To describe my perfect job I’d like to explain it by focusing on separate areas.
Location: Having experience with a job that had 90% travel and my current one with is maybe 5% travel, I’d prefer a mix. Something like 70% local, 30% travel. I say this because when you are traveling almost all of the year, you don’t do other things like buy a house, take a class and maybe finish another degree, get married, etc. On the other hand, you are experiencing different cultures, companies, lifestyles, etc. By only traveling a certainly part of the year, you can make plans for the rest of the year and yet have a welcome break away from your possibly mundane local work.
Work: I have interests in many areas but I think that might be due to the ‘grass is greener on the other side of the fence’ syndrome. For example, I like teach others and help those in need, so I considered working in healthcare. When investigating the medical profession, I found out just how the healthcare system is influenced by business/economics. I often hear how much it’s just about how many people can I bill today rather then, how many people can I help today. Even if as a person you want to help, you’re working in a hospital which is profit driven. Aside from healthcare, I also like technology and finance. From the former I’d prefer to work in either telecom or web development because both involve groundbreaking work and they are very visible in society. For the later I’d like to work on wall street being a financial analyst.
Benefits: Flexibility and vacation are big factors outside the normal benefits package that I feel are very important. I’d like to be able to have a compressed work week (4 days) or even better, work the days/times that I’d like. For example, 12hours, mon-wed, half day thurs (4 hours) and off Friday. Also I still enjoy traveling and therefore vacations are important. I currently only have 2 weeks of vacation and realize just how short those two weeks can be.
Growth: I’d like a job which performance is tied to compensation/benefits. I certainly felt more motivated the closer those 2 factors were and the more often they were reviewed. Coming from a consulting background where I made my employer money directly based on how much I worked and how much the clients appreciated my services I worked very hard and it felt good. Currently I’m a salaried employee with yearly reviews at a company that doesn’t feel like it’s going and is quite large. I certainly feel like a small cog in a big machine who doesn’t make much difference how good a job I do. Also I’m already at the top classification in my current track as a principle developer I don’t see promotions beyond the glass ceiling of my current track.
If I could combine those factors I would say I’d like to be a Day-Trader. This is something I’ve tinkered with in the past but never really made a serious commitment to learn, master. This thought was highlighted one day when talking with another investor online. I mentioned to him that I had to get back to work and he replied with a remark similar to, “Man, I remember when I worked for someone else and had to actually go into the office, wow that was a long time ago.” He talked about how he makes money now as a futures derivatives trader on the Russell E-mini market. I was attracted to his current career for many reasons. First off, he can do it from anywhere that he has internet access, second he writes his own algorithms and uses technology to chart the stock market, third he can work when he wants and his compensation is directly proportional to his performance.