The Truly Best Jobs In The World

Horseback riding in OahuMoney, sex, power, love, faith and family. What more do you need to live a happy life? I’ve read a number of very uninspiring “Best Jobs” articles by career think tanks and I’ve decided to write my own. I really don’t know what some of these publications are thinking. It’s as if the best jobs on their list are all their top advertisement clients or something.

Actuary, audiologist, and dental hygienist are considered three of the best jobs according to a company called Career Path. Who? No wonder why the majority of people hate their jobs if these are considered the best of the best. Even suicide rates for those in their 40s and 50s are up a startling 28% in the past decade according to the government, probably thanks to miserable jobs.

Life is too short to do bullshit jobs for bullshit money. Your’re not going to look back on your life and think how awesome you were for selling millions of gadgets. You won’t care that you litigated the hell out of your competitors. Nor will it matter whether you made your clients big bucks. The truly best jobs in the world are those you would gladly do for free because you are producing something meaningful to society.

THE BEST JOBS IN THE WORLD

If you want the best jobs, you’ve got to be an outsanding candidate. If everybody could snag one of these jobs on my list, then the jobs would be average by definition.

* Medical Doctor – Despite the incredible amount of education one needs to become an MD and the falling insurance reimbursement rates, there’s nothing more rewarding that making someone feel better. Once we lose our health, we have nothing. Hence, those who are able to provide our health, mitigate, pain, or allow us to survive must unequivocally have the best job in the world. Most doctors remain practicing doctors for the rest of their lives. Hours become very tolerable once you own your practice. Starting salaries for cardiologists are in the $300,000 range.

* Congressperson – You’ve got power and you’ve got a healthy six figure salary with incredible perks. Furthermore, the laws you make for others, such as the Sequestration has no affect on you. What can be more exhilarating then telling people to do something you aren’t willing to do? Or what about punishing people who do what you do, like insider trading while you are on the committee that enacts legislation to determine the fate of a company? While you are in Congress, you will see your net worth grow multiple times faster than the average American. When you retire from Congress, you can get a pension and incredible positions in the private sector.

* Sports Model – You’re fit, good looking, rich, and can’t stop getting people to adore you. Big wave surfer Laird Hamilton makes millions a year through endorsements and modeling shoots. He gets to make money going to places like Tahiti and the North Shore of Oahu to ride waves. While he’s surfing he’s getting a tan and burning calories to maintain his physique. Meanwhile, he gives back to various charities such as the Maui Autism foundation. I don’t think elite athletes and sports models ever feel like they are working for a living.

* Online Publisher – For creative types who like to write, take photographs, be their own boss, and interact with people from all around the world, there’s no better job than blogging. A pro blogger is not tied down to one location. Wherever there is an internet connection there’s an office. You see immediate results from your hard work through the feedback from your community. You can help others through your expertise on various subjects without asking for anything in return. Some might see pro blogging as a thankless job, but I see blogging as the greatest communication outlet around. There’s nothing more professionally gratifying than building something from nothing and watching it grow. You can even make a healthy six figure income online if you get big enough.

* Travel Personality - Imagine getting paid to travel to incredible locations all the while staying at wonderful hotels and eating the most sumptuous of foods. Rick Steves has achieved great success through his Rick Steves’ Europe and Travel With Rick Steves series. Wherever Rick goes, you know that every single restaurant and hotel will roll out the red carpet in hopes of getting a positive review. Any relatives and friends of Rick’s will also receive such treatment. By producing the best travel guides around, Rick helps millions of travel fans a year, and ensures his work will continue helping others long after he’s gone.

HONORABLE MENTION BEST JOBS

* A Teacher Married To A Rich Spouse – Being a teacher is probably one of the most underpaid, under-appreciated jobs around. Yes, it’s great teachers get two to three months off a year, but their salaries bake in such time off. But if you can teach kids to grow up to be outstanding citizens while not having to worry about your own financial stability, then I dare say being a teacher married to a wealthy spouse must be highly rewarding. A tenured professor is right up on the list as well.

