Working in a dream job is what everyone would love to do, but not everyone is able to accomplish. Some surveys show that over 80% of people spoken to say they are not working in their dream job. In general a dream job is having that position that fulfills and satisfies you to do it; a job you enjoy/love doing and one where you reap benefits aside from just a monetary return.
Having a job you enjoy doing is a key point in trying to maintain a work/life balance, and should be something we all work towards. I see that there are at least two ways to look at the job you do. One is looking at the job itself, and the other is looking at the company and end result of your labor. I will use myself as an example.
In my case, as a web design, I look at my job as somewhat of a neutral field, as this power can be used for good or evil. The actual work is more or less just writing code that performs a function for people to see, and it can be accomplished for any number of reasons and by all types of people with different temperaments and desires. Typing code and editing scripts can be quite tedious and monotonous, and so the actual job is not too glamorous. For me though, I am one of those artsy type people who enjoy drawing, music, movies/acting, etc. and therefore being a web design can be outlet for the art side of me, and fulfills that side of my personality. The coding itself may be somewhat “boring” to do, yet at the end it enables me to create works that are functional and attractive. So part one - looking at the job itself - in my case is ultimately fulfilling.
Part two, is looking at the overall company and end result. Now obviously I could do my job for pretty much any company, and still get the fulfillment from the creation/art side of things, but am I doing that creating for something I can believe in? If I do the job for a company whose philosophy and goals are contrary to my personal feelings, then I would be in a struggle in that area. Just like the peace-loving scientist who creates a great invention, only to have it taken and used as a destructive weapon.
The company I “create” for is a humanitarian relief organization. So, using my skills for such a company fulfills a side of me that desires to be beneficial to the world and those around me. While I am not actually in the field, functioning in a hands-on position and feeding people and helping those after a disaster, I do feel that my work is nonetheless very beneficial to those people even if in a very small way.
So, just having skills that allow you to work in a position you enjoy is great, but then being able to use those skills to perform work for a company or cause you can truly believe in is even more satisfying, and in some ways more important in the long run. Having at least one part of this equation should be the minimum goal you seek after, and if so, I feel that acquiring the second half is most vital. For instance, you may have a very drab and monotonous job - one that requires skills that are not so fulfilling to anything for you personally. Yet, when you stand back and look at the whole scheme of things, and your part in the end result, you can take great satisfaction and pride in what you are a part of. A good example would be someone on an assembly line doing something that may seem menial and unimportant on its own. However, if you stand back and see that what you have done is part of a beautiful end result, you can step back and take great pride in your work and receive much fulfillment from that.
So, while a “dream” career may be that job in which you love every aspect from start to finish, it is not necessarily limited to just that. Finding one that at the end of the day gives you some form of satisfaction personally is just as much of a “dream” in a realistic world, and having that satisfaction in the work you do will be very beneficial in the whole work/life balance
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