From a young age, we are constantly asked about our dream job, and the pressure to walk out of college into this dream role can be somewhat suffocating – especially as it is very rarely the reality. However, just because your next job isn’t lined up to be the dream, that doesn’t mean you are failing. In fact, there are so many reasons that you shouldn’t worry about your next job being your dream job.
Figure out what you’re good at
The idea is that during college, and in your first few jobs, you discover what it is that you’re good at, and what it is that you love. This will almost certainly have changed from when you were asked at the age of 5, but also may be different from what your initial idea was when you started college. Discovering what you’re good at, or what you like to do will likely change what your dream job actually is, and so it is expected that there will be plenty of trial and error in your first few jobs. It’s the career equivalent of kissing a few frogs.
It takes time
Even if you already know for sure what your dream job is, it’s unlikely that you will be able to walk straight into it. Most jobs require experience or specific knowledge that may be above what you learned at college. You will probably have to do a lot of lower-level jobs to gain the experience needed to be able to be considered for your dream job.
The opportunity is more important than the title
Forget the idea that each job you get should be a ‘step up’ from the last. Titles are not as important as you may think, and certainly not as important as what the job itself entails. For example, you could be miserable and unfulfilled with a job title to be proud of, or you could be happy and feel as though you are making a difference to your life with a job where the title doesn’t sound overly impressive.
What is best for you?
The important thing when it comes to a career is what is best for you. Sure, your parents might wish you had become a doctor, or your friends from college might think it’s strange that you strayed from what you studied, but as long as you are happy, and in the right place for you at any one time, that is what is important. We are all very much wrapped up in how we look to other people, especially with social media playing such a big part in our lives, and sometimes it seems as though people look for jobs that give them good bragging rights online, rather than what they actually want to do.
So take the pressure off yourself next time you come to apply for a job. It doesn’t have to be your dream job. You will likely have many different jobs in your life, and just because you might not be at your dream job status yet, that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen, or that you aren’t on the right track.