We toss around the term “dream job” casually, and most people seem to think they understand what it means. Your Dream Job is one that uses the skills you have worked hard to acquire and enjoy using the most. Your Dream Job is one that makes people perk up with interest or raise their eyebrows in admiration when you tell them what you do. “Really? That sounds… like fun / so interesting / so challenging.” Your Dream Job makes a difference (in whatever way you choose to express it, whether it’s making a difference in the world or helping someone look and feel their best.) And it’s one that pays well (or at least well enough) without requiring a huge sacrifice of other things you value.
That’s what makes the concept so interesting and individual. I may think that someone’s job sounds glamorous and thrilling, but am I willing to get up at 4:00 every morning or work out or study three hours a day or learn a foreign language to do it? Or be paid half what I am in my ordinary and fairly dull day job? Those are the questions that can only be answered by you – after much soul searching.
Having said that, I think the idea of pursuing a dream job is something every worker should aspire to. You should enjoy your work, use your strongest skills, and be paid well. Even in this recession, it’s possible to pursue and find your dream job; it just may take a little longer.
So here are the steps you might take to find your dream job eventually. I’ll be writing posts about each of them in turn over the next few weeks.
- Decide what elements make up your dream job: what you do, when and where you do it, who you work with and for, and what your typical day at work looks like.
- Research the possibilities. There are usually several variations and possibilities in any career path.
- Figure out where you stand in the market for this job; what do you need to do to compete and succeed in the field?
- Create long and short-term plans for getting to where you want to be.
- Make sure you continue to work toward the goal, whatever your current situation may be.
- Recognize your dream job when you see it – and be ready to take the leap when you have the chance.