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

Eco Zoned

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?


Read more...

Efficiency Boost

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

How conservation stimulates the local economy.


Read more...

Stemming the tide of money in politics

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 jeff-lang-2012-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy.  “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


Read more...

No Boundaries

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Floor plans embrace the great wide open.


Read more...

6 things to know about the Amtrak Cascades route

The Latest
Friday, May 22, 2015
thumb3BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C. 


Read more...

Credit Unions Perspective

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Gene Pelham, CEO of Rogue Credit Union.


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