Who would say no to their dream job? Pretty much no one.
Yet, when I speak to groups of people about their careers, most say that they are happy or--even better--that they have their dream job.
But after digging deeper and getting to the core of who they are, they often rethink how they feel about their jobs. They realize that they weren't as happy or in the dream position they thought they were.
How could it be then, that you think you have your dream job, but you don't? Let's investigate.
Four Signs You Actually Hate Your Dream Job:
- You lack the motivation that you may have had in the beginning.You think you should like your job, but you don't. Usually the reason behind this is that you are an undiagnosed achievement junkie. You have chosen a job that requires you to achieve regularly and you deliver, however it's only when you hit your goals or get a big deal that you feel excited. The work that is required to create the achievements leave you feeling drained and unexcited.What to do: Start to pay attention to the work that you do enjoy: the work that excites you and gets you in the Zone. You want to make sure that you are enjoying the process of achieving your goals as much as you enjoy the end result. That hit of dopamine you get when you achieve should be the icing on the cake, not the entire cake.
- You're in a job that looks perfect on paper to your family or community.You finally got the job that everyone thinks is fantastic. You feel validation from your family, and you can now brag to your friends. However, that satisfaction doesn't last. You start to realize that what you thought was right (based on what other people think) may not actually be right.What to do: First and foremost you have to divorce yourself from what others think. What is your definition of success? Start to create a vision for your career that is a reflection of you. Maybe you can pivot your current job into another one where the work will excite you just as much as smashing the goals.
- You're making the amount of money you always dreamed of, or the kind of money that gives you confidence and makes you feel like you've made it.Money alone never motivates. You may think you have your dream job because you are getting paid the amount you believe you are worth. If so, put aside your salary for a moment and think about what you do day to day.If the work itself isn't in-line with your genius or work that you really enjoy doing every day, then you're probably not in your dream job. You should find the sweet spot of work that activates peak performance and provides a satisfactory salary.
What to do: First, you need believe that you can make money doing something you enjoy. Once you believe in that, then you need to prioritize it. Make it your goal think creatively about how many different ways your top strength could be valuable to different organizations. There are new jobs being invented every day. Go find one that's right for you.
- You love the work but you are struggling with the people.You may have fought for this job, but now that you are here, you realize that you have not been clear about what kind of culture and people are the best fit for you.
Part of a real dream job is a combination of both the work and the culture.What to do: First, write down the kind of culture and environment that you would thrive in. Think about people you do enjoy working with, and get to the core of why you like working with them. Identify those characteristics.
You may use this knowledge to find a different department in your current organization, or a different manager that is better suited to you. If it doesn't exist at all then start networking and building relationships with people that work in the kind of culture that is right for you. Many dream jobs can be found and landed when you are least expecting it.