Sometimes we spend so much time trying to land our dream job that once we get it, it can be hard to realize that we have it. Our dream jobs can also change. It might have been your dream job to work at Starbucks when you were young (I know it was mine). Today, however, you know yourself better, you’ve achieved much, and you have an altogether different dream job. Or maybe you don’t know what your dream job is. After all, it takes a lot of time and discernment to figure out what it is we’re supposed to do with our lives.
How Do You Find Your Dream Job
I think one of the biggest hurdles we face in finding our dream jobs is listening too much to other people. Society has its own expectations as to what the perfect career looks like. And that usually comes along with some level of prestige, a big pay check, and — for many — a good deal of misery. We also have ample friends and family who will tell us what their idea of a dream career is.
However, you aren’t society, and you aren’t your friends and family. What your dream career will look like will be unique to you. That doesn’t mean other people aren’t doing it, but it’s not necessarily going to be the thing EVERYBODY is doing. The world’s a big place and there is room for all sorts of different talents and skill sets out there.
In his book, The Proximity Principle, Career Expert, Ken Coleman, outlines what a dream job is and how to find it. And I think these rules apply to just about anybody — your dream job lies somewhere at the intersection of using what you are good at, to do work you love, to produce meaningful results.
Getting all of this figured out takes a lot of time and introspection. But how do you know when you’ve actually gotten there?
How You Know You’ve Landed Your Dream Job?
Mondays Aren’t a Big Deal
When you’ve landed your dream job, suddenly, Mondays aren’t so bad. Sure, you might enjoy the time of total relaxation that is the weekend, but in a way, you’re glad for the weekend to be over with because the work week offers opportunity to do things that also matter to you. This is because you’ve landed your dream job. Your dream job not only allows you to do work that matters to you, it also inspires you in the rest of your life. You have more energy because the work you are doing feels natural. It invigorates you.
You Are Making More Than Enough Money
In his book, “The Wealthy Gardner”, John Soforic points out that having enough money means having more thane enough money. Without having more than enough, you simply can’t live life to its fullest. You can’t enjoy vacations, you can’t explore hobbies, you can’t be at peace. The same has to be said for your dream job. You may have a lot of things that you enjoy doing, but if they don’t make more than enough money, then they are just hobbies. Your dream job has to pay the bills, and then some. It has to provide for the life you want, not just pay the bills.
You Have Work Life Balance
Lots of companies like to talk about valuing work life balance these days, because it gets applicants in the door. However, I’m going to let you in on a little known secret — work life balance is not really your company’s to give. It’s yours. And finding your dream job also means finding a job with a work life balance that fits you. The reason for this is simple, really: work life balance means different things to different people.
Some people love the 9–5 routine, others want to work late into the night. Some people want to always be at the office, while others want to always be home. Finding a job that allows you to work the way that suits you is part of finding the dream job.
You’re Doing What You Always Wanted to Do
You may not be doing the exact thing you thought you would be doing one day. But chances are that you are doing what you always wanted to do, in some capacity. Maybe you grew up dreaming of being an actor. Overtime, through growing up and getting more mature, you might have found that what you really loved was discussing theater and teaching others about it. So you became an acting teacher. It wasn’t the thing you thought you’d do one day when you were a kid, but that’s the nice thing — although what we wanted to do as kids is a good indicator of what we enjoy doing, we don’t need to feel tied down to it. Things change — you change. You’re not beholden to the lofty goal you set for yourself at any age.
Still, the dream job will take time and effort to get, and you can’t get it without really, really wanting it. So when you get it, you’ll know because it’s the thing you always wanted to do.
So, are you doing your dream job? If not, find out why taking risks is an essential ingredient to life and finding your dream job.
Originally published at https://www.josephwriteranderson.com on December 13, 2020.