THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE
What’s your dream job?
It does indeed make for interesting comparisons, revealing citizens’ dream job for each country
A reader recently sent me a graphic he thought might interest me, given the fact that in this column I generally write about cultural differences I observe between my adopted homeland and my country of birth. The graphic was taken from the website of a Seattle-based online remittance service called Remitly, and is entitled “Dream jobs around the world”. It does indeed make for interesting comparisons, revealing citizens’ dream job for each country based on Google search data. Now, the first thing we should note is that we do not have the data for Catalonia, of course, and must therefore use the data for Spain for our comparison. And secondly, don’t ask me how the data were collected, that is, how the researchers decided that people searching for these terms revealed their dream job. Let’s just go with it for now.
What caught my attention first about this graphic was the garish green colour that lights up the countries of the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland and Australia. In other words, all of these countries share the same dream job. I won’t tell you what it is yet. Then there was the bright red colour dominating Brazil and the African countries of Mauritania, Morocco, Chad, Sudan and Angola, together with Iran, but nowhere else. Again, I’ll let you have a little think about that before I reveal which dream job unites these countries. Fascinatingly, China has its own dream job that nowhere else in the world shares. I wonder if you can guess what it is? I certainly couldn’t. France shares its dream job with several African countries, and it’s one that is very guessable, as is the one uniting all of the Scandinavian countries, and many other countries around the world, coloured in orange on the map, and which is clearly the most desired job worldwide. More on that in a second. Let’s just conclude this guessing section by coming to the key revelation of Spain’s dream job, within which we of course must include Catalonia, and when I think about my son’s life ambitions, does indeed resonate, even though I would not have guessed it, and in fact would not even call it a job. As a sidenote, it is shared with Argentina, several central American countries, Jordan and Kuwait. There, that should get you thinking.
So, now, for the big reveal (drumroll please): the green colour that unites many English-speaking countries is actually the job of pilot, which personally I find a little old-fashioned, as I don’t see the glamour in it anymore, although I do understand that it reflects people’s desire to travel. The red colour I mentioned appears as “businessman” in the legend, which, aside from anything else, makes you wonder how a modern-day North American company can still use such gender-biased language. The dream job that only appears in China and nowhere else is that of dietician. I will leave you to discuss that amongst yourselves. The job uniting France and several African countries is that of attorney, and the most popular profession appearing in orange all over the map is that of writer. So that only leaves us with the dream job of people living in Spain, and therefore Catalonia, and the other countries mentioned along with them. It is none other than “influencer”, which means that either I or the people around me are completely out of touch with the modern world. I think I know which one it is. But then, at least I have my writing.