The MYTH of the “Dream Job”

Stuck figuring out what your ”dream job” is? Well, you might be putting too much pressure on yourself. It’s not your fault. There are lots of messages and expectations we get from our family, media, and society that tell us we’re supposed to have one dream job to work towards. Not to mention this whole career exploration thing would be a lot more comfortable if there was just one answer! All we’d have to do is find it, then follow a set of instructions to achieve it. The discomforts of both uncertainty, and risk, would disappear. 

The reality is, there are many “dream jobs” that you would enjoy. Can you think of 3? Or 5? 

Let’s take that a step further. Have you ever heard the advice: do what you love? That’s another piece of advice that might have you feeling stuck! What if you “love” many things? Or aren’t sure if you “love” anything?! Now, what if you let go of the idea that all of your interests could be, or have to be, a monetizable commodity? If that were true, your “dream job” could be something that offers you stability, a safety net, flexibility, work-life balance, or any number of qualities that aren’t just – what you love to do. 

Enjoying your job is important. Statistics do show that people who are engaged in work they enjoy, that allows them to do what they are good at, are indeed happier. But it also doesn’t have to be the end all be all. Your life, does, and will continue to, consist of many more components than just work. So, what else is important to you?

How could your career ideas be freed up if you changed your way of thinking about a dream job, and widened your perspective to think about your “dream life,” considering the role that work might play in that life?

To take this one step further. Here’s an insightful short read on 3 Dream Job Myths you Need to Stop Believing if you Want to be Happy. Then, think back on your interests, values, and skills and use these questions to jumpstart your career exploration. See what new ideas come up with this new perspective.

By Sheryl Rosenberg
Sheryl Rosenberg Associate Director