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8 Dream Jobs in Panama, Central America

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Written by Matt   
Wednesday, 14 May 2008 16:28
Panama Dream JobsThe moment after I saw the movie, I remember distinctly wanting to be a Ninja Turtle when I grew up. But my dreams seemed to have been ended when my mother rushed us out of the sequel, claiming it was too violent for our precious and innocent eyes. We're not precious. We're lean mean fighting machines, right Donatello? I remember thinking as my brother and I were scooted out of the mall and into the car where surely, nothing would corrupt us before we arrived home (and had access to MTV). That was, until my mother hit a dear on Route 1, the guts from which sprayed like gunshots across the side paneling of our new Saab sedan.

Dream jobs are abundant among children as we're still naïve enough to think they may actually come true. It is a wonderful feeling, being new to the world, and thinking viably that anything is truly attainable with the right attitude and a little bit of elbow grease. But soon enough, we're quickly introduced to society where financial, social, and personal variables tend to hold us back in that hunt we so enthusiastically began years before.

Panama, besides being a real estate hotspot, is a place where dream jobs return back into focus: it's a place where the imagination can slip back into that exciting pool of creativity and fantasy. Sure several main industries are developed, but in the arenas of most peoples' dream jobs, Panama's simply the most friendly, encouraging, and conducive breeding ground (in my opinion) that exists on the continent.

"Eighty-four percent of U.S. workers reported they are not currently in their dream jobs," said Richard Castellini, Vice President, Consumer Marketing at CareerBuilder.com.

Of course they're not. And besides those of us who want to be fighting turtles, the most common characteristics of a dream job are a) to have fun, b) to apply a talent or skill, and c) to make an impact. It is in the re-awakening of our creativity, in a land of true opportunity, that enjoyment and fulfillment heavily outweigh a salary.

Here are my top 8 favorite dream job scenarios in Panama, each with a brief set of directions should you want to print them out and put them in your back pocket. These are all geared towards the English-speaking market and are not by any means the best: you may be the guy who wants to clean pools for the rest of your days, or perhaps the guy who wrote me asking about the achievability of becoming a professional skateboarder...these are just some fantasy ideas that would do well, in no particular order...

1. Movie Director/Producer: Panama has very few homegrown film makers, and even fewer ones with proper education or training. Its landscape is one that seems to have been crafted for the big screen and filming permits are relatively easy to acquire for lower-budget films. All you need is a nice camera, some guy to hold the boom mic, and you're off.

2. Hotelier: Panama, as you well know, has a serious lack of hotels and with the increasing tourism numbers, business for this industry looks good. So while everyone and their sister is starting projects in the City, explore smaller towns with potential in the interior of the country where you'll be the first in town.

3. Food Critic: Ever envision yourself as the top critic at the New York Times? Good luck, as you'd have to sleep with a small army to get that gig. Here in Panama though, it's relatively easy. In the English-speaking community, the amount of food critics can be counted on one hand. With the increasing amount of foreigners coming in, and the amount of good new restaurants opening up, a passionate food critic would be a very admirable position.

4. Restaurateur: Panama City has a lot of pretty good restaurants, and very few great ones. And Panama as a country has less-than-great food, I'm not going to lie. Taking moms old ravioli recipes or that famous chicken soup up a notch and opening your own restaurant is quite easy in Panama, and the overhead (risk) relatively low compared to the USA. Just find your niche market, a good location, and a good supply of Zanex.

5. Travel Writer: Panama guidebooks are all mediocre and out-of-date. The little amount of written travel information is staggering compared to, say Costa Rica where you can find articles and reviews on just about any destination. A passionate and articulate travel writer would kick butt in Panama, and require little if any start up costs. Get in touch with Moon or Fodors after you've been here for a while, and you're on the big stage.

6. Movie Critic: I don't know of any that exist in Panama to-date (someone correct me if I'm wrong). You have your occasional review in the local English handout newspapers, but a qualified and knowledgeable movie critic in Panama would hit the ball out of the park. Get sponsored by Extreme Planet (Panama City's VIP movie lounge) and spend your ‘working hours' in a giant Lay-z-Boy with a bottomless bag of popcorn.

