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Are High Paying Jobs ACTUALLY Dream Jobs?

For the longest time I thought a dream job is the highest paying job. And coming from a middle class family, that's what you generally aspire to have more money in your life.  And that's perfectly valid.

As I have grown through my career and I have seen other people's careers unfold, I have realized that a dream job has more to it than just money.

In this episode, I want to break down for you the highest paying job categories that I have seen in my career and broadly are present in society today. And whether those fit the criteria of actually being a dream job.

So, the first category on my list of high paying jobs are ones that require technical training.

 This could be anything from

  • medicine,

  • engineering,

  • law,

  • accounting,

I'm talking about the traditional technical skills, and most of these jobs actually pay quite well.

The second category is sales and marketing.

 If you are someone who's generating revenue for your company, you are very likely going to be quite well compensated for it. You very likely earn a high salary, but also on top of that, earn a commission on every sale that you make possible every dollar of revenue that comes into the business because of you.

The third category of high paying jobs are within the transportation sector,

So, think about Navy, air crew. All of those jobs typically are quite handsomely paid.

The fourth category are the creative jobs,

which are more to do with creativity, so think media and publishing and fashion and gaming and all those sorts of industries.

Of course, there's a fifth category, which is you bringing your creativity online

and you sharing that and you earning an income on the back of that.

However, for the purposes of this video, I'm only going to consider the salaried jobs as opposed to the new age jobs like becoming a YouTuber which actually in my books, is more on the side of being a solopreneur or an entrepreneur. In this blog, I'm specifically going to talk about salaried employees.


Amongst these four categories of jobs that I have listed here, let's discuss how all of these jobs pay.

If you have a technical degree, if you are good at sales and marketing, if you are in the transportation and logistics sector, and within media and publishing and allied creative industries, you are very likely compensated really well.

 Money, yes, is a huge part of it, but within the higher paying jobs, what are the dream jobs? Is money the only criteria for deciding the dream job?


When we want to talk about a dream job, the second thing that comes to mind after money, and in fact this is what a lot of my students have told me, is that they value, flexibility, freedom to do what they want to do when they want to do it.

We live in a world post pandemic world where not only business owners, but also corporate employees are actually enjoying the flexibility.  Most of the technical jobs out there are quite flexible. If you are a computer scientist, if you are a data scientist, if you are a lawyer, basically  if you are a skilled employee, trading your skill in return for money, you are very likely going to have a flexible schedule.

 So, in general, technical skills will give you quite a lot of control over your time. Of course, that depends on the industry that you are in. For example, healthcare, as an industry will be less flexible just because of the nature of the industry. If I think about sales and marketing, on the other hand, it's quite a flexible category, especially marketing is quite flexible these days with all of the automation tools available. When I think about sales, yes, you have to be available for the sales calls with your clients, but in general, you have quite a lot of say about how you go about prioritizing your calendar.

The third category in logistics is a lot less flexible because you get into working in shifts. You fly the mornings for a certain period of time, and then you have to fly evenings for another certain period of time so you have less control over your time. However, if you are someone who works quite well seasonally, that could actually be the right amount of flexibility for you.

 The fourth category of the creatives, I would say that they have quite a lot of control over their times. If they're working in media publishing or fashion, however, they still have to work towards deadlines of

 when that newspaper has to go out, when that magazine has to go out, when that event has to be launched, and so on. So yes, I think the creative industry is also quite flexible, but in my mind it goes in peaks, and troughs. This is my assumption of the creative industry being quite closely working with it in the last few years.


The next thing that I think most of us want in our dream jobs is respect. Working with great people, a company that has a great culture, and of course this is very much dependent on which company you work for, what team in that company you work for. Which is why even though you are in a high paying career doesn't necessarily mean that you have a great culture around you.

I have been in some companies that had a great culture as well as some companies that have had an extremely toxic culture. In reality, the toxic culture is rarely that of the company. It's about the team or the certain group of people that you are working with. And you don't end being a good fit for that culture. Primarily because of what was going on in that team at that specific point in time whereby you became a misfit for that culture. It's really difficult to pinpoint whether the culture or the people are great in any particular line of work. It really depends on the company, on the team, and in that specific point in time, and if the leadership of that company is really invested in a healthy workplace.

 You have to find your own cultural fit. A culture that fits me might not fit you. A culture that fits your friend might not fit you. You are your own individual, which is why you need to find your own culture.


The next thing that all of us look for in a dream job is that state of flow and creativity. And when I say flow or creativity, I refer to the flow state as outlined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who is one of the most well regarded authors in this space.

What Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would say is that when your challenge and your skill is balancing out each other and feeding off each other, you are in a state of flow. Sometimes you can feel less challenged because you are quite skilled at that, and then you'll be bored. Sometimes you can be extremely challenged because your skill is low in that, in which case you might find yourself in a state of panic.

 But what we really want to do is find that state of flow where your skill and challenge are feeding off each other to build the challenge, to build the skill. And you get into this amazing amount of creative thinking, a creative prowess, which gets the best out of you at work. This is what most of us want, and if I'm honest, in most industries, this is possible.

 Definitely the technical industries because your skills and knowledge and creativity is derived from that flow state.

Then there's sales and marketing, and I would say that the better you get at selling in marketing and the higher the challenge is, you still get into that flow state, which is beautiful.

 In the transportation industry. I feel a lot of it is driven by standard operating procedures because you have life at your hands and when you have life in your hands, it's really difficult to be creative because you have to follow a certain set of guidelines and regulations to make sure that you are doing your job well and you are protecting the interests of the customers that you have, the people's lives that you have at hand, your own life that you have at hand.  Because they're not land jobs, there are protocols that you need to follow for your own safety as well, which is why I think getting into a flow state could be quite difficult.

In the creative industries, I would imagine that the flow state is easier to find because your creativity thrives of that. However, I do understand that sometimes there are so many deadlines and work timelines that you might struggle to find that state of flow.

However, if time is another constraint that you put in your challenge bucket, how do you fare in getting to a state of flow?


Finally, I think all of us want our dream jobs to have some potential for progression, potential to earn more money, potential to get to the higher title. And I think all of these industries that I have mentioned here, all of these job categories that I've mentioned here, have inherent progression potential built into them.

 However, some have it more than others, and when I say some have more than others, I mean, the technical folks, unless they learn to talk business language, typically won't become the CEO of a company or even the COO of a company. The sales and marketing folks probably have quite a good chance of getting through to senior leadership positions because they understand business and they are revenue generating , and they are already skilled at communication, so, they probably have quite a good chance of getting to the progression path quite fast.

In the transportation industry, you probably have quite a regimented structure of how soon you'll hit that next level, therefore, the progression part is quite well defined in my opinion.

In creative industries again, I think as long as you understand business, as long as you can be a bit technically savvy, you can get to a good progression path quite quickly.

If you have read closely, I mentioned a couple of things that make you more money that's related to your progression path, whether that be through a new job or a promotion. Those two specific criteria are:

  • communication, and

  • understanding business.

Sales and marketing folks have really advanced communication skills. This is the reason why I say that the sales and marketing folks, who are already really good at communication, have a great advantage in progressing their careers first.

And the second one is understanding business. I have been quite a technical person long enough in my career, to know that only technical skills will take you only up to a certain level. After that, you need the business skills, unless of course you are an academic, in which case the rule book is completely different.

 I am no one to advise you on that rule book, but if you are in the corporate setting and doing a technical job, you ultimately need to understand the business to be able to get forward in your career.

And, if you are someone who's having second thoughts about whether you are really positioned for success within your career I leave a link below.

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