32/365: Dream Job

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Misc.
Tags: , , , ,

Over at the dailypost blog, Scott asks: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

The question reminds me of how times change us and our choices. A decade ago, when I was about to finish my undergrad studies, I would have had one or two answers to this question. 3 years on, I’d still have had 1-2 answers but ones very different from the previous ones. Another 2 years later, finishing my MBA, there would have been about half a dozen answers – all new again. Now, I am struggling to find an answer. There are many jobs I’d like to have, but none of them is a dream job that would keep me satisfied forever. However, here are a few that I have liked in the recently:

A job I’d have liked to have is with Google’s London office: Product Marketing Manager, Android & Google Mobile for EMEA. Why I liked that job? Android. Mobile. The role. Google. The job required, apart from the core marketing role, interactions with the product management, sales, operators, developers and other partners. Just the kind I like with multiple areas overlapping and loads of coordination requirement. It seems to have been filled since I last checked.

Another job that I’d have liked to have is in Business Development with Automattic. No, they don’t have that opening. Have never had such an opening since I started looking. But I never said that I couldn’t try to create one. What I like about this job? WordPress. Small team. Globally distributed team. A great product suite that delivers significant value for many VIP customers. I tried, they ignored. Nothing new.

A job, or a version of it, that I could have had more than 6 months back had I not decided to act like a fool. Or moved to UK. It was with the same firm that I had worked with when they were a start-up. They’ve now grown, I may not have. I approached them to discuss any opportunities for business development in UK. They weren’t interested in that but shared an opportunity, a challenge, that they wanted me to take on. I loved this surprise challenge. So much so that I could’ve quit another job to take it up. I didn’t take it and moved to UK. They moved on. What did I like about the job? The boss. My emotional connect with the firm. The challenge of building up a new business line. The challenge of going out in the marketplace and competing against a few old colleagues & employers. Independence/Empowerment.

The final one in this list would be a job with Evans Cycles. I don’t know if I am qualified to do anything there but I would have liked a shot at any open positions in strategy, business development, marketing or partner management. Unfortunately, not having any experience in the field, only a strong interest, made it clear that applying through an open form was futile. So, I waited till an appropriate position appeared or till I personally met someone there. Nothing happened. What I like about a job there? Cycling. Retail. And being a user, the loads of improvement and new product / service opportunities I see every time I interact with them.

While I’ve just listed these 4, there are a few other opportunities in which I am equally, if not more, interested. These would be with firms as varied as INQ, J&J, Tweetdeck and a strategy consulting firm I’m interviewing with. Each of them has their story why I like them and the reason why they should / shouldn’t consider me. But this is not the blogpost where those stories will be told. Some other day, some other post. Maybe.

So, there. Those are some of the opportunities I am/was really interested in pursuing at this stage. Of course, none of them is my dream job as of now but then is there anything like a dream job? All these jobs are in areas that I like, with people I admire or is fields that I’m passionate about. If that’s not enough to keep me happy, wonder if anything else will.


Actually, I’ve had a dream job. And it has stuck with me for last 4-5 years. Over these 4-5 years, it seems, I’ve also been driven farther away from it. That dream job is actually not a job, it’s a lifestyle. That dream job is the one that would let me live outside the mega-cities, preferably in hills of Himachal/Uttaranchal or the ghats of Goa. Thus, that dream job would let me to work, a vast majority of the time, remotely over a half-decent internet connection. That dream job would also let me be flexible with the work hours within a day, allowing me time for a ride around the hills or a walk through the fields. And that dream job would pay me moderately well to let me maintain a decent lifestyle and allow a vacation abroad once an year. Yup, that’s about it. As I said, it’s not a dream job, it’s a dream lifestyle.
Over the years, I’ve given some thought to what kind of job could fulfil these requirements and have come to two conclusions. First, such a job would require super-specialisation in a particular field. If people are to pay a decent buck to work flexi hours from a remote location, one must be a very highly valued voice / resource in the field. Second, this job should require as little face-to-face people interaction as possible to satisfy the remotely working criteria. The only job where I believe this is remotely possible (given my qualification background) is as an Equity Research Analyst. The kind of research analyst whose reports move the markets and whose competitors in the market wait for his/her report to come out before releasing theirs’, for the fear of contradicting him. Yes, there are a few such analysts out there. Yes, it took them years, if not decades, to develop such a reputation in the industry. No, none of them, to my knowledge, are hermits hiding in the hills. Yet, this is the only job that I can think of which could allow the kind of lifestyle I dream about. However, given my post-MBA work history, I doubt if even the smallest of research outfits would hire me for such a role. And more I work in other fields, the farther I move from landing such an opportunity. Sad. True.
Let’s move on.

  1. ctsix says:

    Nice post Raven. I almost took up the challenge to write about this topic myself but I had little time to do it justice the want you have. I think you’re right in that there may not be a dream job per se but we want to do be doing things that relate to our passions and afford us the kind of lifestyle we want to lead.
    If we find thus then I guess it doesn’t feel like a job after all and we’re just living our lives on our terms.

    • raven says:

      Nope. Hadn’t heard of him, though had heard of the ‘4 hour body’. And after looking at the URL, was disappointed to see that his website is all about the 4-hour body instead of the 4-hour work week :(

      Catch you on gtalk/skype soon.

      P.S.: For someone working till 4:30AM on a Wednesday night, suggesting Tim Ferris is a bit ironic. Isn’t it? :P

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