Read something interesting in the news today. The headline reads:
Australia offers ‘best job in world’ on paradise island
The job purportedly pays 150,000 Australian dollars (105,000 US dollars) and includes free airfares from the winner’s home country to Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef. According to the article, "…the "island caretaker" will be expected to stroll the white sands, snorkel the reef, take care of "a few minor tasks" — and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates."
|Care to lounge? Photo taken at Sofitel Resort Hotel in Haikou, China (2007).|
Hey, I’m sure I could do the weekly blog, photo diaries and video updates. Although I’m not sure that I would fit the bill completely. That’s because I’m not quite an outdoors person, I’ve never snorkeled my whole life, and I couldn’t even swim properly. So much for that. But heck, I’m willing to learn – I guess I better start equipping myself with necessary skills to get the "best job in the world."
Anyway, I couldn’t help but realize that when people talk about "dream" locations for jobs or residence, they usually associate it with a place with paradise-like attributes: sun, sea, beach, exotic island. Hmm, that sounds so familiar! Might as well be any place in my beloved Philippines.
If I were given a choice, my dream job would be:
- Setting up my own privately-funded research institute in a remote island in the Philippines
- Heading a research group comprised of the best minds in the world, working on a highly relevant scientific problem
- Working on flexible hours and having lots of time for recreation (experiment not working? Take a hike — literally!)
- Being autonomous and not having to deal with b.s. bureaucratic procedures
I won’t even need a huge salary. I can thrive on curiosity, enthusiasm, and lots of sunshine (and if I sound like I’m sick of the gray and cold British weather, it’s because I am). But seriously, given a choice, I’d prefer to work in a place where I don’t need to wear thick winter clothes, worry about keeping myself warm, and I can have a choice of more than a dozen fresh tropical fruits on my table everyday. I’m biased, of course, having grown up in a tropical country. I haven’t been away that long. 😉
(Btw, I used to live in northern Japan, where it really snowed heavily every winter season. Hands down, winter was the bane of my life there. Did I ever tell you that I never went skiing, ever? I hated the snow, but I hate to an even greater degree the very act of sliding. But I digress.)
But then again, why work at all? Why not just focus your energies on attaining financial independence first, then living the rest of your life free to do whatever you want? The relevant question then is not about getting the dream job you would stick with for the rest of your productive life, but indeed on getting the job that can help you attain financial freedom within the soonest possible time. The job would be a means, not an end to itself.
Well, keep dreaming, Kat!