The Way of Adventure
An Unconventional Online Course for Young People

Dream Job

The biggest thing that stops people from leading an adventurous life is their choice of job.

The typical way to choose a job is: look for the most prestigious, highest-paying position that will make your friends jealous and your parents proud.

While such jobs may certainly lead to security and social validation, they often don’t leave much room for adventure.

Adventurous people begin with the end in mind. “What kind of life do I want to lead?” they ask themselves. “How do I want to spend the precious time of my life?”

Some pursue career paths that combine work with adventure. In jobs like these, you get do good for others and  continually learn and make a living at the same time. Think, for example, of a flight nurse.

Others choose careers that earn a good amount of money in a short period of time. While the job may not necessarily be fun or meaningful, its leaves them with lots of free time to pursue adventure outside of work. Think, for example, of a commercial fisherman.

A useful way of thinking about your options involves the concepts of passion, skill, and market.

If you are passionate about something (let’s say, soccer), but you have little skill in it, and no one will pay you to play soccer (i.e. there’s no market for your services), then you are a mere fan.

If you have passion and skill, but still no one will pay you, then you have a hobby.

If you are skilled at something and people will pay you for it—but you have no love for what you’re doing—then you have a job.

If you’re passionate about something, and you know that some people get paid for it, but you lack the skills necessary to get paid—then you have a dream job.

If you pursue the first model of combining work with adventure, then you’re aiming for the center: combing passion, skill, and market (i.e. what people will pay for).

If you pursue the second model of working intensively to leave time for adventure, then you’re aiming for a job that leaves you time for hobbies.

The lesson here is: there are many ways to build a career that enables an adventurous life. But you must think hard about the kind of life you want to lead and how your work will play into that. Work must follow your dreams, not the other way around.

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This challenge is to design your dream job—one that will enable a life of adventure.

Begin by brainstorming as many dream jobs as you can on a piece of paper in 10 minutes. Just write down the titles, like “flight nurse” or “professional tattoo artist.” These jobs should actually exist in the real world, don’t write “unicorn trainer”despite your deep love of unicorns. After you finish, choose five that you feel most excited about.

Next, go to the job website Indeed and do an advanced search for job titles similar your top five. Search within your entire country of residence. Get a sense for what these actual job listings look and feel like.

Now, the challenge: choose one of your ideal dream jobs and write a job description for it. Model it after the real job listings. Be sure to include a job title, description, responsibilities, required qualifications (skills / experience / education), and compensation. See this infographic for more advice. Consider also including a brief description of the company offering this (dream) job.

Finally, let’s have some fun. Post your (fake) job listing on Craigslist New Zealand, where job postings are free. Here’s how:


Lucille (Feb 2017)

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Thank you, New Zealand.