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How does it feel like to have a job you love?
I work at a museum designing exhibits, developing educational programming, doing research on artifacts and ongoing exhibit maintenance. The job is constantly changing and I have unlimited freedom.
Science writer at a major research university. I help scientists and engineers explain what they’re working on to journalists, colleagues in other fields, and the general public. Some of my favorite stories over the years include:
Studying photosymbiotic clams (which grow algae inside their bodies like a greenhouse) to make better bioreactors.
Training dogs to identify malignant tumors by smell so we can narrow down which olfactory receptors to graft onto carbon nanotubes and make diagnostic devices for ovarian cancer
Building swarms of flying robots that can automatically map a 3D-space, or count the number of oranges in an orchard.
Developing computer algorithms that recognize seemingly insignificant grammatical differences between authors and using them to investigate which authors Shakespeare may have collaborated with on certain plays.
There are some extremely boring technical stories in there too, but there is always something new to learn about.
I work in Information Security. I do in-house ethical hacking and pen testing. It is basically my dream job.
I used to work for a small clothing store at a resort hotel in Waikiki. I worked many retail jobs in my time in Hawaii and had to deal with about as many rude customers as you would anywhere else, but something about this place put all the customers in a good mood (maybe the fact we were on the beach) and I almost never had to deal with rude people. It was a fairly slow gig too, which gave my coworkers and I a lot of downtime for BSing, which we did plenty of. It was the only retail job I ever had where I never felt stressed out.
On a lot of days, we would open the doors to let the tropical breeze in. The standard outfit was shorts, T-shirt and flip-flops. Us guys who worked there loved to flirt with the girls in a little jewelry kiosk next to us and we would get hit on regularly by bored teen girls and their drunk, middle-aged mothers looking for a tropical island fling. We used to actually fight for who got to take out the trash because the dumpster was on the beach. We would always time trash takeout for sunset and even the manager didn’t get angry when it mysteriously took us ten minutes to go to the dumpster and back. At the time I was living in a studio apartment in Waikiki just a couple blocks away and it was a ten-minute walk to work for me.
If that job had paid a living wage I’d probably still be there, but I couldn’t afford to live off my salary there, so I had to quit, move back to the mainland and go to grad school so I could get a career job. I’m a college professor now, making a decent living in a respectable career, but sometimes I wish I was still selling T-shirts on the beach in Waikiki.
I’m an auto parts delivery driver for a Honda dealership. It’s a pretty sweet gig. The pay isn’t anything spectacular ($11/hr) but I can spend as much time away from the dealership as I want, there’s no real pressure or schedule I just jump in my van and drive.
I’m a farmer, I grew up on a farm, went to college for agronomy (crop science) and currently am working back home with my dad and brother on the farm.
I’ve been involved with the farm my whole life basically and I enjoy setting my own hours, being outside most of the time and driving tractors of course.
I work in forestry. I get paid to hike around all day and improve the forests I manage. My coworkers are all wonderful people. My boss is a bastard, but it doesn’t even bother me because I love my job so much (it also helps that I work in the field mostly, so I only see my boss for ~5 min a day).
Wildland Firefighter in Southern California. I get to see places some people never will and I get paid to do it. My crew is the closest group of friends that I have and I can look back on each day with a sense of pride. It keeps me in great shape and my 4-6 month off-season allows me to travel or do absolutely nothing. It’s a good life.
I work at Kennedy Space Center as a mechanical engineer. I service lots of payloads that get shot into space. It is pretty dope.
I’m a crisis manager at a domestic violence shelter. I love my job. It doesn’t pay great, but my agency is awesome, I love my coworkers and bosses to death, and I love seeing victims leave our shelter and go on to better things. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s great when it does!
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To sum up: What do people that love their jobs have in common
You may have noticed almost every single one of these people listed freedom and independence. If you are missing these things at work, you should be ready to talk about it. These things are something so many people crave in their jobs, but afraid to say it. Don’t endure being unhappy at work, you can make things work for you. If not at your current work, there is so many opportunities out there. Unfortunately, not all of us get to be in nature or at the beach during work hours. However, happiness starts with appreciation.