If you're at that stage in life where you're either preparing to enter the professional world or are already in and trying to find your way around, you're no stranger to the idea of that one dream job that can give us the perfectly rewarding work-life. The job that, upon merely being mentioned, sends you daydreaming into a world of definite purpose and pride.
The ideal that we're all chasing is one that brings us personal fulfilment in any given interpretation of the phrase. Sounds simple enough, right? Why, then, is this fulfilment so evasive to a staggering majority of the working population? Maybe, just maybe it's because there is no such thing as a dream job.
What makes a job great is actually the result of several variables aligning desirably all at once.
These variables range from stimulating challenges to a healthy work environment to like-minded co-workers to competent management. So even while you may fetch yourself that long-coveted job title, some (or even one) of these factors at the actual workplace being off can put you off entirely.
There's always a catch. For instance, it's only in a graphic designer's daydreams that their firm allows them to try path-breaking concepts, and the clients are never a bother and suppliers and vendors are anything but painful to deal with. Such a scenario is near impossible IRL.
Even if you find the perfect setting, the variables may change.
There's no guarantee that even if you find yourself in the closest-to-perfect set of conditions for professional bliss, that things won't change. Would that dream job still be the same if your awesome boss that gave you all the creative freedom in the world, left or if your soulmate of a project partner that brings out the best in your work, was assigned to another team?
You will, at some point, need to prioritise.
The factors that make a professional relationship perfect, much like in any personal relationship as well, are always changing. And therefore, so is that dreamy state of perfection that we chase with so much zeal. More often than not, you will find yourself picking certain benefits over other flaws and that just happens to be a part of pretty much every deal.
Time heals... no, changes all.
What you dreamed of doing when you were 13 has changed, hasn't it? And chances are, 10 years from now, your current goals too will have changed significantly. So rest assured, what you feel is the perfect career fit right now, will evolve as you do.
Effectively, the 'dream job' that we all pursue so passionately no longer remains a static, achievable objective. For a truly satisfying professional life, it's crucial to evaluate at regular stages of your career, whether the job you have (or seek) will cater to your ever-evolving life goals.
Our professional idols may seem like they're living the dream, but how pure and eternal do you really think their bliss is?
We often tend to idealise the lives of our career role models as perfect and chase them with blind ambition. But as successful and satisfying as their work lives may be, even the very best among us are humans that battle with the very same factors that you and I do.
But not all hope is lost. You see, finding yourself a good professional fit is, at the end of the day, not unlike finding yourself a life partner. They're not perfect, but neither are you. And guess what, you're both going to continue changing over time. So you've simply got to compromise when you can and make sure you keep re-assessing your state of affairs as you go.