Best Job in the World

But it’s not quite as you imagine it

Holly Jahangiri
3 min readSep 25, 2022


Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

“If all jobs were paid the same, what would you choose to do?”

I would choose to write. I did choose to write.

If teachers were paid anything near what they’re worth — or if parents and administrators partnered with them in a less dysfunctional manner — I might have chosen to teach writing. If there were such a thing as a “professional student,” I would have burrowed happily into the university stacks like a bookworm, combining my love of learning, reading, and writing into one marvelous life spent in an “ivory tower” of academia.

But that’s just a fantasy.

I was lucky to make a good, steady income as a technical writer. I didn’t even know what that was when I first took the job — just that it had the word “writer” in it and paid what my previous job paid. I’d majored in Rhetoric & Writing; my “dream job” involved writing novels and poetry. But I was well aware, even then, that most novelists and poets will never earn what I was offered as a starting salary, so I jumped at it. I could write fiction and poetry in my spare time.

I also went to law school — while working full time. By the time I graduated, I was exhausted. But my employer paid a nice chunk of my tuition, so in a way…I did manage to be a professional student for a little while. I kept the writing gig, though — it was a better fit for a working mom with a newborn. And it already paid better than the average starting salary for newly-minted attorneys. I didn’t have to take the job home or worry that someone might lose their life, freedom, or savings just because I wasn’t good enough. Make a typo, and 99.999% of the time, nobody dies. Nobody cares. Nobody but me.

When I retired, I was a data scientist — analyzing text using expensive tools and methods learned as a lazy researcher in law school.

The trick to landing your “dream job” is to find a way to turn your fun into something that’s of value to others who are happy to pay you to do it.

This is Day #25 of the 30-Day Writing Challenge by Nancy Blackman for Refresh the Soul. Previous days’ posts: