It’s time to give up the ghost.
There are no “dream jobs.”
Yeah, I said it. And you know why? Because I’m living my “dream job.” (outside of running social media for the PGA Tour)
And while I’m exceedingly happy with my current role, it’s far from a “dream job.”
Because the “dream job” is simply unattainable.
Think about it.
What does the term “dream job” imply? For many, I have a feeling it means one or more of the following:
- A job where you get to do everything you want to do
- A job where you have authority to make decisions
- And, a job with very few, if any, drawbacks
Except two of those three bullets are complete fallacies to begin with.
First, no job is devoid of drawbacks. Take my current role. While I do enjoy the perks of schedule flexibility and controlling who I want to work with, there are significant drawbacks to the solo lifestyle.
For one, it’s a very lonely existence. You really have to make an effort to get out and see people–and even then, you don’t have a “team.” No one to bounce ideas off. No one to call bullsh*t on your stupid ideas.
Also: it’s not the most glamorous life. You don’t win awards, because often it doesn’t make sense to submit an entry. You don’t enjoy the “status” of being a VP at Target because you’re a independent consultant and you work from your dining room table most of the time.
No, this job DEFINITELY has drawbacks. All jobs do. The key is this: If the pros outweigh the cons, it’s probably a darn good job. And for me, right now, this is a darn good job.
Second, you’re never going to have a job where you get to do everything you want to do. It’s just not realistic. Again, I’ll use myself as an example. In my current role, I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the biggest brands in the Twin Cities (Sleep Number, Trane, Andersen Windows & Doors, Cargill, General Mills), and I’ve done some great work with them that I’m really, really proud of. But, I’m just a solo consultant–I don’t typically touch the large, primary campaigns these kinds of companies are working on because they have big agencies to do that kind of work. So yeah, I’d love to do that work, but I know my role and I’m comfortable with it. But, it certainly doesn’t include “everything I’d want to do.” So, be realistic about what that might entail. You might get to do 2-3 things that you’ve always wanted to do–but you also have to do 1-2 other things that really suck. So what? Who cares? It’s all about setting expectations.
And, that’s really the key to this whole dream job thing: expectations.
Again–there is no dream job. Adjust expectations accordingly.
There are no jobs where you’ll get to do everything you want to do. Adjust expectations accordingly.
There is no job where you’ll have the perfect balance you’ve been seeking. Adjust expectations accordingly.
And, there is no job where you’ll get to make all the decisions. Adjust expectations accordingly.
Once you own up to the fact that there are no dream jobs, you’ll find a little weight has lifted off your chest. A little less pressure. Because there’s not that drive to FIND that dream job–because IT DOESN’T EXIST.
Stop worrying about finding your dream job. Instead, go find a job where your days fly by. Where you feel fulfilled. Where you work (mostly) with people you enjoy.
And don’t forget to adjust those expectations.