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April 25, 2013  | by: Kelly Hanelt
What are you so happy about? Flickr (chalabala.cz)

What are you so happy about?
Flickr (chalabala.cz)



“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours” – Henry David Thoreau

Apparently, optimism is so 19th century. According to a new ranking published by CareerCast.com, advancing confidently in the direction of your dreams will only book you a date with disappointment.

As decided by a list of 200 careers analyzed on the criteria physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook, the most appealing profession in America is that of an actuary. An actuary. 10 points to you if you know what that is. Maybe you’ll fare a little better than the rest of us. For the rest of us – an actuary is “a person who compiles and analyzes statistics and uses them to calculate insurance risks and premiums.” (Thank you, dictionary widget)

Also in the top 10 – biomedical engineer, software engineer, financial planner, dental hygienist, and computer systems analyst. The bottom 10? Those would be farmer, flight attendant, roofer, mail carrier, meter reader, dairy farmer, oil rig worker, actor, enlisted military personnel, lumberjack, and reporter… in that order.

At least she has fantastic hair. Twitter (@Fheravila)

At least she has fantastic hair. Twitter (@Fheravila)

So what is a girl to do? It’s a little late in the game to switch my major to biomedical engineering, and even if I could, I’m shit at math. So you know what I’ve resolved to do? Screw the list. Screw it! Honestly!

Nowhere did the people at CareerCast measure creativity, aesthetic satisfaction, passion, or potential to create lasting work. Your dentist can clean all the teeth they desire, but you’re still gonna eat that Snickers bar and that popcorn and have to go back for another teeth cleaning in 6 months. But having the potential to write, draw, express, grow and create? That’s timeless.

I’d rather be working in a cramped cubicle for little pay, 20 years of back problems and nervous stress disorders than be in a lofty office with mounds of boring paper work in front of me. Passion is immeasurable, and dreams are too personal and persistent to be watered down to a list. So bring on that misery, I’m sure it will be exquisite.

Where does your desired career land on the list? Does it even matter?

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