I am not a big believer in the dream job. For one thing, I don’t think people know their dream job. Because it’s a job description that has to cover eight hours a day of work. It’s hard to imagine something you’d love to do eight hours a day, much less fit into in a nice, neat job description.
And then there’s the be-careful-what-you-wish-for syndrome. Because it’s hard to know what you’d like to do for eight hours a day til you try it.
I used to think I wanted to be a sex writer. My master’s thesis from graduate school was about my sex life. But when I tried to support myself writing about sex, when I started pitching stories to Cosmo, I found that no one wanted to hire me; magazines hire people to write about officially important sex research. I wanted to write about me.
So I looked for that magic intersection of things I’m good at and things I like to do and things people will pay me for. And I ended up being a career writer. Fortunately, though, I was able to be a career writer writing about me.
Which is probably what I wanted to do all along. So this is a great argument for the advice I give all the time which is to shut up about not having your dream job and just take any job so you can learn about what people will pay you to do that you might like to do.
Still, I am very excited to tell you that finally, someone offered to pay me to write about my sex life. I had a great time, but surprise, I discovered that I couldn’t resist slipping in some career advice anyway. So I guess I have my dream job, right here. If there were such thing as a dream job.
Anyway, here’s the piece I wrote, for The Daily Beast.