Have you lost the will to work? Are you stuck in a dead-end job with no promotion in sight? Are you tired of not being appreciated? Is your company still doing things the “old-fashioned way”? Do you wish you could be doing something that you love?
Sounds like you’re ready to make the move into a more dynamic work environment where Mondays will be reinstated as the best day of the week, and you’ll be able to do what your eight-year-old self always dreamt of doing: playing with LEGO for a living.
While it may sound like a work of science fiction, it is possible, and here are four awesome jobs that will no doubt make the LEGO lover in you squeal with joy!
1. Master model builder
Do you have what it takes to be the next Master Model Builder? Sounds a bit like The X Factor, doesn’t it? And that’s because it is; only it’s called Brick Factor. And yes, it’s a thing.
LEGO has a rather unique hiring process when it comes to selecting its new Master Model Builder for each of their 16 LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in Canada, China, England, Germany, Japan, Turkey, and the USA. It’s a job interview like no other in which candidates (or contestants) compete against each other in showcasing their creativity by developing the best LEGO model possible in the theme they’ve been assigned. Those who make it past the first round advance to the finals and a new Master Model Builder is announced at the competition’s conclusion.
In 2012, over 170 contestants participated in LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City’s Brick Factor. After three action-packed rounds, Jeremiah Boehr was selected as the winner and the Center’s new Master Model Builder after being judged on his models and interaction with the audience – and yes, there was an audience watching the participants’ performance. We told you it was like The X Factor.
Keep a lookout for future Brick Factors at a LEGOLAND Discovery Center near you – who knows? You may become the next Master Model Builder and could have your models and sculptures displayed in LEGO stores and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers and parks around the world.
2. LEGO designer
While it may seem that the odds are forever stacked against you, considering the sheer number of people who apply for any given job at LEGO. But, it also means there’s no harm in trying your luck and working toward your childhood dream. In fact, take a look at Sam Johnson who, at the age of eight, had written a letter to the Danish toymaker asking how to get a job there and, 15 years later and having followed their advice, landed his dream job as a junior designer in 2010.
If you want to join Sam and LEGO’s other 100 model designers (including Jamie Berard whose work includes the Tower Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, and Marcos Bessa who designed the LEGO equivalents of The Simpsons’ house and Kwik-E-Mart), you’ll have to undergo a similar process of interviewing for a Master Model Builder’s job, minus the public audience.
The most promising applicants are invited to Billund, Denmark at the toymaker’s headquarters, but LEGO doesn’t conduct a formal interview for the position. They instead ask applicants to participate in a two-day-long test where hopefuls compete against each other for the coolest job on the planet by sketching designs, designing mini figures, and creating new sets for 8 to 10-year-olds. And, of course, everything is timed, and you can apparently hear a needle drop (apart from the snapping and unsnapping of bricks) as LEGO senior designers observe participants, scribble notes, and judge candidates on their designs’ concept, color scheme, and constructability.
But even you do get hired as a designer, there’s a catch: you won’t get to design anything just yet. New hires typically work with a senior designer for about a year before they’re entrusted with creating a small set that is properly priced and targets the right age group.
Meanwhile, you sometimes don’t even have to apply for a job with LEGO; you just get discovered, like the participants of a group interview in Winter Haven, Florida in August last year who were found through LEGO fan events, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
3. Professor of LEGO
With the number of unusual university courses available around the world including courses on Harry Potter, The Simpsons, and Lady Gaga. It was only a matter of time before LEGO, which boosts kids’ STEM skills, got its own course.
In June 2015, the University of Cambridge in England proposed the establishment of a LEGO Professorship of Play in Education, Development, and Learning, to be funded by a £4 million (about $5.8 million) benefaction from the LEGO Foundation. In October that year, the professorship was awarded to David Whitebread, who was also appointed director of the PEDAL (Play in Education, Development, and Learning) research center which focuses on examining the role of playfulness in learning and development in young children.
4. LEGO Certified Professional
You don’t need to get a job at LEGO to play and create with the much loved plastic brick toy for a living. All you need is a passion for building with LEGO, and you can turn your hobby into a full-time or part-time profession as a LEGO Certified Professional and be officially recognized by the Danish toymaker as a trusted business partner.
Look at Sean Kenney, for example, a full-time artist who works exclusively with LEGO bricks and has produced commissions for galleries, museums, and even companies like Google. Kenney has been a LEGO Certified Professional for over 11 years now, and his work includes a 4-foot, 13,000-piece Empire State Building (which is on display at the top of the real Empire State Building) and a giant rubber duck made out of 23,234 bricks.
Nathan Sawaya, meanwhile, is the only person in the world who has been both a Master Model Builder and a LEGO Certified Professional, and his Art of the Brick exhibition was named one of the 12 must-see global exhibitions of 2011. His Oscar Statue design has received almost 4,000 supporters on LEGO Ideas (a website where users submit their ideas for LEGO products to be potentially turned into commercially released sets), but his best-known works are perhaps his Yellow sculpture and a life-size T-Rex which were sold to the Agora Gallery in New York City in 2010.
Can you think of any other awesome jobs for LEGO lovers? Perhaps you currently work for LEGO, or have done so in the past, and would like to share your stories and experiences with us? Let us know in the comments section below!