As children, we daydream all sorts of possible careers for ourselves: superhero, astronaut, president of the whole world, queen, and more. As we grow up, though, we eventually discard these possible careers one by one as life gets in the way and we’re told to “get a real job.” But for the list of careers below, they are real jobs, and come right out of a child’s biggest fantasies.
1. Professional Athlete
The market is extremely small for those who want to get paid for athletics, particularly if you choose popular sports like football, baseball, basketball or hockey (or soccer or cricket in other parts of the world). However, despite it being hard, it’s not impossible, and millions of people around the world get a paycheck for their sports skills. Being an athlete has a super short shelf life, though, which is why so many of them still stay in the general area after they retire and take up jobs like coaching, commentating, recruiting/scouting, general management, or therapists.
Who wouldn’t love to get paid to fly every day? It’s a job that just about every kid dreams of, but only a small handful of them go on to make it a reality. There are a lot of (expensive!) years of school involved, low wages when you first start out, more years to wait until you climb the ladder into comfortable pay, and conditions that constantly leave you tired and stressed. But on the flip side, you get paid to lift a gigantic steel tube in the air, and that’s a skill that not many people in this world have. Plus, you’re constantly in different countries every year — far more than the average person can travel to.
It sounds so romantic: you sit down at your desk, pen a few pages, inevitably turn it into a book, and then see your cover in every store window. Well, it doesn’t quite work out that way, but being a writer is both easier and less glamorous than your childhood fantasies. For starters, writing in 2014 comes in all different shapes and sizes, and technology has shrunk the borders enough that you can write for anyone in the world. Secondly, all you need is a laptop, which you can take with you anywhere: the North Pole, a beach in Mexico, on a wifi-less airplane, or the local Starbucks. Lastly, you’re not stuck with regular office hours, so you can catch that matinee at the cinema if you want.
Whether you dreamed of being a nurse, doctor or paramedic, there was something inherently cool about putting on the uniform and saving lives. It was a childhood fantasy that was almost godlike in the powers you’d have. Somebody could be on the edge of death but when you’d come along and fix them, they’d sit up, smile, and devote the rest of their working lives in saying thanks to you. And just like being a pilot, it takes a lot of money and years of school, but the reward is totally worth it: you will save people’s lives, and they will make you feel like you have super powers.
It’s already firmly established that to be a paid singer, you don’t actually need the best voice in the world. But what you do need is incredible drive and ambition, the ability to market yourself as an appealing package, a certain amount of charisma, and the willingness to set your ego aside. Besides, as we’ve seen with movies like The Wedding Singer and Love, Actually, being a singer comes in more than one form. You may not grow to the level of The Beatles, but you can definitely pull a paycheck out of it.