Are you unhappy at your job? Ever wonder what it's like to have the job of your dreams? Here's VocationVacation, a service that match people with established mentors to let them "test drive" their dream jobs, from winemaking to TV producing:
In 2003, Kurth's VocationVacations opened with a small stable of mentors that's now 300 strong. Mentorships last a few days and cost
anywhere from $600 (animal therapist, brewmaster) to $2,000 (music producer, race car pit crew member).
The most popular? Brewmaster, cheesemaker, sports announcer and comedian. Mentors pocket a small fee -- and may even meet their next hire: A few adult interns have left the stint with a job offer.
"To answer that nagging 'What if?' without losing the time and cash that switching careers usually takes is huge," says Kurth, whose book, "Test-Drive Your Dream Job," encourages readers to answer that question. For a relatively small investment, he says, "people walk away with peace of mind."
Some people find out that the dream jobs they've always wanted are as good as they thought they would be. But some find out that the jobs are actually nightmares:
Henry Yamamoto, who'd spent days at his software job daydreaming about running a canine daycare, needed that reality check. "I'd been thinking, 'I'll get to spend all day around a bunch of dogs,'" he says.
After a VocationVacations mentorship at Seattle's Dog Day Out, he realized "it's like running a preschool: 25 dogs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., all getting revved up and tired at different times ... and they all poop."