Sponsored by Oregon Business

Testing out your dream job while on vacation

| Print |  Email
Monday, October 01, 2007

PearlBakery1007.jpg Baker Tim Healea  (left) and vocationer Matt Jaffe.

TIM HEALEA LOVES HIS JOB but is often amazed that someone would pay money to test it out for two days.

“People are actually willing to start baking at 5:30 a.m.,” says Healea, a longtime Vocation Vacations mentor at Portland’s Pearl Bakery. “They are that passionate about baking. And many leave feeling energized to start their own bakeries.”

It is difficult to find a flaw in the formula created by Vocation Vacations president Brian Kurth, whose ingenious business plan — let people experience their dream job for two days and charge them heftily for it — has worked like gangbusters.

In its three-year history, the Portland-based company has grown its mentor base from 10 in Oregon to more than 250 nationwide. Among the most requested of its 110 different mentorships are brewmaster, dog trainer, TV producer, sports announcer and baker. Most experiences are for two days and cost between $949 and $1,199.

“It’s a three-fold benefit for the mentors,” says Kurth. “You are sharing your passion, getting tons of free exposure on our website and getting paid for your time. It’s the ultimate win-win.”

Kurth says a nonprofit mentor in Texas saw a 50% bump in donations after getting a mention on the Vocation Vacations website. “Some folks are now questioning whether to keep their PR people on retainer,” he says.

Vocation Vacations mentors say the pay and exposure are great but admit they didn’t expect the feel-good factor to be, well, so good.

Healea says he knows of one “vocationer” from North Dakota, who, following his mentorship, opened his own bakery. A couple from rural Georgia, a schoolteacher and a bus driver, are planning to do the same.

“Our bakery also benefits from the vocationers,” he says. “We’ve had marketing people, lawyers and financial people come here for mentorships and end up giving us free business advice. It’s great.”                                                                        

STACEY WILSON

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Epitaph for a Boondoggle

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The CRC is a cautionary tale about how we plan for, finance and invest in transportation infrastructure.


Read more...

All Rise

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.


Read more...

Car Talk

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.


Read more...

Photos from the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon awards celebration

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 9975cneditPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.


Read more...

Downtime with the executive director of Greater Portland Inc.

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Janet LaBar, Executive director, Greater Portland Inc.


Read more...

10 Oregon companies positioning themselves for growth

The Latest
Friday, March 13, 2015
vcthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.


Read more...

6 highlights from the Craft Brewers Conference

The Latest
Friday, April 17, 2015
thumbPHOTOS BY  JASON E. KAPLAN

The 32nd annual CBC attracted a record number of attendees (11,000)  to the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS