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Work is a real four-letter word to a lot of people. Proving this fact is Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace study, showing that “70 percent of those who participated described themselves as ‘disengaged’ from their work.”

The good news according to Gallup, is that the U.S. has some of the best numbers in the world, with 3o percent happy in their work, 52 percent feeling blah, and 18 percent who hate their jobs. (Syria is the worst with zero per people happy in their jobs. Go figure.)

So 30 percent polled like their jobs, which isn’t a great percentage, but it’s something to ponder: how did this group find a job that they don’t dread going to every day? How did they find a way to earn a paycheck while doing something that they love to do?

Is there actually a dream job out there waiting for you?

As Confucius supposedly said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Here are some people that say they have found a career that inspires them, makes then happy, or basically doesn’t stink.

Offshore Drilling

Ben Karsh of La Mesa has worked on an oil rig in Texas as an engineer for 25 years. He has odd hours, he lives for months at a time in the middle of the ocean, and the job is dangerous. With that said, Karsh loves this dirty gig.

“I love that it’s not a normal job,” he said. “But I’m not normal either,” he said laughing.

Karsh said that the rig is like a floating hotel and workers have private rooms, a gym, saunas, and great food 24/7.

“I love the excitement as much as the money,” he said. “As strange as it sounds, there isn’t anything I can think I would rather be doing that working on a rig.”

Event Planner

Char Novak of Encinitas plans weddings, parties, charity balls, and even funerals, but she started out working in a luggage shop.

“It was a high end luggage store downtown,” she said. “Very posh. They even made me go to some guy who gave me a career test.”

That was in 1982, she said. “The guy didn’t see me working in that store, and he tried to tell me I was cut out for doing something like throwing parties. Back then I had no idea that was a job description.”

Novak went on to work in the luggage store for three months before quitting. She job-hopped until a friend asked her to help plan a charity ball.

“My friend was kind of a wreck having to plan it out, but I felt like I had been doing it all my life.”

The party was a success and Novak offered her services cheap to friends planning weddings and corporate functions. She has been an event planner for more than a decade.

“I have no idea what that test was or if that guy was just making it up, but he was right,” she said. “I found a career, not just a job.”

Search engine specialist

Morgan Fraser is an SEO (Search engine optimization) specialist who lives wherever she wants. Her job is to help people optimize their websites with keyword rich content, develop and execute linking strategies that increase page rank and track/monitor the performance of their efforts across all major search engines.

And until recently, she did that from her house in Panama. Before that, in Mexico.

“It’s pretty awesome that I am able to do my job wherever I live,” she said. “I help people with their business, but also, now that I figured out I can live anywhere I want while doing this job, I want to help others do the same.”

Fraser has recently started a business called, Dream Maker, offering “practical advice to get you where you’ve been yearning to go.”

“I have my skills and make OK money, but it’s not just about money,” she said. “I have a life others can only dream about. I want to help people find their dream job and live out their dreams. It can be done. I’m living proof.”

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