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How Would You Describe the Best (and Worst) Job in the World?

by Guest Poster

This guest post is part of a blog swap with a fellow member, Shaun Fowler, of the Yakezie Network – an awesome group of personal finance and lifestyle bloggers who shamelessly selflessly promote each other. Shaun shows families how to better manage their finances at his blog Smart Family FinanceWhen you’re done here, go check out my post on The World’s Best and Worst Jobs at Smart Family Finance.

The best job is the one you want to work when you are in retirement. Since I’m far from retirement, I have no idea what it is yet, but my past jobs have given me an idea of what to look for.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s most recent retirement confidence survey found that three in four workers expect to be working in retirement. It’s not all nest egg jitters either, Barclays found that 60% of wealthy workers don’t plan on ever leaving the workforce. Believe it or not, there are jobs out there that people want to work, even when their bank accounts are overflowing. This is why I believe it.

We want our jobs to meet our needs, and a really great job meets some of our wants too. We mould our career and personal goals around our life situation. But, when we are young, (more particularly young with a family), there are so many needs that are very tiresome. While we are committed to them, our commitment is not necessarily one based on happiness.

Mortgage, school loans, and car loans keep us striving for a higher salary. The younger we are and the less disposable income we have, the more important our paychecks seem and this drives us in our pursuit of a job. Our striving is more out the necessity of avoiding the negatives of collection calls than a fulfillment of our lifelong dreams.

Debt isn’t the only factor that has weight in our career choices. In fact our retirement account and providing for our family also have strong coercive power. It would seem that needs are never ending when you are young. There is hardly any room for wants to get a word in edgewise.

If you are smart with your money, over time your needs will decrease. Building up net worth reduces your dependency on a higher paycheck and quells retirement worries. The children grow up and you’ve dodged the boomerang; they are self-sufficient. Hopefully, you’ll start realizing that a career can be more about your wants than your needs.

I’ve worked a number of jobs in my young life and I’ve learned enough to know what wants my retirement job would be about:

Something that Makes Others Happy

During my longest employment stretch, I worked as a short order cook. There are many reasons why my past employment would not work well with my dream job, but one aspect that was very rewarding was in making something that made others happy. I love going to restaurants and enjoying good food with my family. As a cook, I took satisfaction in knowing that my cooking provided the same experience for the strangers I served.

Something I’m Great At

I wish I was the best at everything, but it’s just not a reality. The work I’ve enjoyed the most has not always been about the task, the project or the title, instead it was that I was doing something I excelled at. Perhaps it will be mopping floors or corporate finance like my current employment. Whatever it is, it will not be about my experience nor my education, but my talents.

Something that is Flexible

Nine to five is so first thirty-five years of my career. By retirement, it’ll be time to work three to four days a week or telecommute. This isn’t to say that I want to work whenever I feel like it, but it would be nice to say goodbye to the average work week and have enough vacation days to take a month off in Europe.

The Worst Job is the One You Have to Work in Retirement

There is of course, one job I’m trying hard to avoid and that’s the job I have to work during my retirement. For this job, showing up is compulsory, because I’ve missed opportunities or made poor decisions. I’m working not because I want to, but because I have to.

Now don’t miss understand me. I hope to quit working and stay quit. But things don’t always work out the way I plan. So if I had to work in my retirement you can be sure that I’d pick the job I want to work over the one I have to work any day.

How would you describe your best and worst job?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

MyPerFinJourney October 15, 2011 at 12:56 AM

I've also heard that many older folks continue working in to their retirement years, simply because they have become so used to it that it's easier to continue than to stop.

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