Six reasons to stop worrying about your dream job
A recent poll from the Bank of Montreal found that nearly half of Canadians (47% of respondents) surveyed said they were already working in their dream jobs, and two-thirds (65% of respondents) said they looked forward to going into work each day.
These numbers seems to contradict my own personal experience with friends, family, acquaintances, and even people I have overheard on the subway who complain about their jobs. I realize this is a small sample group and far from a formal study, but it seems like a national pastime to complain about work. Do we really want to give this up? Can it be that this many people happily spring out of bed every morning to get to their dream job?
Whether the numbers truly reflect the attitudes of people in the workplace, it got me thinking about our quest to ultimately find that one amazing job. Why is there so much importance placed on achieving a dream job? Can we not still be happy without considering our job ‘perfect’?
In response to the BMO survey, Workopolis polled its own users to see how close they are to their goals. Only 5% of respondents told us that they are currently in their dream jobs. (Perhaps unsurprising, since they are on Workopolis, after all.) But 40% of users said that they know what their dream job is, and that they’re working towards it. The other 55% are still searching. Let’s put this in perspective.
Here are six reasons to be okay with not having found your dream job:
Creates Unrealistic Expectations – Searching only for your dream job means you may overlook other great positions for which you are qualified. It is easy to become frustrated and disappointed if you don’t find that dream position. Be realistic in your expectations. The job you accept today could lead to your dream job tomorrow.
Every Job is a Stepping Stone – You’ve just graduated from university and rung up a huge amount of student debt. You decide to take a job with decent pay, even though it is not something you absolutely love. Is there anything wrong with that? Sometimes priorities in life lead us to make choices to ‘fit’ our current lifestyle.
Dream Jobs Change Over Time – Dream jobs may not stay a ‘dream’ forever. That perfect sales job you had travelling all over the world was great before you had a spouse and kids. Priorities change over time. You should always be on the lookout for new exciting opportunities.
Hard to Identify – The hardest part of finding your dream job may be figuring out what it is! The only way to seek out a great job is to understand ourselves and try new things. What you like to do in your spare time is a good starting point to where your strengths and interests lie. Be mindful of those tasks and jobs you have done in the past and what you liked and disliked about them.
Become Complacent – Finding your dream job means you may become complacent and no longer feel a need to be on the lookout for other employment. Maybe there is a job even better than the dream job you are currently have.
Who Really Wants to Be That Happy? – It is very annoying to meet people at dinner parties who are so content in life. All the good conversations come from people in turmoil. Take solace from the fact that life brings us many challenges, and its okay to not always have our ‘ducks in a row’. I wouldn’t worry too much about these happy people. They tend to create new problems for themselves out of boredom anyway.
We spend far too much time in the workplace to not like our job. Chances are if you dislike your job, other parts of your life will be affected too. But it is also important to realize that so much emphasis should not be placed on achieving your dream job, but trying new things, looking for exciting opportunities, and doing what’s right for your current situation. What a sigh of relief – ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ is exhausting.
Best of luck!
Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of DirectoryOfCareers.ca. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.