Have you ever asked yourself the question “what’s my dream job”? If you said yes, have you ever thought that you might be asking yourself the wrong thing?
There’s a good chance you could be.
Because who says there’s a dream job out there for everyone?
We’re told so much that we should do what we love and love what we do – then we’ll never have to work a day in our life. That’s defined as a dream job, right?
Here’s something from behind-the-scenes of my life and how I view my career right now:
Instead of seeing what I do day to day as a dream job, I see it as a dream life. And my career fits around that. My career helps to build my ideal life.
You know you’re onto something good when you’re passionate, excited and motivated about something. If you’re getting paid for it, then it’s even better. You hear stories of people on huge wages, going on big holidays and living in a big house. You see they've got a job in your industry and you could see yourself doing the same.
But that’s when the problems start. Because that’s when you’re never satisfied with what you’ve got. That’s when you’re left wanting more.
I've been there.
When I wanted to turn my blog into a business and saw so many other people doing it, I became convinced everything would work out the same for me. It didn't. I was never satisfied, even though I was working so hard. I was so impatient, always wanted more and began to hate the direction ABOH was going in.
Then my mindset changed. And the reason for that was because I started to understand why I was feeling such discomfort. That’s how you can start to make positive changes.
Now I'm not trying to demotivate you here. Motivation is a key value of ABOH. But goals only work when they’re realistic.
And realistically, even if you’re in your “dream job”, there’s still going to be days when you’d rather stay in bed than get up in a morning. We're only human.
Today, we’re here to talk about whether there is such a thing as a “dream job” and what this means for our careers and lives…
I talk to so many students on a daily basis who have no idea what they want to do. They've no idea what to study at university and no idea what to do for a career. They feel so much pressure, and just don’t know what direction to go in.
But I recently gave a group of third year university students an exercise to do, to help them figure out the direction they want to go in. It was actually quite similar to figuring out what you want to do with your blog.
#1 FIND YOUR WHY
You've heard that before, right? But before you click away, just hear me out.
You don’t need to know your ideal career, honestly you don’t. What will take you further in life is if you know your “why”.
Why do you do what you do? Why is this important? Why this and nothing else?
You don’t just become passionate about what you do. You don’t just fall in love with what you do. Overnight successes don’t exist. There’s no step-by-step formula that people use to reach their dream career. Usually because, they don’t know what this is yet.
Finding your “why” means uncovering the reason you do what you do – or what you want to do. It’s how your skills and passion for something engage and link with what your core beliefs are. The things that you believe in define the decisions you make in your career.
Take me as an example. Some of my core beliefs include:
- Building a community, not a following
- Communication, collaboration and trust will always build strong friendships
- Our true purpose is created through consistency, support and honest
Now just look how they link directly with the job I'm doing today:
- Community defines the place I work for. Everything we do online is about building a community for our students, parents and staff.
- We build this community through growing our relationships with every single person.
- We always provide support and honesty through everything we do - whether it be on social media, through a news article or an event. We know how important these factors are to building a community and that is what we're all about.
This tells me that I've found the right career.
Are you unhappy in your job right now? I get that. The past three jobs I had, I was unhappy.
There are so many different reasons for this. You might not get on with another colleague, feel negative about your long commute or the fact that you know it’s only a stepping stone to get you somewhere else.
But only you know what’s right for you. Life isn't like a film. You don’t just stumble into a perfect job. Most of us work hard and struggle to get to where we want to be. If you’re living your life based on what you believe in, you’ll get there quicker. Wherever “there” is for you.
That’s why finding out your “why” is so important. You’ll begin to make decisions based on what you believe in, which will ultimately lead you to what you’re really meant to be doing with your life.
#2 CREATE A NEW MEANING FOR "DREAM JOB"
I know people who know they won't have a dream job, simply because they believe that other things are more important. A lot of people in our industry at the moment see a dream job as being able to work from home on our blogs all day. But the problem with that is being realistic.
It’s all well and good to set your goal as becoming someone who can work from home. But you’ve got to realistically set out how you’re going to make a living based on this.
Or let’s say you want to travel the world. What happens when you come back? What happens when you want to settle down and start a family? I don’t want to scare all you spring chickens out there, but life goes faster than you think.
You’ll find that life never happens the way you plan it. When I graduated from my Masters degree a year ago, I thought I’d walk into the perfect job and Tom and I would find an amazing house. But I had to work in different jobs that I didn't like for a year before I found the right one. And Tom and I are still saving up for a house, but that’s because we want a good one for our future.
As you grow, you’ll take several paths that you didn't think you’d go down. That means changes might have to be made to how you see your ideal career.
Situations arise in life that mean you have to make changes. But these changes are all leading you towards what you’re meant to be doing that match your core beliefs.
#3 PAY ATTENTION TO EVERYTHING
Your ups, your downs, your achievements, your failures, your laughter, your sorrows. You’ll discover so much about yourself. Don’t dismiss your instincts. As I'm growing, I've started to realise that I should’ve listened to them a lot more when I was younger.
Don’t just do what everyone else is doing. Don’t just do something because you think it’s the easy thing to do or right for other people. What’s good for you? What works for you? When it’s your career, you can afford to be selfish.
Sometimes something needs to happen for you to realise that you need to make a change. For me at my last job, it was coming home one day and breaking down because I couldn't carry on being there anymore.
It makes you stronger. I know you might think it’s easy for me to say. But I've been where you are. That’s the point of ABOH.
Am I saying that you’re going to go through a horrible time before you’re happy in your career? No. I can’t predict the future. You might not have to go through that. It’s like break-ups. Some of us go through them – some of us find one person and stay with them forever.
You’ll be surprised at yourself when a difficult situation arises. I've had to hand my notice in three times over the past year – it’s not easy. But you become stronger every time you do it.
These times are a part of your life and they’re all leading you in the right direction. I promise.
A Final Note…
The most important way to find the career that’s right for you and your life is knowing yourself. Your dream career is what you dream about. Wouldn't it be better to have a career that’s in line with your beliefs and how you live?
This is key to finding the direction you never knew you wanted to go down. Your “why” helps you eliminate what is wrong and what you’re uncertain about.
But more importantly, it helps you figure out what you want to do. Then all that’s left to do is follow your path, embrace it and get there.
Do you think the "dream job" really exists? Share your thoughts in the comments below...