Three Myths About Your 'Dream Job' That Only Hold You Back
Each of us on this planet has one precious life, and our work forms half of it. That's what makes finding a dream job a quest.
However, many of us find it hard to articulate what our dream job is, let alone find it. We are often overshadowed by false, commonly held beliefs.
In order to be able to conquer that quest, we first must disprove these common myths.
A dream job remains constant throughout our lives.
For many, a dream job actually keeps evolving for three main reasons.
First, throughout our lives, our personal experience expands, and we have more exposure to different fields and people. Our perspectives and interests change accordingly, and so does our notion of a dream job. As a child, one may have wished to be an astronaut. However, growing up in an era when technology became universal, he may want to be a coder.
Second, a dream job may disappear as its components change. We may love our job dearly, but when there is a change in leadership, people and culture, we may wish to find another pond.
Third, as technology is changing at a rapid speed, the actual world of work is also broadened. There are jobs out there today that have never existed before. Roles in app development, social media management or driverless car engineering were not around 10 years ago. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, "65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types."
Finding a dream job is a journey that involves experiments. Even if we don't stumble onto our ideal job right away, we are always at least one step closer to it. Any experience is never a waste. It still helps us discover who we are and aren’t. It also helps us harness certain skills and traits.
A dream job is just one profession.
Some of us are in a job where we could never imagine doing anything else, whether it's a specialist role or a job that allows us to ignite every aspect of our many talents, such as an entrepreneur or a musical performer. Many of us, however, have many talents and passions that don’t fit one particular job. And that's normal.
For example, let's look at a few well-known, successful people. L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was known as a writer, but he also bred poultry, worked in journalism and was involved in stage production to satisfy his other interests. Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, was also a mathematical logic specialist, an accomplished photographer and a deacon. Leonardo da Vinci, popularly known as a painter, also practiced many other disciplines, including architecture, sculptures and engineering.
A dream job can be more like a portfolio with our unique gifts at its core. If you have multiple avenues to choose from, you could either have a few part-time careers so you could tap into all talents or you could find a job you're talented at that pays the bills while working on a side hustle or a volunteer project that utilizes the other talents.
A dream job is a perfect one.
From the outside looking in, the job of someone you admire and want to trade your own with seems to be perfect. You may dream of writing best-selling books and having your work made into box-office hits, having fans all over the world and rubbing shoulders with many celebrities. Or you may idolize a successful entrepreneur who does what she loves, where she wants, with whom she likes, all while serving a great cause close to her heart.
However, too often, we let others' accomplishments outshine their struggles and what they had to go through in order to achieve that success. A celebrated writer may have had to painfully shred their manuscript time and again, rewrite after rewrite, after facing dozens of rejections from agents to the point they nearly quit. A successful entrepreneur may have once had to adjust their lifestyle drastically due to unstable income and made sacrifices like choosing their company over their partner and working long hours.
The fact is any job requires trade-offs and struggles, and it’s just a matter of what our threshold is based on our values and priorities in any certain stage of our life. It's all about whether the cause we serve, the vision we wish to create and the goal we set are magnetic enough to pull us forward.
A dream job does exist if we also learn to love the struggles it brings. The best way to find a dream job is to have a strong self-awareness about who we are and what we really want, then using that to narrow down a few career options. Clearly understand exactly what a job entails, test drive it, finalize one or two and get going. With a structured process, if you don’t get it right away, you are at least one step closer and better prepared for your dream job.
Previously published on Forbes.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Founder, Career Happiness Coach & Strategist
Happiness Infinity LLC
My name is Amy Nguyen. I am an absolutely passionate and highly-skilled Career Happiness Coach, based in New York City area. I am an official member of Forbes Coaches Council and a Brain-Based Coach trained by the NeuroLeadership Institute. With unique experience taking charge of Happiness within myself, at home and at work, my mission is to help highly motivated and heart-centered women to, happily and practically, discover their Career Happiness Infinity Zone, map out... Continue Reading
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