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Why “Find Your Dream Job” isn’t always the best advice

Dream Job

There’s nothing objectionable about following your dreams, however for a lot of us it’s unclear what that “dream” really is, and that lack of clarity often leads people in a number of different directions, some better than others.

Most people start out by searching for that perfect or dream job at the beginning of their careers, but more often than not this dream remains unrealized. This however, isn’t a bad thing according to Melissa Kirk, an author at Psychology Today, who states “those who do not follow their dreams are not weak, powerless or frustrated but actually the ones living a good and stable life by continuously learning, growing and taking on new responsibilities”.

So, in effect, “following your dreams” should really mean “finding what makes you fulfilled”. A study by 8000 Hours found that a fulfilling job should meet the following criteria.

  1. You find the work you do engaging
  2. You have the opportunity to help others at work
  3. It’s a job you feel you’re good at
  4. There are colleagues to provide support when you need it
  5. No large negative such as unreasonable hours or bad working conditions
  6. It integrates with your life out of work, ensuring you can achieve a semblance of work-life balance

Finding a fulfilling job is a process, but it’s well worth the effort. Here are some steps to start you on your journey:

Try new things

Jon Levy, an author at Entrepreneur, states that difference experiences stimulate creativity and help develop an innovative mindset. The skills you learn during this process increase your competitiveness and marketability, opening up new opportunities in the future.

Find a suitable company

A Company that values its culture and employees will help you learn and grow. Instead of focusing solely on the performance and prestige of a company, try to understand how the company achieve their success what they invest in their employees. Finding a company culture that suits you is critical for your well-being and ultimately your long-term fulfillment.

Do what you’re good at

Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses? Finding a job that plays to your strengths will allow you (and your employer) to get the best out of each other, allowing you to build and move forward throughout your career.

Accept that this process can take some time

There are many great jobs out there but it’s unlikely you’ll find the one for you after just one interview, or even your first or second job. Sometimes, your first job is really about building the skills and experience to get you to the second or third job - where you’ll really enjoy the type of work you’ll get to do. As long as you’re prepared to work hard, learn and grow with each opportunity, you will build the requisite profile needed to obtain that elusive “dream” role.

Dream jobs don’t spontaneously materialize. They’re developed over time with patience and perseverance. Instead of aimless chasing the idea of a dream job, always strive for the best, with continuous and gradual progression throughout your professional career. This will ultimately lead you down the right path to fulfillment, and that dream job.

Fiona Wong

Freelance translator & writer, love arts, cinema, travel and flowers!

6 min read

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