Do you, or have you ever had, a “dream job”? Do you have any friends, former classmates or colleagues who describe their job as a dream? Do you believe them?
Don’t get me wrong – I love when I see someone fulfilled in their work, successfully using their strengths in an environment where they feel appreciated and fulfilled, and getting paid appropriately to do it. But that’s no dream: behind that deep sense of satisfaction is someone who has ventured down the path of self-discovery, sometimes at real personal cost, and has matched his strengths and most important values with a need he is uniquely suited to fill. With that knowledge in hand, he has exhaustively researched the various roles and reached out to myriad organizations he hopes will provide the platform from which he can meet that need. And finally, all that hard work has culminated in his distinguishing himself and being awarded the job he knows he wants and will do well.
A “dream job” sounds like a fantasy. It belies the true messiness, the yearning to wander, the serendipitous nature of what it means to author a career. The term seeks to tie all the frayed ends up in a perfect little bow, failing to acknowledge what it means to take your future into your own hands and create it from scratch. It’s a fatuous term that doesn’t belong in the lexicon of career discovery and job search. It’s a fallacy. Don’t let it fool you.
And in case you missed these pieces on LinkedIn: