The idea of a dream job is one I’ve been thinking about, mainly because for a few months last year, I was stuck in it.
The “dream job” is something that’s instilled in us all throughout society. We ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. We have teenagers make a 40-year decision on what they want to study in college. But the more I thought through it, the more I came to the realization that maybe for a lot of people out there, myself included, a dream job doesn’t just exist. And that’s alright.
For me and I think a large part of society, believing there’s a dream job that we need to find just results in a lot of sleepless nights and constant brain-bashing trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives. It ends with ceaseless browsing of career sites and personality tests to try to find that one job out there that will be fulfilling and meaningful to you.
But I stopped thinking that way. I stopped thinking of my career as a 40-year tunnel where I needed to make the right decision right now because once I’m in it, there’s no getting out. I stopped because it was way too much pressure to be putting myself under and a wrong way to look at my working life. And let’s say I do get that dream job. Am I going to want to do the same thing after a few decades?
Instead, I started looking at my career as steppingstones, and what I should be focused on are the stones in front of me. Instead of looking at 40 years, I’m just looking at the next few steps. What job right now would I find interesting, wouldn’t mind doing and would fulfill my current needs?
So right now, I’m pursuing programming. Is it my “dream” job? No. Is it my purpose in life? I don’t think so. Is it what I want to do forever? I’m not sure. But I do know that it’s what I want to do right now. I find it interesting, challenging, and fitting to my personality. It also more importantly would allow me to pursue my interests and hobbies outside the job. It would let me be active in the things I find fulfilling and meaningful.
Maybe some people out there have a dream job, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just don’t think people should live their life thinking they need to be working their dream job to be happy where they’re at.