Careers

10 dream jobs that are very real and very achievable

dream job
A dream job can mean so many things to people, like being dessert taster. Source: Cindy Ord/Getty Images/AFP

Our dreams are important, as absurd and outlandish as they may be. It pays to understand them and — even more still — the dream jobs that we often shake off as self-indulgent.

While there are bills and debts to pay in the real world, and dreams often don’t make sense, thinking about our dream jobs still serves a key purpose: making full use of the short life we have.

The more you like something, the likelier it is for you to become good at something. And when that happens, a lot of things fall into place, from your happiness to being able to demand big salaries.

What we consider “dream jobs” may differ from you, me and the next person on the train. It may be a high-paying job that lavishes all forms of material comforts on you or one that embraces all your talents and quirks.

Or maybe it’s one that’s 100% remote with highly flexible deadlines — giving you just enough stress to achieve self-growth but never turning you anxious — and supportive friends and managers who double as free therapists.

What Google’s search engine reveals about our dream jobs

When financial company Remitly analysed Google searches that began with “How to be a”, it found dream jobs differed according to where we are located.

Google searches in China showed people were curious about how to become a dietitian. This could be because of society’s unrealistic beauty standards.

The Lebanese had a funny bone to tickle, and they searched for how to become comedians, perhaps with the aim of following in the footsteps of their idols.

People in India, South Africa, and New Zealand saw writing as a top dream job.

And between Oct. 2021 and Oct. 2022, “how to be a pilot” was searched more than any other job.

Who we’re surrounded by and the society we live in play a role in how we define “dream jobs.”

Ultimately, however, finding what we’ll love doing over 90,000 hours in our life depends on us and what makes us happy.

Does happiness come from having your dream job?

Some 65% of people in the US are satisfied with their jobs, but only 20% of them are passionate about what they do.

With such a small number of people enjoying what they do for a living, this has taken a toll on mental health.

Nearly half of 16,000 working Americans said their jobs negatively affected their mental health.

While 7% reported very negative effects on their mental health, 33% said they experienced “somewhat” negative side effects.

It’s hardly a picture of us living our best lives. This is a tragedy that we should, by all means and effort, try to correct.

There may not be any perfect job, but many good jobs with the following criteria exist:

  • involves something you love
  • pays well
  • allows you much freedom and flexibility
  • excites and challenges you
  • where you love your team
dream jobs

Wine lovers out there, why not turn your passion into a dream job? Source: Joe Klamar/AFP

10 dream jobs that are real and achievable

1. Sommelier

Also known as a wine steward, a sommelier is trained and knowledgeable in the areas of everything to do with wine.

They become such connoisseurs through experience and education.

Many culinary schools offer sommelier courses, like the National Wine School or the School Wine De Bordeaux in France.

Ideally, you would start off with these certifications — level 1 sommeliers, certified sommeliers, advanced sommeliers, and master sommeliers.

Once you graduate, you should gain as much experience as possible. The food and beverage industry has plenty of opportunities for this profession; the longer you are in the business, the better it is.

Here are some of the ways you could launch your career:

  • Work in high-end restaurants
  • Become a consultant for catering or event companies
  • Immerse yourself in wineries

And what’s even better is, as you drink your way to grander experiences and travel all over the world, you have the chance to earn more.

In the US, a sommelier can earn up to US$90,014.

2. Pilot

Having a massive fry-up for breakfast as you sit by the river Thames. Popping into the Le Saint-Régis café in Paris for some steak tartare.

And finally, enjoy a hearty meal of stoverij (thick beef stew) at the Le Clan des Belges, Brussels.

If you are wondering if it is possible to experience all these within a day, the answer is yes — that is, if you are a pilot.

It’s no wonder the study of Google searches revealed that many people viewed being a pilot as the #1 dream job. In fact, it topped the wish list of 25 countries globally.

If jetting from one country to another while living it up in hotel rooms around the world sounds like a perfect way to get paid, then piloting is something to consider.

You’ll not only be able to earn US$104,220 or more each year, but you can also tick off your list of all the countries travelled.

dream jobs

Nigella Lawson is an accomplished cook, author and host of her own TV show. Source: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images/AFP

3. TV presenter

Ever watched “Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown” or “Burgers, Brew & ‘Que” and imagined what it would be like to be on that entourage?

All that travelling, meeting new people, discovering new places, and tantalising of tastebuds — it hardly counts as work, hence why it’s one of the most obvious entries into this list of dream jobs.

