No One Should Have a “Dream Job”


Growing up, I never understood the question when people would ask, “what’s your dream job?”. Should I be dreaming of work? Why would I want to work? Yes, working is necessary to survive, but does it need to be drilled into our heads that we’re going to dream about going to work?

Having a dream job is what we tell ourselves to feel better about being forced to work to survive

If everyone was given fifty million dollars overnight, the vast majority of us would quit our jobs and jet-set across the Atlantic, even if we really liked our jobs.

You can like your job and not want to get up at 7 AM every morning or work a full eight-hour day. Is it a dream job if you do what you love at times you hate? No. My dream job would be getting paid to work when I want to, on what I want. For instance, being paid to sleep would be the ultimate “dream” job because you’d get paid whenever you happened to work at any time for something you would want to do anyway. No extra effort or schedule.

I would assume that’s what people think of when they hear the phrase, “dream job.” The job is so easy, fun, and convenient that it doesn’t qualify as work anymore. I think that is incredibly rare and unlikely.

You can like your job and not want to go to work

I happen to really enjoy writing, and I get paid for it, too. However, I do have deadlines to meet that are imposed on me by other people. Some days I don’t feel like writing, but I still need to do it.

Therefore, writing is currently not my dream job. If I eventually get to the point where I can choose when I write 100% of the time, perhaps then it would be a dream job. A dream job to me is one where the individual is completely in charge, which is rather difficult if you are a content producer and need people to consume your content.

Get as close to your dream job as possible

I am going to discuss creating your own dream job in the next section, but not everyone has the means to do that, income-wise or skills-wise. For those who cannot or do not want to become a freelancer, or have their own business, strive to get what you want out of your job.

Hate getting up at 7 AM? Ask your employer if you can arrive late and stay late, or better yet, work from home. Most people don’t need eight hours to complete all their work for the day, and working from home may give you a little more freedom in that sense.

Not making the money you deserve? Ask for a raise, citing all the value you are providing for the company. If you don’t negotiate early in the hiring process and don’t ask for raises throughout your career, you are likely leaving money on the table. Do all you can to get the benefits because even if you don’t accomplish what you set out to do, at the very least, you will know you did all you could to do so.

Create your “near dream job”

If you have enough skills to work for someone else at any point in your life, you have the skills to work for yourself. I don’t recommend taking the plunge right away, but rather easing into it. People will talk about their side hustles for hours if you let them. You can become one of those people.

Writing online is probably the most convenient side hustle to have, but not everyone enjoys it. If you’re a crafter, Etsy might be the place for your business. If you love photography, start a professional Instagram account. The list goes on and on. If you don’t think you’re good at anything, I hope you’ll reassess your feelings towards yourself. You can find at least one thing — I guarantee it.

You won’t like all the aspects of the job you create for yourself, but it will be better than what you started with, hence it being a “near dream job.” It’s not quite a dream job. We aren’t perfectionists here.

Practicing what I preach

In my case, I am a freelance writer on multiple websites that allow me to post the same or similar content, maximizing my earnings for everything I write. I am also working on my own website to give away my eBooks for free and build that elusive email list, which I will eventually monetize.

At the same time, I am a remote social media intern and have been for nearly 2.5 years. I consider myself very lucky to be with such a flexible and kind organization. But is writing and interning my “dream job”? No, but they are great steps in the right direction. I am mostly able to work when I want to, and I work about 4–5 hours a day. I like to write from 11 AM — 2 PM and then spend time marketing my work on social media sporadically throughout the evening, as well as creating social media posts for my internship. Granted, my current writing gigs and internship continue to be lucrative; I am earning enough to cover my monthly expenses working 20–25 hours per week remotely.*

However, the 20–25 hours mentioned above are not the full picture. Outside of my articles, marketing, and paid internship, I’m working on those eBooks I mentioned and my website. I’d estimate I work closer to thirty hours a week, which is still great compared to the average American’s workweek. I consider these hours separate because they are not contributing to my income yet. When they do, I will be able to work less or use that time to work on more materials to help set me up later to avoid working for anyone but myself. Plus, I’ll be able to save some money, too.

I don’t believe in dream jobs unless you are someone who has no need for money and you get to choose what you do every single day. Still, I imagine people like Bill Gates don’t want to answer their phone every day to talk about work-related activities.

Instead, the goal should be to get as close to having a dream job as possible. With a job like that, you can acknowledge the sadness of having to work but know the happiness of your work is the best work it can possibly be. I wish you all luck in trying to accomplish your “nearly dream job.”

This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only. It should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Not all information will be accurate. Consult a financial professional before making any significant financial decisions.

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