What is your dream job? College career counselors see trends change
Working with insurance claims wasn't exactly Brad Leeser's idea of a dream job when he was 12 years old. But at 49, the Moorhead man can think of no other job he'd rather do. In the accompanying photos, five people from The Forum's Real People Ba...
Working with insurance claims wasn't exactly Brad Leeser's idea of a dream job when he was 12 years old.
But at 49, the Moorhead man can think of no other job he'd rather do.
In the accompanying photos, five people from The Forum's Real People Bank - ranging from those new to the work force to those who are retired - describe their dream jobs and why it's their dream.
Lindsey Scholar of Moorhead helps people with disabilities so she can get experience to eventually specialize her focus.
Shery Dobler of Moorhead works at US Bank in customer service. Though she doesn't expect to achieve her dream job of working in a library, she hopes to be a volunteer someday.
Ray Lottie of Rollag, Minn., is retired after 32 years in management for General Mills.
He advises workers to find a career that is interesting and challenging, rather than focusing on the financial return.
"I think that's a natural consequence of doing the job well," Lottie said.
Students today typically have a good idea of what their dream jobs are, college career counselors say.
It's the process of getting there that brings about the question marks, said North Dakota State University Career Center Director Jill Wilkey.
"The whole concept of paying one's dues has evaporated," Wilkey said of today's expectations for quick results.
"I think students are pretty savvy about what's out there, but I don't think that they realize that there's a process to get there."
A dramatic change in the past 10 years is how much more involved parents have become in their college students' decision-making process, Wilkey said.
Technology is also a part of the job search more than ever before. The online job market can be overwhelming for students, who tend to want Career Center staff to filter information, Wilkey said.
She's also noticed that students are often as concerned about having a career that balances with family and leisure time as they are about salary.
Concordia College Career Center Director Jay Thoreson has seen the same trend.
"Generally, people are wanting to make sure that they have enough time to pursue their goals in life beyond just their goals in their career," he said.
Fifty years ago, the average tenure in a job was 231/2 years, according to "Monster Careers: How to Land the Job of Your Life," by Jeff Taylor.
By 1996, that number dropped to 31/2 years.
People now entering the workplace at age 20 are likely to have eight jobs by the time they're 32 - and as many as 20 jobs in their career.
"Monster Careers" attributes the coming and going of employees to "the remaking, restructuring, resizing and consolidation of companies."
Minnesota State University Moorhead Career Services Director Cliff Schuette said the world has changed from an industrial economy to an information economy.
Jobs that are the "hot trend" right now may not have the same opportunities by the time a student graduates, he said.
"We try to get students to focus more on themselves: 'What are my strengths, what are my abilities or particular skills and experiences that will make me a valuable employee?' " Schuette said.
Technical, energy, health care and education jobs are among the main areas needing workers, especially as baby boomers start to retire, said Dan Marrs of the North Dakota Career Resource Network.
"We really (emphasize) on students: Be sure what you go into is something that you enjoy. Time after time, people had good paying jobs, but it just didn't fit them," he said.
Rod Lammer of LaMoure, N.D., works for the railroad and knows his idea of a perfect workplace.
"A satisfying task that, when accomplished, can be a source of pride and accomplishment," he said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter
Teri Finneman at (701) 241-5560