Why Your Dream Job Doesn’t Exist.
While we may not know many people who love their job, we usually know at least one person who loves what they do. But why does it seem so rare? Why, if we’re in a free society, don’t we find ourselves surrounded by people who love their jobs? Because it’s hard to get there. Dream jobs don’t just fall out of the sky. They are most often the result of many years of intentional, hard work. There is a lot that goes into creating a dream job. Yes, I said creating.
Dream jobs don’t just fall out of the sky. They are most often the result of many years of intentional, hard work.
Dream jobs don’t exist. They are created. And more often than not, a dream job is the result of years of careful planning and strategizing, failure followed by failure. Many times, a dream job is simply a job that someone has worked in for years, and as they become more competent in their role, they begin to recreate that role in unique ways over time. Adding a feature or new component to a job can be done after the “apprenticeship” phase of employment, once you’ve become a master.
What I refer to as the apprenticeship phase is the period of time that you are learning your role, your company, your industry, and the direction of the company’s leaders and the markets. This often takes years to really know well and it requires time and effort outside of your 9 to 5 job description. It requires going above and beyond your 9 to 5 responsibilities, so-to-speak. It requires curiosity about how your work is necessary to the larger mission. It requires a commitment to know how your job affects those around you. To get beyond the apprenticeship phase, it requires becoming a master of your job. And to do that, you will need to develop competencies in more areas than your immediate job description demands. It requires excellence. Once you understand the role your job plays within the larger mission, you can begin to understand what value-added tasks or areas are worth investing your time into. That may mean developing a complementary skillset such as improving negotiation skills or communication, or it could mean learning about an adjacent body-of-knowledge or a parallel industry you often deal with. The deeper you look into anything, the more you will begin to realize how interconnected everything really is. And the more well-rounded you become, the more capable you become at adding value. Being able to add value is what opens up new opportunities. Companies are always excited to have employees who can add more value to their companies. And this is where crafting your dream job becomes a reality.
Once you understand the role your job plays within the larger mission, you can begin to understand what value-added tasks or areas are worth investing your time into.
It’s possible that your dream job is not with your current company or even in your current industry. And this is often times enough to stop most people dead in their tracks. After all, if your dream job doesn’t seem to be within immediate reach, it can be difficult to do the work necessary to get to it. But instead of seeing this as an obstacle, you should view it as an opportunity to become even more qualified for your dream job. Figuring out how to cross that chasm, from current job to dream job, takes a lot of effort and planning. It requires being honest with yourself about your shortcomings, uncomfortable truths, as well as your passions and ambitions. And this can take years to make progress in, and if that’s not bad enough, the process of self-examination is never really done. We all change, all the time. But you will be all the better for it.
We all know that nothing worth having comes easy. There’s a cost for everything. There has to be a sacrifice. In fact, if you haven’t sacrificed on your way to your dream job, I would question if you really have a dream job. If you haven’t been challenged, if you haven’t failed time and time again, if you haven’t learned more about yourself in pursuit of that job than you would have learned during a passive employment phase, then I would posit that your dream job isn’t a dream job – it’s an easy job. And the two are not the same, not by a long shot. If a job is “easy” and if it’s not demanding and if it doesn’t require you to give up something in order to be better, if it doesn’t require that you operate at an even higher level of efficiency and commitment than your current job does, then it cannot be a “dream job”. You won’t be able to fall asleep at your “dream job” because you will be too engaged and there are endless challenges to overcome and constant new depths to explore.
Dream jobs don’t start once you are in them. Your dream job starts the first day of your first job. That’s true whether you’re a cook at Sonic, a barista at a coffee shop, or a first year attorney. Your dream job is the amalgamation of every job you’ve had, all of the education you’ve pursued, all of the experiences you’ve had, and all of the opportunity you’ve chased down throughout the years. It’s the outcome of everything that has made you who you are. That’s why it’s your dream job. And that’s why it doesn’t exist (and will never exist) right now. Because you’re creating it right now. You have to be able to operate within the confines of your job description and accomplish what you were hired to accomplish, all while slowly carving out new responsibilities that more closely align with the things that make your soul sing. Your dream job doesn’t exist because you probably don’t even know what it looks like yet. And that’s what makes them so misunderstood. A dream job is the result of a tireless pursuit of what makes you feel alive – of chasing the butterflies – those fleeting moments that resonate with you deeply and leave a mark. And sometimes the things that make you feel the most alive, the most fulfilled, are the most difficult and unimaginable things in your life.
A dream job is the result of a tireless pursuit of what makes you feel alive – of chasing the butterflies – those fleeting moments that resonate with you deeply and leave a mark.
So how do you work towards a dream job if you don’t know what it is or even what it looks like? You start by becoming very competent in the job you have now. Become so competent that you can begin to look for new ways to perform your tasks and bring additional value into your role. Enhance the capabilities of your position in only ways you can. You are unique on some level. Work to integrate the best parts of that unique-ness into how you perform your current job. This is known as “job crafting” and a dream job is little more than the inevitable outcome of hard work, staying the path, and “job crafting” every step of the way. You can’t boil the ocean. But more and more, you’ll find yourself being pulled in a direction that invigorates you and intrigues you, while challenging you and beckoning you towards adventure. Because the chances are good that your dream job doesn’t exist yet, which is why you have to invest so much time and effort literally working it into existence.
TRAC Staffing can help you get started! Call us today at 479-783-9230 and get your career on a fast track today!
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