Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi

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When Jeff Runions started his trucking career nearly 40 years ago, he had high hopes for what the job might bring.

"I wanted the American dream."

Since then he's seen the industry from every step of the ladder — as an independent owner-operator, a full-time company driver, a parts manager, and finally a trucking depot manager.

Sunita Williams wasn't the kind of kid who wanted to be an astronaut when she grew up. She wanted to be a veterinarian. But she managed to achieve the former kid's dream job, anyway.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

With his mischievous smile and playful stage persona, indie rock musician Mac DeMarco has gained a reputation as something of a merry prankster. But DeMarco says that what you see of him on the internet doesn't always tell the whole story.

Growing up, Liz Stepansky, the daughter of two schoolteachers in small town Illinois, thought teaching was the way to a stable, meaningful life.

"My dad would have students that would come back and visit him even years after they had graduated high school," she said. "And to see him develop relationships like that, it seemed like a pretty important job. I liked that."

After graduating from college in 2008, Stepansky, now 33, decided to follow in her parents' footsteps, and was ecstatic when she landed her first job as a public middle school teacher in South Carolina.

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