From a very young age, everyone is expected to have their dream job instilled in their mind. From the moment you walk into kindergarten and then on out, you are asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” as if you are already supposed to have it figured out. Of course, no one really expects that answer to remain the same from age five on (I said I wanted to be my dog when I was younger, and although that still stands true, I understand that is simply not possible). The term “dream job” is thrown around so lightly, to seem like everyone just has one in the back of their mind, but finding this dream job is actually just as hard as it is to get the job itself.
The biggest issue with finding your dream job is that many people have layers and layers of passions and interests. So how does one know which one to pursue as a career or simply remain as a hobby? Well, the first step is deciding what passions of yours are so strong that you could focus on them every single day, the good, bad, and ugly, and still be passionate about it.
Your job should ultimately be something you are interested in enough to do every day- whether you were being paid or not. Of course, the goal of attaining a job is to get paid, but one main factor contributing to something feeling like a “dream job” is it not feeling like work. Getting to this point won’t be easy, and not everything will be honky dory all the time, but loving what you do is what a dream job is all about.
Along with this, you might have something you are incredibly passionate about or interested in, but the actual jobs related to that field make you miserable. For example, I am obsessed with animals, but there is not a single job related to working with animals that I want to do. Trust me- I have looked into all of them. And that’s okay! I can still love animals, but don’t necessarily need to work with them for a living. That doesn’t make my passion for them any less strong; it just means that interest is not what I want to do for my career. It is the process of going through your passions and interests and finding related jobs, that will help narrow a long list of interests into a few ideas of ideal careers.
In the end, most people won’t know what their dream job is until they're actually in it. In most cases, people will go through years of experience just to end up exactly where they are meant to be. In fact, it seems that most people go into college with their ideal industry in mind, major in that field, maybe get an entry-level job doing it or even go back to school for it, just to realize they don’t want it at all. That happens to more people than we realize, and is completely okay! It’s better to be aware of it than spend a lifetime working hard on something that doesn’t make you happy. We want to work hard towards a passion; that’s how to feel fulfilled with your work.
The fact of the matter is that a dream job is an illusion because you never know what you want until you have it. Your interests will lead you towards a subject, and from there, the hope is you’ll form a career and make some money along the way.
Eventually, your gut will lead you to where you are meant to be. And if you suddenly realize what you’re doing is not it, then don’t put in another minute of effort and start figuring out what’s next!
And who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who know exactly what they want to do and who they want to be in the future. Good for you! Too bad, the hard part doesn't end here, and now you actually have to work hard and make it happen. But keep working as long as it’s what you're passionate about, and it’s what you love to do. And if the passion is there, the effort, energy, and willingness for hard-work will be too.