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What is your dream job?

I remember a conversation I had with my dad (when I was a kid) about working.

He asked me who I thought was “happier” – the CEO of a large company or the janitor at that company?

I, predictably, said the CEO. He was in charge, was more powerful, and made waaaaaay more money.

My dad said the janitor had a clear cut job, was in control of his work, and didn’t have to stress about it once he was done. He may not have made more money but he wasn’t getting calls over the weekend about handling a crisis. The point of the conversation wasn’t who was happier but that you need to think a little more about a question before answering. Surface level is often not the whole story.

For some, becoming a CEO might be a dream job only because you don’t know all that comes with it. It’s like social media – you see all of the good and none of the bad. With a CEO, there’s a tremendous amount of responsibility and stress because a lot of people depend on you. One misstep and you could cost many people their jobs. You may be well compensated but that all depends on how well you handle that stress. 🙂

The Dream Job That Wasn’t [The New Republic] – “The concept of the dream job still persists, likely because so many of us are working in what the late David Graeber called “bullshit jobs,” or are simply not employed at all. Finding your dream job is a seductive idea: the do-gooder, Protestant version of the FIRE movement—rather than trying to escape work, why not try loving it instead? It’s a relatable impulse, but I imagine most dream jobs are more like running a lighthouse bed-and-breakfast for 40 paying guests than a paid vacation.” (did you know that cookbook recipe tester was even a job???)

Advice for Giving Advice [The Irrelevant Investor] – “I’m doubling down on my own advice. Lessons cannot be taught in the stock market. They can only be learned through experience.”

Lock It In [The Belle Curve] – “When I read about investors making millions on Tesla in the Wall Street Journal, I get nervous. I am also insanely happy for their good fortune. There is no greater luck than winning the lottery. It is not supposed to be this easy to make money in the stock market. Preserve and grow capital yes, but outright make a fortune? No. Money made this easily can be lost in the blink of an eye.” When a football team has won the game, they kneel on the ball to run out the clock. They don’t try to get more points. The game has been won and risking the win to pad the score is foolishness no matter what the game.

The Magical Art of Selling Soap [Laphram’s Quarterly] – “But American advertising—and cosmetic advertising in particular—traces its origins to the decidedly less-than-rational hodgepodge of science, magic, and faith that formed the culture of medicine and “wellness” in the late nineteenth century. The first efforts at national advertising were launched by patent-medicine manufacturers, whose elixirs, pills, drops, and ointments promised customers miraculous physical and mental transformations. For all of its purported down-to-earth rationality, the advertising industry had deep roots in magical thinking. This was a past it would never completely leave behind: that was, in fact, integral to its cultural success.”