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National "Dream Jobs" Survey Reveals Four Out of Five U.S. Workers Are Still Searching For Their Dreams Jobs

- Fun Outweighs Money as Most Important Attribute in Dream Job -

Chicago, January 25, 2007 - CareerBuilder.com today announced the results of a national consumer employment survey conducted by Harris Interactive that reveals nearly four out of five U.S. workers (84 percent) are not currently in their dream job. More than 6,000 respondents were polled, weighing in with their thoughts and insights regarding top dream job choices for different professions and regions. The announcement coincides with CareerBuilder.com’s and Disney Parks’ national search which will give Americans the opportunity to live out their Disney Parks "Dream Job" for a day.

"Eighty-four percent of U.S. workers reported they are not currently in their dream jobs," said Richard Castellini, Vice President, Consumer Marketing at CareerBuilder.com. "What defines a dream job is surprisingly reminiscent of childhood wishes for many workers. Workers said they want to enjoy their work experience, apply their talents and feel like they’re making an impact. Having fun at work was the most important attribute of a dream job for 39 percent of workers, which heavily outweighed the 12 percent who said salary was most important."

Key Dream Job Attributes
Salary was one of the least important factors in determining a dream job. Money ranked third (12 percent) compared to having fun at work (39 percent) which topped the list, followed by making a difference in society (17 percent). Rounding out the bottom three attributes were traveling and seeing the world (5 percent) and being creative within a position (5 percent).

Childhood Dream Jobs
As children, excitement and imagination played a major role in defining career paths as most respondents polled dreamed of growing up to be a firefighter (22 percent), princess (17 percent) or professional dancer (16 percent). Tied at 14 percent were those who wanted to be a cowboy or President.

Disney Park Dream Jobs
The majority of U.S. workers surveyed thought it would be fun to work at a Disney theme park (57 percent). Most respondents dreamed of navigating the waters as a Jungle Cruise Skipper (28 percent) while others chose to take the royal route and see if the glass slipper fit as a Fantasyland Princess-in-Waiting (20 percent). Still other respondents wanted to get chills and thrills by being a Haunted Mansion Butler or Maid (19 percent).

Where Dream Jobs Come True
As Disney is traditionally the place ‘Where Dreams Come True,’ Disney’s domestic theme parks are giving Americans the chance to live out their "Dream Jobs" in conjunction with its "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration. Interested parties 18 years and older are invited to submit their virtual resumes online from January 24 through February 20 at www.careerbuilder.com/disneydreamjobs to win the opportunity to work at a Disney theme park for one day. Participants will be asked to showcase their most original and creative Disney resumes including why they want to work at a Disney Park, qualifications and skills for their desired position, as well as why this is their Disney Parks "Dream Job." Five finalists will be selected for each "Dream Job" by the public to win the chance to become a Jungle Cruise Skipper, Haunted Mansion Butler or Maid, Apprentice Pirate, Fantasyland Princess-in-Waiting or a Disney Park Parade Performer. Winners will receive a trip to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California in June 2007, where they will live out their dream jobs. Complete rules and regulations can be found at the above website.

Between Walt Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim, there are approximately 80,000 Cast Members currently employed. To learn more about the several thousand permanent positions available including fun jobs such as Jungle Cruise Skipper, Parade Performer, Lost and Found Operator or Topiary Designer, please call (407) 828-1000 for Walt Disney World and (800) 766-0888 for Disneyland.

Findings by Profession
  • Across all professions, police and firefighters reported the highest incidence of feeling they have their dream jobs (35 percent). They are followed closely by teachers (32 percent), real estate professionals (28 percent) and engineers (25 percent). Those in travel and nurses also ranked near the top at 22 percent and 18 percent respectively.
  • Those professions with the least amount of workers feeling they have their dream jobs include accommodations/food services (9 percent), manufacturing (9 percent) and retail (10 percent).
  • When asked what they dreamed of becoming as a child, more than half of doctors and lawyers as well as 24 percent of teachers wanted to be President. Forty-one percent of firefighters and police officers wanted to be firefighters while 33 percent of nurses and 28 percent of homemakers wanted to be professional dancers. Thirty-three percent of administrative professionals wanted to princesses while 22 percent of manufacturing workers dreamed of being cowboys.
  • If given the opportunity to work at a Disney theme park for a day, the most popular dream job choice for real estate and banking/finance professionals was a Haunted Mansion Butler or Maid. Doctors and executives preferred to be Jungle Cruise Skippers while administrative professionals, nurses and homemakers preferred to be a Fantasyland Princess-in-Waiting. In addition to skippers, the most popular choice for firefighters and police officers was an Apprentice Pirate from the Caribbean while a Disney Parks Parade Performer ranked highest for those in legal services.

  • Findings by Region/Cities
  • Comparing major cities, workers living in Boston reported the highest incidence of feeling they have their dream jobs (37 percent). Other cities that scored high include Sacramento (26 percent), San Francisco (23 percent), Philadelphia (22 percent), Salt Lake City (20 percent), Dallas and Portland (both 19 percent).
  • Those cities with the least amount of workers feeling they have their dream jobs include San Diego (7 percent), Phoenix and Detroit (both 10 percent), and Atlanta and Miami (both 11 percent).
  • When asked what they dreamed of becoming as a child, Midwesterners had the greatest number of respondents who wanted to be firefighters or cowboys. The Northeast ranked highest for want-to-be princesses and pirates while the West ranked highest for professional dancers and boat captains. The South led the regions in those who aspired to be President.
  • If given the opportunity to work at a Disney theme park for a day, the most popular dream job choice for all regions is the Jungle Cruise Skipper with the Midwest reporting the highest affinity toward this position at 31 percent. Twenty-two percent of Northeasterners would like to work as a Haunted Mansion Butler or Maid while 24 percent of workers in the West would prefer to be an Apprentice Pirate. Twenty percent of Southerners would like to be a Fantasyland Princess-in-Waiting while 12 percent would like to try their hand at being a Disney Park Parade Performer.

  • Survey Methodology
    This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 6,169 workers (employed full-time; not self employed), ages 18 and over within the United States between November 17 and December 11, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    With a pure probability sample of 6,169, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/- 1 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples would be higher and would vary. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    CareerBuilder Media Contact
    For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

    Jennifer Grasz
    (P) 773-527-1164
    (E) jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com