* Board Member – Once you become somebody of significance, you can become a professional board member. You go to quarterly and annual board meetings to provide input to your fellow board members, presidents, CEOs, and chairmen who are all high powered in their own right. As a board member, you often get compensated in stock and income. Al Gore has been on the board of Apple since the early 2000s and presided over a stock that has gone from $8 to over $400 during his tenure, making him close to $100 million in the process.

* Rock Star Judge - Not only do you have musical talents, you also get to go on TV and show your lovely personality to legions of existing and new fans. Imagine making millions from your album sales, then leveraging The Voice to promote your new album, and making millions from being a judge on The Voice as well? There’s no way the best musicians in the world won’t want to work with you, thereby increasing your chances of producing another mega platinum hit.

* Money Manager – Being a mutual fund or hedge fund manager can potentially make you a lot of money if you have enough assets under management. If you are big enough, you get to meet with the CEOs of some of the most dynamic companies around the world. You utilize your analytical skills and get to experience in absolute clarity how your effort pays off through the performance of your holdings. There is something new to learn every day. If you like intellectual stimulation, very few professions provide more.

* Athlete - The greatest athletes are those who would gladly do their jobs for free. Not only can you get paid for your skills on the field, you can also earn endorsement money. Careers don’t last long, nor is every sport lucrative, but the correlation with joy and job is among the highest around.

WHY WORK A CRAP JOB WHEN YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE?

Are you a glutton for punishment? The most perplexing thing I’ve come across when writing my book on how to profitably quit your job is meeting so many people who are miserable with their jobs and not doing anything about it! I can understand if we lived in times of dictatorship and slavery why changing jobs is a no, no. But we live in a time where the world has never been freer with stable governments and the internet.

Perhaps the fear of change is most arresting. Or maybe people don’t want to seek happiness because they underestimate their abilities. If you have no idea how to proceed in speaking to your managers and HR colleagues about wanting change, then you will probably never change.

The one thing I can unequivocally tell everybody who is considering changing jobs is that we need much less than we think to be happy. I no longer have a multiple six figure job, but life is better than ever before because my stress level is down and I get to do what I like. Furthermore, the government safety net is as large as it’s ever been.

For those who want the best jobs in the world, you’ve got to put in your dues. Everybody has their own idea of what “the best job” is. I’ve presented mine. What are yours?

Photo: Gunstock Ranch, North Shore, Oahu, 2013. Doesnt pay much as a guide, but she absolutely loves her job!

Regards,

Sam

 

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. says

    I like that you’ve got teacher with a rich spouse on here. My plan is to become FI and then become a teacher. Then I get the benefits of both worlds.

  2. says

    Really interesting list Sam. I would say that of the ones listed my favorites would be travel personality and online publisher. The teacher with the rich spouse sounds great as well. To be honest the best job it the one you really enjoy doing and would do even if you didn’t have to work. Of course making a lot of money while doing it would be a bonus.

  3. says

    Nice assessment of actual dream jobs. I like what you say about congressman, although I still don’t think I would want to ever enter that profession. Professional blogger is on the top of my list knowing that I am not in good enough shape or have the looks to do many of the other occupations you mention.

  4. Winston says

    Teachers only get about 2 months off in the summer, since classes now run into early June and in-service starts in early August. College instructors get a little bit more time off since they’re typically done in mid-May… unless they’re teaching summer classes to make ends meet. Of course, during the school year most teachers (all levels) are working 12+ hour days (between teaching, grading, and class prep.), so getting that time off in the summer is really just payback for previously unpaid overtime.

    The best of all worlds in regards to teaching? Tenured college professor. Nice salary, flexible teaching schedule, work on your own projects.

    I’m in a family of teachers at multiple levels, so I speak with some close secondhand experience.

  5. says

    Might be a bit late for me to become a sports star or a doctor, but congress would be cool. Although everyone hates congress people. I could probably deal with that if I was rollin’ in Gs and could do whatever I wanted.

