By Lauren Reinhart and Mikenzie Dawn Morgieau, 2022 UM Journalism and Media Summer Camp

Ione Jean Lewis, a retired seamstress, said she worked in her dream job of making alterations.  However, Lewis’s first job was not in the sewing room, but instead in the nursery, and she had to put off her dream of being a seamstress.

“I should say my first job was taking care of my children,” Lewis said.  

Lewis is a rare example of someone finding her dream job and actually working in that particular field. Lewis, and other Missoula residents interviewed on Wednesday around Caras Park and University of Montana in Missoula, reflected on their careers –  the differences between dream jobs and pragmatic responsibility. 

Like Lewis, many other interviewees had not had the clearest path to their dream jobs. 

Robin Joseph has worked in the housing office at the University of Montana for 35 years, but her dream job is to be a racecar driver.

“I always wanted to be a racecar driver, no lie. I still drive fast, very few speeding tickets so I can be proud of that, but yes, I always wanted to be a racecar driver,” Joseph said.

Leo, who did not give a last name, wants to be a travel writer, but works as an independent consultant working in climate change for the time being.

When they grow up, Emery, attending Out to Lunch in Caras Park, wants to teach fifth grade, and Avery, also enjoying the event, wants to write chapter books.

Jeff Stevens’s dream job is to work on Carving at the Carousel.  This job consists of volunteering in the shop while carving wooden horses and animals for other carousels.   

“My dream job: Carving at the Carousel.  I have been a volunteer there for 25 years,” Stevens said.

Heidi Webber wants to be an author, and wants to write novels about life.

“To write is probably my dream job.  The idea is to sit and write,” Webber said.

Melony, no last name given, followed her dream and is now working in her dream job.

“I am a college prep coordinator at the middle school and high school,” she said.

Kimberly Sloan wants to be a life coach and wants to help working mothers. She, like Lewis, understands the difficulties of juggling work and family.

“Specifically mothers, working mothers, and how to balance a job and a fulfilling family life,” Sloan said.

Lewis, the retired seamstress, and Joseph, the aspiring race car driver, had different plans in life, and went through different courses to turn to who they are today.  Both have had a long career in the field they chose and have enjoyed their work.

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