When Your Dream Job Sucks: It's Not You

When your dream job sucks

I was having drinks with a really dear friend the other night and she said something that stuck with me because I’d heard it from clients before. She said “If I'm not happy with my dream job, something must be wrong with me.”

Now I am here to tell you that there are three reasons why when your dream job sucks... it's not you.

  • Reason 1: No.

  • Reason 2: Nope.

  • Reason 3: Nuh Unh.

Reason #1: No. You couldn't know the reality of your dream job until you were actually living it.

You can do a million and one informational interviews, you can work your way up through a company, you can volunteer doing the job, you can do all of the background research, you can be as prepared as you can possibly be... but you can not, in any way, know the true day-to-day reality of any job until you're in the middle of it.

Even if it's your dream job and even if it's something you've been working towards for years - there's no way for you to know, and to truly understand, until you're living it.

Reason #2: Nope. Humans change their wants and needs all the time.

If you're working towards a dream job, and a dream job tends to be that idea of something we’ve hung our hat on that we are really working hard towards, your actual inner Needs & Wants may have changed without you really being aware of it.

So by the time you're finally into that dream job, that dream position, inside of you somewhere there is something saying that it's not right because your wants and your needs have changed and you've been so focused on getting the dream job that you haven't taken a step back to review where you are at personally.

If you've been so driven and focused on the end goal that you didn't take stock along the way that this is something you still truly want, than things (i.e. your wants and needs) may have changed without you realizing it. The job might be fine but it feels sucky because you don’t really want it any more.

Reason #3: Nuh Unh. Sometimes jobs just suck. Even dream ones.

It was true for this particular friend. I knew the job that she’d been working for. It sounded, on paper, like the perfect gig. When she got the job she was really, really, crazy excited. She got in there and knew from legitimately her first day on the job that it was awful.

Your first day on the job is usually filling out the paperwork, going to a nice lunch, meeting your co-workers as you get settled into your space. At her first day on the job she was there until almost midnight answering emails!  She knew that moment that the job sucked but she couldn't admit it because in her mind she was saying “You know if I worked this hard to get this dream job and it sucks then it must be me, not the job.”

But no. Sometimes jobs just suck! Even dream ones and it’s horrible.

It hurts to say, and I know there's so many of you out there working towards dream jobs! Some of you are going to have amazing experiences and some of you are going to get there and realize it’s not all peaches and roses and unicorn farts.

Sometimes jobs just suck and it's the worst. Does that mean you need to give up on your dream job completely if that happens? No, not at all! You do need to take stock and see if it is this particular job at this particular company or if it is the role as a whole.

You just need to take a step back and really take stock of what's happening.  

Remember - if you're not happy with your dream job something is not wrong with you! Just make sure, as you’re working towards your dream job, that you have realistic expectations for what that job is going to be. No job is going to fulfill you completely.

No job is going to make you happy all by itself.

Make sure you're checking in on your internal wants and needs, your priorities, your values and if you do get the job and it's not what you want make sure you acknowledge that sooner rather than later without beating yourself up about it!!

So those are my 3 reasons why when your dream job sucks it's not you. You're fine. You can get what you want and what you need - you just need to take a step back and figure out what that is.

If you've ever had a dream job that turned out to be the worst I'd love to hear your experiences! Let me know in the comments below!


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