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‘They pay me to eat ice cream!’ and other dream jobs

Companies offer lucrative opportunities to care for Caribbean islands, ride roller coasters, go to concerts and review fun experiences

Paloma Pozanco gets paid to taste Nestlé's Maxibon ice cream at home.
Paloma Pozanco gets paid to taste Nestlé's Maxibon ice cream at home.
Carmen Sánchez-Silva

Imagine the extraordinary opportunity of spending a year with your plus one in the captivating British Virgin Islands. You’ll be entrusted with caring for an idyllic paradise while promoting its unique allure to visitors. Here’s the incredible part – you’ll be generously paid a $200K salary plus airfares, medical insurance, accommodations and meals. This is a real job opportunity that was advertised by the island’s owner through Fairfax & Kensington, the prestigious London headhunters.

Spain also offers some coveted and well-paid positions, though not quite on a par with the one in the Virgin Islands. Paloma Pozanco, a 25-year-old from Cádiz (Spain), found one. “They pay me to eat ice cream – it’s a dream job for sure,” said the young law student. “I would do this a million times over.”

In October, Polanco applied on Spain’s Infojobs website for a position that drew a record 49,584 applicants. They all wanted to become taste-testers for Nestlé's Maxibon ice cream brand that will launch in 2024. She got the job and worked two days eating ice cream and recording her likes, dislikes and other impressions. Polanco was paid €1,000 ($1,095) for her effort.

Infojobs just posted another dream job that drew 52,292 applications. The three-day, all-access pass to attend and review concerts by Aitana and Melendi at the WiZink Center in Madrid also pays €1,000. Other lucky job-seekers became roller coaster testers (10,150 applicants) and snack tasters (41,105 applicants). Next month, Infojobs will post its fifth exciting job – a three-month contract to test mattresses for €6,000 ($6,570) .

“Cool jobs are experiences that are all about having fun, pursuing a hobby, and then writing a review of your experience,” said Mónica Pérez from Infojobs, which collaborates with companies on joint campaigns to boost awareness and polish employer brand images. “We benefit in two ways from this. First, it helps us connect with the specific segment of the public we are targeting. And second, from an employer perspective, we find lots of people who would love to work with us,” said Clara Vilar, Maxibon’s brand manager.

Collaborations

The companies that partner with Infojobs cover the contract-related expenses and the process of reviewing the experiences. Infojobs posts the job opportunity, manages the selection process, and pays the worker’s wages, accommodations and meals. These collaborations have been highly successful, and Pérez expects to offer many more dream jobs in the future. Nilton Navarro, the cool jobs creator at Infojobs, cites the impact of the Port Aventura roller-coaster tester. “When we posted that position, applicants for other jobs at Port Aventura multiplied six-fold.”

Sylvana Zamorano from the Taalentify employment portal says these are very successful marketing campaigns disguised as job offers to grab attention and promote a brand. “It’s a really creative and eye-catching way to promote new products, services and companies. They help companies reach more users and have a greater impact on audiovisual and social media.”

Adecco also advertises dream jobs, says Pablo Gómez. These are not usually permanent positions but short-term contracts that get “the public talking about you and to see you as an attractive employer.” These positions aim to generate a massive response in a short time, like Adecco’s “CEO for a month” program. For the past nine years, Adecco has selected a young college-educated individual who is fluent in English to shadow the company’s actual CEO for a month and pays them an attractive managerial salary. This year, Adecco received over 4,000 applications for the position.

Miguel Calvo was hired to share his experiences at the Mutua Madrid Tennis Open tournament on social media.
Miguel Calvo was hired to share his experiences at the Mutua Madrid Tennis Open tournament on social media.

More than 1,000 candidates applied to be the “tennis lover manager” at the Mutua Madrid Tennis Open this year. What’s a tennis lover manager? A sports fan who shares their experience at the annual professional tennis tournament on social media. Throughout the week-long event, this tennis fan attends matches and press conferences, and interviews tennis players, all while getting paid for it. Another Adecco dream job pays cinephiles to provide feedback on movies, trailers and movie advertising. Infojobs offers not only cool jobs, but also many other permanent and highly desirable positions like video game tester and car tester.

Holiday season jobs

The end-of-year holiday season brings cherished memories and a deluge of short-term positions that are decidedly less glamorous than the dream jobs above. According to Randstad, about 347,000 short-term jobs will be available from Black Friday in late November to the January sales surge, slightly lower than last year. But the hospitality industry is expeted increase hiring, unlike the retail and logistics sectors.

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