‘Top 10 dream jobs,’ ‘How to get a dream job,’ ‘Dream job test,’ and ‘What is my dream job.’ What do all of these phrases have in common? They are commonly used search queries I found in doing a bit of keyword research on the term ‘dream job.’ These results tell me one thing: we’ve got our thinking all wrong on searching for a dream job.
Today I’d like to do two things. First, I will define ‘dream job.’ Second, I will shed light on the first step to landing our dream job… And I’ll warn you now – I can’t tell you your dream job, so if you’re looking for a silver bullet, I’ll save you the next five minutes. It’s not here.
What is a dream job?
I offer the following definition and I welcome discussion related to this definition in the comments section.
Dream Job (noun) – An occupation allowing for alignment of values, employment of passion, and use of talent, resulting in a feeling of absolute fulfillment.
Nowhere in the above definition do I mention money, nor prestige, nor fame. Nowhere in the above do I mention expectations nor public opinion. I omit each of these concepts conspicuously and with great intention. And here is why…
The key to finding our dream job
The key to finding our dream job lies in our self-awareness. It lies in our experience and knowledge of what makes us tick. Our dream job is a direct reflection of our deep-seeded dreams and childhood ambitions. A dream job is, by definition, extremely personal.
And so you see, I cannot tell you your dream job. And believe it or not, neither can Google. Which is why the search queries with which I started this post are so telling. They tell us everything we need to know about how we are approaching the incredibly important process of locating and securing a fulfilling, purposeful career. They tell us that we are starting our search for our dream job by looking externally, while the answers lie within us.
The first step to finding your dream job
I promised the first step to finding your dream job, and so I will give it to you.
Step 1: Take an entire day away from everything. Away from your friends, family, work, classes, and any other obligations or outside influence. Leave your phone and computer at home. Grab a pen and notepad and head to your favorite spot within 30 minutes of your residence. Think extremely selfishly. Let go of all inhibition, limiting factors, the word impossible, and expectations of others.
Take an honest assessment of your deepest values. Write down everything about which you have ever been passionate. Take an honest assessment of your greatest talents. Recall your childhood dreams. Write everything down on the paper.
Now imagine a job where all of these things were put to good use. What would you do everyday? What kind of work products would you produce? What skills would you use? For what kind of boss would you work? Would you go to an office or work from home? Would you travel the world or stay local? How would your career develop into a fulfilling and purposeful experience?
The answer lies within us. Our dream job is ultimately a reflection of our own person. I challenge you today, the day before a weekend, to schedule the time necessary to reflect deeply. Because while it might be hard to take time away and imagine a career without boundaries, would we really want to rely on a magic test we found through Google to tell us our dream job?
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