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Americans Reveal Childhood Dream Jobs

business suit . / Credit: Child Wearing Suit Image via Shutterstock

What did you want to be when you grew up? If you dreamed of being a Super Bowl-winning football player or a famous musician, you weren’t alone.

A survey from the online professional network LinkedIn finds that those occupations made their list of adult professionals' "dream jobs" from childhood.  Topping the list of jobs people dreamed about having when they were kids were becoming a professional or Olympic athlete for men and a teacher for women.

Other jobs men and women in today's work force dreamed about as kids included airplane and helicopter pilots, scientists, lawyers, astronauts, veterinarians, writers, doctors or nurses.

"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."

While not everyone gets there, the research found that more than 30 percent of employees either currently have their childhood dream job or work in a career related to it. Of those who don't have their dream job, 36 percent of those surveyed still fantasize about obtaining it.

The study discovered that becoming interested in a different career path when they got older was the primary reason that employees who don't have the job they envisioned for themselves as a kid are working in an unrelated field. Other factors for not chasing their childhood dream jobs included the jobs being too difficult or expensive to pursue or wanting a career that was more profitable.

When it comes to what they consider a dream job now, the employees surveyed said the most important characteristic is taking pleasure in their work. Other things today's employees consider an essential part of a any dream job include being able to help others, earning a high salary and having a flexible work schedule.

The research was based on surveys of more than 8,000 professionals around the world.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.