Whether your dream job is having a cushy corner office and an unlimited expense account or traveling around the world on someone else’s dime to review luxury hotels, one thing is certain: The dream is different for everyone.
According to a recent study from MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, however, Americans do have something in common when it comes to envisioning our ideal careers: We aren’t suffering from a lack of imagination.
The study conducted by the Christian college asked 2,000 people about their dream gig and found that 25 percent of Americans said they are working in the field they want and have an above-average salary. Of this group, 41 percent aspire to be business owners. But that aspiration comes with a caveat: If being an entrepreneur requires a workweek of more than 60 hours, then you can forget it.
It’s also clear that the corporate life isn’t as appealing as it used to be. Only 12 percent of those surveyed said they want a C-suite title, while 23 percent want a mid-level management role and 18 percent dream of having an associate position within a company. The demographics of the participants weren’t clear.
As far as the ideal income goes, the women didn’t aim nearly as high as the men. The average dream salary for men is $444,958, while it’s only $278,637 for women. That’s a difference of $166,321—a huge but sadly unsurprising gap.
So what does the perfect position look like? It seems many folks have their eyes set on working on the West Coast, with a 38-hour workweek, a one-hour lunch and the opportunity to take 52 days off per year. It doesn’t get dreamier than that. The option to work remotely 11 months out of the year was also among the most favored details.
Sheesh. Considering that being an entrepreneur—an endeavor known to require grueling hours and long workweeks—ranks as the most sought-after dream job, perhaps this roundup should be renamed Fantasy Jobs?
Then again, you know what they say: “The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.”