  6. Matt says

    Don’t forget a Congressperson gets to convert their “capmpaign fund” into personal cash when they retire. Why don’t people demand refunds?

    I love that you include Rick! That guy has turned a love of travel into a profitable business–brilliant! I do follow his travel advice, and love the small details he includes. And in the end, you don’t need to follow his advice–find your own places. And I sincerely believe that is what he wants for everyone: self-reliant, interactive world travel.

  7. overthewall says

    The realization that many if not most people hate their jobs but yet fail to
    do anything about it really is quite sad.

    Your realization that most need much less than they think they need to be happy really
    hits home. Its just to bad it takes people so long to realize this, and of course many never do……..

  8. says

    I have actually thought about going into engineering for a steady job while I worked on a few of my side hustles. I can’t see myself being a doctor (weak stomach and I don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s health) and most of the other “best jobs” don’t seem like a great fit for someone who is 90% introverted. But I do see how one could see those as being good professions.

  9. Mike Hunt says

    What about a condom tester?

    I used to run a factory that made condoms, seriously, and this was a real job.

    -Mike

  10. says

    I completely agree about those typical “best jobs” lists. Can’t say I’ve known many dental hygienists that would say they have the best job in the world!

    I think the easy answer is that the best job to someone is the one that makes them happiest doing. Making $400k/yr and being miserable as a lawyer isn’t as good as making $50k as a writer or teacher and loving every minute of it.

  11. says

    I think that the best jobs are those that align with someone’s passion. Lots of academics love their jobs because they get to spend their whole life working on research that they are passionate about.

    If you lack a real career passion I think the “best” job is one in a field that you are at least moderately interested in, that compensates you appropriately vs your education and experience, and where the environment isn’t toxic.

  12. says

    Interesting list. No joke on the Actuaries, have you ever met one? I’ve worked with a few and they seemed like the most depressed people I have ever worked with. In terms of the amount of work actually done I would have to go with Board Member…talk about perks with a little amount of actual “work” being done.

  13. says

    My wife is a doctor, so we have part of the equation down. I am working on the other pieces and teaching could be in my future. I already teach guitar lessons, so I’m part way there :) .

    I think I have adult ADHD, so my dream job would be doing something new and different all the time.

      • Anono says

        That won’t necessarily be true in the future. Concerns about health care reform-related reimbursement cuts are causing independent physician practices to sell out to hospitals and corporations. Those entities have an expectation of making money off of the employed physicians no matter how low reimbursements go, so the employed physicians can expect to be worked hard and underpaid. An older physician who has higher salary or benefits cost or who brings in less revenue might be let go. Also, there are regulatory changes (e.g. independent practice rights for mid-level practitioners) and automation technologies being developed that threaten to hurt physician job security and lower income prospects in some specialties. The fields most immune from these changes (e.g. dermatology) are difficult to obtain to the point that no one entering medical school can be assured of a training spot. All in all, I think it’s a bad time for a person in their early 20’s to consider entering medicine. The training is too expensive and takes too long for what the expected payoff and job security will be in the future.

  14. says

    The best jobs for you are a personal decision! At 22 years old, I would hate being a teacher. At 66 years old, I love it. It helps I already made my fortune and I like what I am doing. The best jobs are the ones you like and have the skills to perform. If you are good at it, you will make a good living. Some people would think that cleaning out toilets is a bad job until they realize they can earn a lot of money doing it.

      • says

        Many of my past and present jobs were best for me! I enjoyed owning income property, probably because I was good at it. Teaching is fun, but I like to teach older students. I probably would enjoy teaching in college, but I am too old to start now. I have no regrets! There is probably another career or two left in me. We’ll see.

  15. Shaun says

    On the discovery channel they used to run this show about certain kinds of sharks that go into a trance state if you pet them just right and they’ll let you flip them over and go completely limp.

    As I was watching this I remember thinking who was the first person to discover this and how do you get a job as a shark petter? I def didn’t see a class for that in college its prob not a skill I want to try and learn as you go.