7. Sports Manager: Professional sporting in Panama is a very subdued and underdeveloped market: albeit one with tons of potential. An experienced, driven sports scout or manager would climb to the top very easily in this country, whether it's molding the next Mariano Rivera or leading a soccer team to the championship. A foreigner injected into Panamanian sports management could have some seriously interesting returns.

8. Professional Photographer: With the natural beauty of Panama, you'd have to be really terrible with a camera to not do well in this market. Whether it's supplying great photos to hotels, publications, or simply for yourself to then sell as framed art, photographers in Panama are a rocket-of-a-breed just waiting to take off.

The very act of publishing these dream jobs will probably piss a lot of people off: people who are already in Panama and pursuing one of the above. But it's a blossoming country with tremendous business opportunity to anyone who's passionate and willing to put in some hard work in an industry they love. Ninja Turtles still haven't made their way to Panam though, and for that, I'm keeping one secret to myself.

Note: Ladder photo taken from www.workingatmcmaster.ca/med/photo/raw/Ladder-1--6.gif

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I'm excited
written by Nancy , May 15, 2008
matt, what a wonderful piece. iwas concerned you weren't writing anymore but this was so great to see and read. i am planning on moving down to panama (to retire) just like you explain but am looking to do new things and start a new business. this was simply the fire under my butt i needed smilies/smiley.gif Thanks!
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Retiring Panama.
written by Bill. , July 15, 2008
I am 64 next year and want to retire in Panama. I would like to carry out some sort of work and your comments are very helpful. Photography looks good to me. Apart from retiring what are the current rates of interest on a fixed bond? Looking to invest say 100000 dollars for 10 years with monthly income. Can you help please. Tried e- mailing the banks but no replies!!! Thank you again.
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Panama City
written by james , August 13, 2008
Hi,

I was thinking of coming down for vacation for a few weeks at the end of the month, how is the weather in aug, Thanks
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...
written by Marcus , August 26, 2008
Can someone please elaborate on #8, Professional Photographer? Email me.
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art
written by Lamer , January 07, 2009
Ah, this is old but I want a new answer. How's the art scene in Panama City? Please don't laugh if you find this question naive or totally off due to the current economic crisis? I will continue in all seriousness. How lively is the art-business connection in Panama? Are there any cutting edge art galleries in Panama City? Any underground venues? How are the cultural activities? What are the main cultural interests at this point? Potential openings besides film-making and photography? Is there any governmental funding for art, is there a good possibility for private sponsorship? Is there enough public interest? Let me guess: all these are very low? Authentic art is born in the trenches but is consumed and supported by educated people with lots of money and spare time. Is there any potential for Panama City ever becoming an art (cultural) hub? I will post this message in the arts section as well.
I hope you will find time to drop here an informed opinion. Thanks.
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Entertainment...
written by Papi Sorrelis , March 17, 2009
You talk about there being a need for American entertainment for the many Americans that are there. I am a dueling piano player and have dreamed about opening up a dueling piano bar in Panama with everything I have heard about it. Do you think the locals would appreciate that as well as the Americans? Thank you.
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hi........
written by deepti kotwani , April 06, 2009
hi i m looking for a job in panama my brother is staying there the visa process is too pethetic so..... wanna reach there myself thru a job
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PROSPECTIVE TOURIST
written by OBADRHIN AANU EBENEZER , September 24, 2009
HELLOM
I AM A FUTURE TOURIST FROM NIGERIA AND THERE IS NO PANAMA EMBASSY IN NIGERIA, PLS CAN YOU FURNISH ME WITH THE DETAILS OF THE NEAREST PANAMA EMBASSY TO NIGERIA.
HOWEVER, I AM PLANNING TO GO ON TOUR OF PANAMA AS I WILL ON HOLIDAY VERY SOON,
LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.
BEST REGARD,
OBADEHIN AANU EBENEZER.
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...
written by leo , March 04, 2011
I own a fully furnished condo in a good part of Panama which is available for rent in a week by week basis. I charge a deposit due to the valuables that I have in my condo but if no damages it will be 100% refunded after final inspection before departure.

leo137@hotmail.com
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Jobless
written by King , December 04, 2012
The only people who will stay in the USA are the goverment employees and those who are on welfare.
Good luck .

I am looking for jobs overseas.
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 September 2008 12:40
 
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