The Best Unrealistic Jobs Made Real

dream jobsThe other day, I was trying to come up with an interesting topic for this blog but my brain-power was completely sapped by the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Not only for the reason you might think (I did see the movie), but three of the horror and sci-fi outlets I work for needed articles, reviews and red carpet coverage. So my editor here at AOL suggested I ask the actors on the red carpet what their dream job would be and then write something on how even our idols would rather be doing something else for a living.

Guess what? Turns out, movie stars' alternate career goals are just about as unrealistic as... well, being a movie star. The responses I got were along the lines of, "I want to be a rock star," "I'd do something that allowed me to travel the world," and, best of all, "I'd be a soldier of fortune!" I might as well have been asking first-graders if they'd rather be cowboys or firemen.

I was going to scrap the idea, but then I thought... what are some three realistic twists on each of the three dream jobs? Here is what I came up with:

Unrealistic Job 1: Rock star

Realistic Alternatives:

  • Record store clerk - Not only do you get sneak peeks at what's going to be hot in the music industry, but you'll deal with co-workers and many customers who share your passion for music.
  • Guitar / vocal teacher - OK, so maybe you aren't a rock star, but you might be responsible for getting the next generation on stage.
  • Composer for video games - This is an industry many musicians don't think about, but actually if you are computer savvy as well as musically gifted, it's a way to become a virtual rock star.

Unrealistic Job 2: Travel the world

Realistic Alternatives:

  • Travel blogger - Many bloggers do go on all-expenses-paid 'press junkets', but it's more realistic to assume you'd be writing about great little out-of-the-way places near home. Still, it's likely you'd get to visit, say, a local winery or dude ranch and nearby B&B's - not a bad gig.
  • Travel agent - Travel agents need to be extremely well-organized and able to deal with people's schedules with aplomb. Agents sometimes travel and of course, discounts are an employee perk.
  • Tour guide - You'd get to spend time with a variety of people, showing them around some of the most cool, fun and exotic places across the globe.

Unrealistic Job 3: Soldier of fortune

Realistic Alternatives:

  • Law enforcement officer - There are many avenues to explore here, from being a police officer to repossessing cars to animal control. All of them put you in a position of authority.
  • Gun shop clerk - This is a good one for people who are more interested in the means than the ends. You will not only learn about all kinds of existing weapons, but the cutting edge ones to come and also the laws that apply.
  • Writer of military / adventure fiction - There's a whole subgenre of fiction geared toward male readers; everything from paperbacks about sci-fi soldiers of fortune to more realistic tales set in Iraq. Doing to the research is the next best thing to being there.

It never hurts to dream big, but remember: it takes small steps to get there.

Next:So You Want to Be a Rock Star? >>

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