Well, that was a short post. Us millennials don’t have time for a lot of ‘words’ or ‘thinking’ so you can stop reading now if you like. The short answer is that yes a dream job can still be a pain in the arse. If however you are stuck between tube stops or are trying to avoid conversation with someone at a party, then read on for the full explanation.
I have my dream job. I play with spreadsheets all day and fly around the world talking process and strategy. I know, it sounds weird. I still can’t quite believe it myself that I am a jet-setting business analyst. It took a long time (and some fairly lengthy negotiations) for me to get this job, and even longer for me to even figure out that it was the job I wanted. But here is the question we are pondering today, once you have finally found your dream job is it still allowed to be a pain in the arse?
The rhetoric of our time aka trending articles on Facebook suggests that having your dream job means the Sunday dreads go away and every day you spring out of bed with excitement. You dream job solves all your problems, it makes you into one of those smiling Instagram people who are so high on life that they crap motivational quotes. Oh and the dream job is always that of a digital nomad or creative influencer.
Must be in a creative field? Nope. Careers in 2016 are more fickle than they were for our parents; we change jobs with the seasons and company loyalty is less important than feeling fulfilled. But this does not mean that the type of role that can be a ‘dream job’ is limited in the slightest. Every single one of us have strengths and weaknesses (read: me with my love for Excel and hatred for following rules) AND more importantly we each have environments that we thrive in. Me for instance, I do really well in a small to medium company with a flat hierarchy where you get exposed to a whole lot of different areas. Put me in a traditional corporate and I turn into a bitchy, hateful, rage-monster. This means that to get your dream job you not only have to be doing the ‘stuff’ that appeals to you, but be doing that stuff in a company where you can thrive. What works for me will not work for you, unless you were the unfortunate clone that my parents kept in the attic. In which case tweet me @runawaykiwi, we haven’t caught up in ages.
Even if you are in a creative field, graphic designers get pissed off too you know. Its just that they show it with passive aggressive kerning.
Love every single second? Double nope. With my travel schedule I am on the road for at least half the month (hence why my blog schedule gets a little messed up with the time zones) and that is damn hard. Really hard. Like harder than Khal Drogo’s abs. I thrive on having a consistent schedule and being told on Friday that I need to be in America on Monday messes with my head. Oh and remember all the posts about me hating flying? I am now of the most extreme exposure therapy ever, I’m averaging about 6 flights a month with half of them being long haul – so basically I am being forced to deal. I need to do a longer post on work travel at some point, because I know that it sounds like the dream but fuck me it is hard like lego.
The job is also stupidly long hours and very stressful. Annoyingly this is actually something that makes it my dream job. I want to be able to make decisions, and with great power comes great responsibility. The midnight conference calls and the freaking out about presentations are just what I have to put up with to be able to have a job that is fulfilling and where I feel that I can kick ass.
Oh and that bounding out of bed with a smile that could kill a dentist thing? I am not a morning person and no matter what time zone I am in it is painful to wake up in the morning.
The dream job is not a panacea to give you a perfect life. But it does leave your brain feeling like its had a workout and make you feel like you are making progress – I’m not sure what the progress is towards, but its almost like the feeling of climbing a massive staircase with something cool at the top. You are the most important consideration in your career, there are so many components to a job that will impact on how happy you are. Finding a role & a company that work for you can be harder than finding a boyfriend who takes good Instagram photos, but when you hit the sweet spot you will find yourself writing blog posts about your dream job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hate your alarm clock and commiserate with friends over gin when it all feels a little too much.