The truth about Dream Jobs

Get prepared for a hell of a lot of dating analogy and to hear something you might not like. You ready?

Your one and only Dream Job doesn’t exist or, if it does - it ain’t so dreamy.

In the immortal words of 80’s, hair-band juggernaut Poison, Every Rose Has It’s Thorn. There isn’t a single gig on this earth that is 100% perfect (or not on this earth if being an astronaut is your thing). It’s an unrealistic recipe for unhappiness to expect any role to be perfect or that you will be perfect in any role. Think of it this way. Your ‘dream’ mate may be very close to your current partner, but I’m willing to bet your dream mate doesn’t belch or leave a mess in the bathroom.

I’m not saying you can’t have the woman of your dreams… *ahem* Dream Job… I’m just advocating for being realistic and understanding that no single job can make you 100% happy, satisfied and fulfilled. At some point that job is going to drink out of the milk carton. Understanding this will allow you to make informed career decisions that lead to your being a whole, fulfilled person.

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What you can, and should, strive for is to find a career that lines up with your core values and beliefs. Even with a stellar boss and brilliant company - no matter the job - there will downsides and compromises that need to be made but as long as the gig lines up with your values you’re bound to be happier than not. What I'm getting at, is that staunch socialists probably shouldn’t date the trust fund kid of an oil magnate.

If your Dream Job is to own a boutique, you may find that curating awesome objects doesn’t win out over monthly inventory spreadsheets, yearly taxes, payroll filing and legal fees. Just like with dating: he’s hot, successful and likes the same trash TV as you? Great, what about those mommy issues?

There’s always more fish in the…. I mean other dream jobs.

Example. I once was working at my Dream Job. I had worked my ass off to get there only to find that there were many parts of my job I loathed, the lack of salary, support, and basic materials needed to do my job for starters. It got to the point that the real issues far outweighed the dream aspects. It was time for a divorce. Was I devastated? You betcha! I had been sold the lie of the "One And Only, You’ll Won’t Be Happy Unless You Have It, Dream Job" fallacy. But once I crawled out from under the weight of ‘What the hell do I do now?!’ I was on to ‘Dream Job’ number two. Because guess what? There’s always more.

There really is always another gig. And here’s the deal. It’s OK to date around. You don’t have to marry yourself off to an ideal that doesn’t exist. It’s fine to dream about a fantasy job - as long as you realize it’s just that. You could work for 10 years to get to that fantasy only to realize that a) it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be and b) you don’t really want it anymore. Think about your dream date in 8th grade. Does the wafting scent of Axe body spray come to mind? You want to date that now? Of course you don’t. You’ve changed your mind.

A job you wanted at 22 might bore 42 year old you to tears. Do you really want to be a bartender at that crazy-hip club downtown now? The 11p-3a shift? For the next 15 years? (You do? More power to you my friend! Also, get me and my date on the guest list for Thursday night?) If you spend your energy and spin your wheels working towards the Dream Job you’ve built up in your mind, you could miss out on amazing opportunities that are happening around you now. Staying hyper focused on a far-off-fantasy might mean that you overlook a career option you never knew was possible.

What if you do go barreling ahead, no holds barred into that new romance? Going to school, getting a degree and getting that Dream Job that you then…. totally don’t care about? Did you go in with intention? Really research? Do some quality class A, prime grade, pre-date internet stalking? What you actually want vs what you think you want might be, well, wrong. You need to be prepared.

You absolutely can still ‘follow your passion,’ ‘do what you love,’ ‘live your bliss,’ all of it. Just understand that you have to act with intention and that you’re going to have to make compromises somewhere. I mean, that perfect guy? He’s got a real ear-hair issue. Just sayin'.

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