  16. says

    Noble thoughts Sam but flawed! Most medics are disease managers, every ailment in their book has a drug “cure” that will shorten your life expentancy. Really good doctors are hard to find and I’m losing hope. Board member – overpaid fat cats….we don’t need any more of them.
    Rock star judges…oh yeah…they’re so light, they could fly! Money managers like “disease managers” are parasites and didn’t they contribute towards the global recession?? Athletes, like Pistorius….insecure and dangerous around machinery. Sports models – you may know an exemplary one but many of their brains cells are lonely. Congress person…oh dear…if you’re tough enough to overlook the corruption and get through the red tape! Online publisher/pro blogger – it’s underpaid and undervalued. Travel personality – ideal for hedonists and could lead to a skewed idea of how the other half live – in five star luxurious beach resorts!
    Teaching, even without a rich spouse, is still one of the best jobs that allows you to lead and inspire. Who said you can’t be happy and just break even? The best jobs are those that you do for love.

  17. says

    Interesting list Sam! I think being a medical doctor can both be lucrative and stressful. It is prestigious, but one can just imagine the hard work and sacrifices these people put into their job, not to mention the length of time they need to spend practicing and learning. The fact that it is never boring really makes it one of the best.

  18. says

    If I was good enough and had solid connections I’d want to be a travel photographer. A travel guide like Rick Steeves is super cool but I’d rather be behind a camera while touring around. Alas photography is crazy competitive and the industry is changing. I like your mention of becoming a teacher after being financially stable or having a spouse with a solid income to pair with it.

  19. says

    I thought dentists were pretty high on the depression/suicide list too.
    I don’t think MD is a good job. It is so stressful and you have to deal with sick people all the time. I guess it depends on your personality.
    I like sports model and travel personalities. Those sounds like great jobs to me. Although it probably get tiresome to be away from home all the time like that.
    For now, I’m very happy with being a stay at home dad/blogger.
    Only if being a stay at home dad can bring in 6 figures….

  20. says

    I have to agree with congressperson being one of the best jobs in the world. You get high status and a high amount of perks. The biggest one being a full pension paid to you when you “retire” from “service” to America. The rest of us idiots are working our entire lives to get the same thing just like suckers.

  21. says

    As a teacher, I have to agree, having the husband who makes a decent amount is very helpful. I absolutely love teaching and when my girls are older, I will either go back or homeschool. I think about teaching constantly and it is my passion. So rewarding, but I think everyone has their own dream job for sure. It’s finding what u love!

  22. says

    Many will argue they are still just as miserable with stress levels on a minimum wage job as they would be with a higher paying one. I agree with you though, the economy excuse is getting old. Granted it is tough, it does take time but, one cannot give up. There is no shame in taking a job for the time being, saving, paying off, investing – while taking your free time to find a new career. I have experience in that field.

  23. says

    My girlfriend and I have lived in Brooklyn for a year, and when our lease is up in August we’re considering downsizing everything we have to a few bags and moving to Hawaii. Given that it is a chain of islands, how does one choose which is best? Our needs are simple: we’ll need public transportation or, preferably, an area that is bicycle friendly, has quality restaurants, the beach and jobs.

  24. Grace says

    The best job is the one you like! I think any job that you find meaningful is the best job. The money can follow.

    If you are the BEST (and I mean absolute BEST) in your field, then you will get paid the most. So even if you choose to do something foofy like interpretive dance. IF you are the #1 interpretive dancer in the world, you can make a boat load of cash.

    Look at Andy Warhol! He painted Campbell soup cans and died a millionaire!

  25. says

    I’m convinced that once money gets in the way – ie when you require a job or career to keep you financially afloat – you start to dislike that thing. I agree with Grace. Being good – the BEST – at something, makes it much more enjoyable.

  26. says

    I think being a ranger at a national park would be an amazing job. Getting paid to hang out in nature and view gorgeous scenery. Can’t beat that in my mind.

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