Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Does a 'dream job' truly exist?

When I was five I decided I wanted to be a vet and my Mum told me that I’d have to put my arm up a cow’s bum.

So when I was five-and-a-half I decided I wanted to be a nurse and my Mum told me that I’d have to clean up blood and sick.

So by the time I was six I decided I wanted to be a waitress. On reflection, I think I just enjoyed going out for food and wanted to be a permanent part of that process.

Twenty-something years later I have never been a waitress, although I did serve popcorn in a cinema for several years. And then picked it up again off the floor roughly the length of a feature-film later.

I digress. I struggle a bit with the concept of a ‘dream job’ because, despite my childhood proclamations, I've never really had my heart set on any one role. I have lots of varied interests and skills, am curious about the world and all the things I don't know about it. I'd rather be adaptable and adept at many things than choose one particular career. So how can I possibly know that what I like doing now will be what I like doing in 5, 10, 50 years time?

For me, I think are a ‘dream job’ is one that has the following features:
  • Enables me to make a difference in the lives of others
  • Provides plenty of opportunity to grow, develop, get involved in new things
  • Has no strict hierarchy. (No matter my place in the company, I want to be able to share my knowledge, insight and experience with anyone and have it taken seriously.)
  • Doesn't always feel like a job. There's got to be moments where you think "I can't believe I get paid to do this!"

Writing this made me feel great because these are all features of my current organisation! I do think it's important to reflect and review though. What a person studied and trained for might not turn out to be their life's calling after all, and that's OK to admit.

What are the features of your dream job?

This post is part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge


  1. When I was younger (Like 7 or so) I had it in my head I wanted to be a poet. By the time I was 10 that had changed to Pilot (Thanks Top Gun), which sounded close enough I could pretend that's what I'd always wanted to be. Then it turned out I couldn't see stuff (I missed a lot of potential eye appointments at school) more than a foot away without glasses, so that threw a spanner in that jet engine.
    I kind of fell into my career by being lazy (A common theme for software devs it seems).
    So my dream job would involve me learning stuff, getting that rush from solving problems and be varied so that I don't get bored. Which is quite nice as I have most of that where I currently work, I just wish it was closer to home, not a big fan of the commute.

  2. My dream job would allow me to use my brain (IE not mindless), make a difference to somebody's life,
    allow me plenty of family time without it being an issue, a good group of co-workers and on a wage that wouldn't leave me struggling.

    So almost the same criteria!

  3. When I was very wee I wanted to be a princess or a ballerina. Then I wanted to be an actress. By the time I was 11 I went to Space Camp and decided I wanted to be an astronaut. When I realised I was bad at science, I briefly wanted to be the first actress in space (odd if not quite ambitious). I now work in PR and marketing. What makes it a bit of a dream job is having a sutler supportive team who say thank you when you do something well and having a huge creative element to the job. There are still crap days but feeling valued makes them easier to cope with.

  4. Super not sutler. Is that even a word autocorrect?!

  5. Your description is perfect and makes me appreciate how lucky I am to have all that in my job. Ok, it's not perfect all the time, but the majority of the time, I love it :) And, it isn't what I trained in AT ALL- it took me 4 years after graduating to realise what I really wanted to do was something I'd never considered a possibility before. Those 'I can't believe I get paid to do this days are fab' :)