TV corpse. Don’t worry; it’s not nearly as morbid as it sounds. Think about your standard Tuesday night TV lineup; there are tons of shows that feature dead bodies, and you can be that dead body. You can get paid around $200 a day, plus a free catered lunch, to lie around set all day in gruesomely awesome makeup. You could say this gig is to die for…but you probably shouldn’t.
Ever pick up a menu and think, “Who is the bozo who decided to charge $27.00 for a hamburger?” Well, that would be the menu engineer. It is a menu engineer’s job to figure out how much a restaurant should charge for each item, as well as how to maximize profit. Specifically, they find ways to push items that will make the restaurant the most money and deter customers from purchasing the less profitable items. Menu engineers typically study hospitality, marketing, economics or psychology.
Still seem like too much work for a dream job? Looking for something that will help you personify the adage “fake it till you make it?” Then buy a suit, move to China and become a fake executive. That’s not to say you should start some sort of Ponzi scheme. However, in the past few years, many companies have adopted the less-than-100-percent-honest practice of hiring Westerners to pose as American businessman in hopes of giving their companies a more global feel. Mitch Moxley, a freelance writer living in Beijing who once earned $1,000 a week to make believe he was an exec for a high-tech company, states, “You’d be amazed how often this happens. I remember having this ‘I can’t believe they bought that’ sense of accomplishment.” Looks like sometimes it’s actually a dishonest day’s work that gets you an honest day’s pay.
Instead of taking a grandiose slip down the ethical slide of life, why not become a water slide tester? You can actually get paid to travel the world, testing the height, speed, water quantity and landing of water slides. Tommy Lynch is the self-proclaimed “cool pool tester” for First Choice Holidays and travels nearly 30,000 miles a year visiting pools everywhere from Egypt to Ibiza. "I do have the best job in the world," says Lynch. "No one believes me when I tell them what I do. Some people sit in an office all day, but I get to fly all over the world and slide down flumes. It can be a bit tough when it is chilly and you have to strip off and shoot down the flume, but other than that, it is great."
Whether you apply for one of these jobs, stay at the job you have or maintain that you can still make the dream of being a fireman/astronaut/ballerina/rock star happen, never forget that it is never too late to achieve your goals.