Posted November 21, 2012 by

1/3 Work in Fields Related to Their Childhood Dream Jobs

Nicole Williams, LinkedIn career expert

Nicole Williams, LinkedIn career expert partner LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 187 million members, today released data about the most popular childhood dream jobs and the number of professionals on LinkedIn who have some of these cool careers.

As part of its “Dream Jobs” study, LinkedIn surveyed more than 8,000 professionals globally to find out the most common childhood career aspirations and how many professionals currently have their dream job.

The survey found that the top childhood dream jobs for men in the United States were:

  1. Professional or Olympic athlete (8.2 percent)
  2. Airplane or helicopter pilot (6.8 percent)
  3. Scientist (6.8 percent)
  4. Lawyer (5.9 percent)
  5. Astronaut (5 percent)

Women in the U.S. said that their top childhood dream jobs were:

  1. Teacher (11.4 percent)
  2. Veterinarian (9 percent)
  3. Writer, journalist or novelist (8.1 percent)
  4. Doctor, nurse or emergency medical technician (7.1 percent)
  5. Singer (7.1 percent)

Nearly one out of every three LinkedIn members surveyed around the world (30.3 percent) stated that they either currently have their childhood dream job or work in a career related to their childhood dream job. Professionals who said they don’t have their childhood dream job were most likely to cite, “As I got older, I became interested in a different career path,” as the primary reason they work in an unrelated field (43.5 percent).

“The dream jobs we aspire to as children are a window into our passions and talents,” said Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert. “Identifying and understanding those passions are key to improving our performance and enjoyment of the jobs we currently do, even if they aren’t specific to the careers we dreamed of as kids.”

More than 70 percent of the global professionals surveyed said that the most important characteristic of a dream job is “taking pleasure in your work.” In second place was, “Helping others” (eight percent) followed by “a high salary” which came in third place (with just over six percent of the survey takers selecting it as the most important feature of a dream job).

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