During my 10 weeks leave of absence, I had several good sessions with my psychiatrist and one of the most helpful exercises I did was to figure out what I would like to do instead of what I was doing in my current job. If you don’t like your job/career, this is can help you figure out the next step. You can put down any dream job, but you would also need to figure out how to get there. I can say I want to be an astronaut, but it’s probably too late to get started on NASA’s astronaut training program.
Here is the list of what I came up with. Keep in mind that I’m planning to be a full time stay at home dad for a few years until baby RB40 goes off to school. After that, anything goes.
Food truck/cart - Portland has a vibrant food cart scene and I think I can add to this. My food cart would specialize in Northern Thai street food. I grew up in Chiang Mai and northern Thai food holds a special place in my heart (just typing this is making me salivate.) My aunts have been operating a food stall in a Chiang Mai market since before I was born and I just need to get some recipes from them. The main items on my menu would be Chiang Mai sausage, sticky rice, and Nam Prik Noom (spicy dipping salsa) for $6. A food cart costs anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or you can even rent one for $1,600/month. Renting might be a good idea to can see if my concept will work in Portland.
Teach Yoga, Tai chi, meditation - I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years now and sometimes I think it was the only thing that kept me sane at work. I’m good friends with my yoga teacher and she occasionally runs a teacher training program. It costs around $1,000 to go through this program and then I can start teaching yoga! I don’t know much about Tai Chi, but it’s something I can get into. I think helping others relax would be a great way to spend my time.
B&B or hostel in a nice tropical location - I would love to own and operate a B&B or hostel like the Backpackers Miyajima. We stayed there when we went to visit Japan in ’09 and it’s a neat little backpacker hostel. It would be a lot of fun to meet and talk to tourists. However, this would take a lot of investment which I’m not willing to do at this time. Mrs. RB40 also doesn’t want to move because she plans to continue working at her job for now. This might have to be put off for 16 years or so. Maybe I can get a part time job at a local B&B or hostel to see what it’s really like.
Foreign Service - I would love to join the US Foreign Service and see the world on uncle Sam’s dime. It would be great to have 2+ years to explore each foreign countries. Our usual 2 weeks trip isn’t enough to really get to know the place. Mrs. RB40 also likes this idea. In fact we took the Foreign Service exam about 7 years ago, but we both failed. The first step toward passing the test is to get up to speed on world events. Subscribe to the economist and read judiciously.
Okonomiyaki restaurant near Portland State University - I’m 99% sure this would be a great success in Portland. There are a bunch of Japanese exchange students at PSU and I’m sure other students would love it also. The ideal okonomiyaki joint would be festive and sell a lot of beer. This restaurant would require a lot of investment and a lengthy liquor license application process, though. Each table would need a teppanyaki cook top (you cook your own) and I’m not sure if that would be a good fit for the law suit happy clutzs here in the USA. It probably needs at least $50,000 to get going. That’s a lot of $10 okonomiyaki to sell…
As you can see, my ideas tend toward leisure activities. I’ll keep working on the ideas over the next 3 years and see where they take us. Of course, I will continue to work on this site and explore other online opportunities as well. If you don’t like your job, I would highly recommend doing this thought exercise. It will show you that you have other options and may help you quit your job like I did.
Have you thought about your dream job or even possible job? Share some of them with us.
photo credit: chiangmai sausage – missbossy
photo credit: okonomiyaki – I took that picture. yum!