Mine actually fell in my lap. True Story. I got a call from a friend one morning that his job needed some last minute help, so I chipped in … to park cars.
Yep, I see you saying, “Parking cars?! How is that a dream job?” Bear with me a moment.
This was a family-owned canoe livery, where we rented river equipment to hundreds of people on the weekends, late May to mid September. That first summer, I would park cars from 9AM-3PM, then I would spend several hours learning the ins and outs of the business. By the next summer, I had been moved into the “office.”
I definitely use the term “office” loosely. It was an old, historic building, no air conditioning. We often worked 12 hour days jam-packed days, where someone would grab a tomato from the garden, slap together a sandwich for you, and you would grab bites in between customers. It was hot, sweaty work, dealing with every personality type under the sun … and I wouldn’t trade a minute of the 15 seasons I worked there.
You see, customers became friends. They came back year after year and wanted to catch up with you. I’ve heard that years later there are still people who ask for me by name. Most importantly, the folks who owned the business took me and the other employees as FAMILY. Saturdays were home-cooked dinners, and the fridge was always stocked for us. Many of us were given places to stay and sleep if we wanted. In short, it became my home-away-from-home. I was valued for my work, and I was loved for who I was.
My last summer there was over a decade ago, and it took a long time to find another job that made my heart that happy. I never let the exhaustion, the difficult customers, or whole weekends lost to bad weather drag me down. I was excited to go to work every single day and so deeply saddened when we had to close at the end of a season.
Now, I’m not saying your dream job is to work at a canoe livery. What I am saying is this: find a place that ignites your passion. Where the owners become your family. One where you actually miss it when you are on vacation. And above all, find a job where people appreciate your personality and talents and pour into you, leaving you a better person that when you first walked through those doors … or in my case, the field parking lot.
For more on my crazy, fun-filled passion journey, follow me here.