Behind the scenes, travel show presenters have complained of how demanding, long and tiring their jobs can be — but, one might also say, totally worth it.

Once you appear on tv, you have the chance to become famous and venture out into many other things.

Take, for instance, Sarah Todd. She first appeared on MasterChef Australia in 2014, went on to have her own TV show, authored a cookbook and opened her own restaurant.

Rachael Domenica Ray is another great example. Her rise to fame as a Food Network TV personality to author to talk show queen certainly took her places.

4. Flavourist

Imagine how boring and mundane it would feel, to eat foods that didn’t have any kind of uniqueness to their flavour.

That is why we need flavourists.  They experiment and create flavours that are applied to different kinds of products – edible and not edible.

Think of them like magicians, mixing potions and essences together to create an elixir that tastes, smells, and feels the right amount of correct.

Creating flavours is a scientific art, and for those who think this might be a dream job, you’ll need to study chemistry and food science at university.

Traditionally, most flavourists enter the food industry, but you could also branch out into the fragrance, makeup and skincare or even the healthcare sector.

dream jobs

Fun and innovative, toy designing is a dream job for anyone who likes to put a smile on the faces of children. Source: Justin Tallis/AFP

5. Toy designer

If you’re one of those who still have a Pikachu or Star Wars figurine stashed away, and love looking at its design and colours, then this is your dream job.

A career in toy designing is fun, challenging in all the right ways and fulfilling in more ways than one.

A typical day for a toy designer begins with playing with toys; you’d analyse toys from competitors so you can enhance your own and make it better.

There are so many things to consider, like safety, colours, functionality, and price points.

Plus, you also get to travel and interact with the kids while testing the toys out. This is why it is also so rewarding — this job can be chaotic, innovative or colourful all at once.

6. Food critic

Love food, travelling and got a flair for being critical but in an articulate, witty but still polite way?

Food critic may be the dream job for you.

It is more than just going to expensive restaurants and eating their food, however.

A food critic tastes and tests many different dishes and drinks at all kinds of establishments before coming up with an opinion or review.

A food critic is often very observant. They take note of the service provided, the ambience of the restaurant and the way the food is presented.

More than often, food critics do not want to be known and will go out in disguise under fake names.

But the profession sure has its perks:

  • You get to taste some of the best and most exotic dishes in the world
  • You can dine at the most affluent, luxurious places
  • Travelling comes with the job
  • You get to evoke all your six senses
  • You are paid well
dream job

Creatives often find purpose and splendour in creating art, making it a dream job for many. Source: Georges Bendriham/ Archives/AFP

7. Artist or Illustrator

Being an artist or illustrator is considered a dream job for many because they have the freedom to inject life into their art however they like.

This job allows them to be as creative as they want.

There is also such a wide scope of industries that artists or illustrators can go into.

If you are keen on animation, try a movie studio. You could end up drawing for the next big Disney animated hit.

If you enjoy drawing for children, you could be the next Eric Carle, who famously illustrated “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.

Or why not show off your artistic talent and become a tattoo artist? The creative world is vast — find your nice and it’s yours to take.

dream jobs

For those who love coding and programming, a computer hacker makes for a dream job. Source: Damien Meyer/AFP

8. Computer hacker

Ever think about how you are incredibly good at something, but unfortunately, that skill is deemed illegal?

Well, safe to say computer hacking is one of them.

However, there has been a significant rise in ethical hackers in the last decade. Some are known as  “white hat hackers”.

Ethical hackers work for companies across all industries and help them find weaknesses or vulnerabilities in the systems they use.

They then report what they find and get paid for it.

Those who have been glued to computers since they were young and learnt programming, software and the like will find easy money in these.

Companies in the US like HackerOne, Bugcrowd and Synack actually work with freelance hackers to connect them with companies that need them.

9. Performer

Some people are born with the amazing talent to sing, act and perform.

Crafting a career out of one of this, whether in Hollywood or in your country, lets you fulfill our deep human need to create art.

Along this journey, you also get to travel, do what you love, meet fans, gain fame and even appear on magazine covers.

dream jobs

Being a video game tester sure has its perks, especially since the industry is growing exponentially. Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP

10. Video game tester

The rise of video games in the last few decades has been monumental.

The amount of time, money spent and energy that has gone into this industry has resulted in millions of jobs, including testers and gamers worldwide.

And yes, it is exactly what its name says. This job pays you to test out video games, find any abnormality with the game, and review them.

The benefits? You do what you love, which is the most important thing. You get to try out early versions of games that not even your friends would have heard of.