Society places so much emphasis on finding a “dream” job. As early as kindergarten age, we are asked “What do you want to be when you grow up”?
Y’all, let’s be real. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” should be rephrased to ask “What do you want to do for money?” The notion of the “dream job” is to do something you love, so that work doesn’t feel like work – instead, work becomes a dream realized. So, what happens when work doesn’t feel like work… because it’s boring and monotonous? What happens, when your job DOES satisfy you, but pays poorly? Or , when the job title or prestige of the company that attracted you, is not enough to continuously motivate you? At some point, dreams either become realities – or, they end.
the “Dream job” is deceptive. Here’s why:
- Realistically, most of us work because we have to and not because we “dreamed” of it. When asked what my dream job was a child, I replied “Pediatrician” because it was a lovely word and my actual pediatrician, seemed nice enough. It is so important to research your “dream job”, expose yourself to the field whenever and however possible. Without accurate research about the field or organization, a dream job can easily become a nightmare.
- Your “dream job” , most likely, is “prestigious” and possibly… very BORING. Gosh, I feel like such a downer saying this but please, hear me out: We (Yes, I am guilty) fall into the trap of glorifying jobs based on the job title or the organization. Instead of paying attention to things such as high-turnover and market salary, one may become enamored with the idea of working at Google so much that they ignore better possibilities for growth and compensation elsewhere. There are so many things to account for in office environments such as personalities, down-time and the worst of all – micromanagement. Disregard the title of the job, disregard the prestige of the organization and ask yourself – “Is what I am doing now, contributing to my professional future”? A cozy office is nice, I personally really enjoy it – until it turns into a cage for myself and my computer (figuratively). Not every day of work will be a day of learning or at the bare minimum, fun. When your dream job becomes a bit boring and repetitive, and it will – what else will you motivate you? Flexibility in your work schedule? Generous PTO? Good working relationships? You certainly won’t always be motivated by your job title or even the organization you work for and that is why benefits and personal development, are more important than any job title.
- When doing what you love also becomes work, lines are blurred. A wise person once said in a random podcast, “Don’t do what you love, do what pays well in order to fund your basic needs, AND the things you love to do”. I know, this may sound like a stab to the heart for some and please, do not become discouraged in your pursuit of any career. I do see this as sound advice, however. It is a different way of looking at work. It is the allocation of work being work , and a clear boundary.