What is your dream job? What was your dream job when you were a kid? How does thinking about it make you feel? I wanted to be a florist, because I wanted to create lovely bouquets and make brides happy. Surprisingly, after all these years of customer service, I still feel good doing it. Sometimes I hate guests, but I still serve them with a smile, because I enjoy making them feel special. Why do I feel good doing it? Because it is my career. No matter the job I do; from waitress to trainer, blogger, purchaser, and recruiter, volunteer, customer service is what I do. It is my direction. Based on that I build my career. What is your base? What do you enjoy doing? How does it feel when you dream about it?
In the last years we are facing some changes in the labour market. From total employer’s market back home to total candidate’s market where I am now. Moreover, there are huge differences among fields of employment in terms of self-perceived employability.
On one hand, it seems like somewhere out there, there is a market full of opportunities and endless possibilities. You can do whatever you want and you can make business out of anything. At least that is what social media and a flood of inspirational videos is bombarding us with. On the other hand, there is another kind of reality – University, parents, public are telling us labour market is tough and it will take time until we find a job. So study, volunteer, take extra courses, go to summer school, and know the right people and you will get a job. No one asks you what you really want to do in life. You will be lucky if you even get the job.
Consequence? We loose our true selves in our career because we take any job we get. Career is so much more than a job. It’s ideals, plans, mindset, it’s love. It’s YOU. It feels empowering. Jobs take that away from us. But not only jobs, the rush towards it, the pressure, the competition. So, in this sad world of not so many opportunities, we get excited over any job we see in the market, simply because there are not so many of them. In the first year of psychology studies, everyone dreamt of becoming a clinical psychologist. Now, we suddenly all want to work in schools or HR. Just so that we work. We take a job and we box it into our career. Now job is the focus. We no longer ask ourselves what we want. We take what we get and start loving it.
After a while, you realize that there might be a market full of possibilities and discover that yes, after all you can do whatever you want. But what do you want? You don’t know, because you stopped wondering. Not only you see your career path went a completely different direction. You find yourself so happy in your job, you no longer want what you used to want, because it is simply more comfortable this way.
Where am I going with this blog, you might ask me. I want you to ask yourself: Is my job really a part of my career? Am I going to the direction I really want to go? Am I just doing this job to make money?
It is true that any job contributes to your career progression. Unless you get stuck on it. You are stuck when you feel comfortable doing it and no longer strive for something more. When you settle in what you got in the market. Any job gives experience, market insight, how-to knowledge, and networking. But most valuable thing a job can give you is an idea on what you want and not want to do in life. I am talking about way more than liking vs. not liking tasks and responsibilities. What you should get from any job you do is an idea about what environment you like or not like working in. Do you like to work independently? Do you like to be surrounded by smarter people than you? Are you a natural team captain? These are way more important things to know about yourself than realizing you do not want to fold papers for the rest of your life. After putting in words what kind of working environment you like, you’ve made a big step in your career progression, even if you do not realize or cherish it just yet.
The problem is that we tend not to ask ourselves the question “What do I like to do? How do I feel doing this job? What do I admire in people I work with? DO I EVEN LIKE IT?” simply because the answer might be “Fuck, I don’t like this job”. It is simply easier and more comfortable not to reflect on it.
Back to the question where I’m even going with this blog. Even if you feel good in your job, comfortable, liking the vibe and the people, never ever forget about what your initial dream job was. Never let go of your goals, fantasies. Going towards what we truly want makes us feel inspired, happy, on top of the world. We deserve to progress. We deserve to do it in style – towards what makes us feel accomplished.
Even though there is no market full of possibilities, we should always create one for ourselves. We should work towards what empower us; so paint, design, blog, write, attend webinars, TRY. Don’t give up on who you are just because the world is not a perfect place. Creativity and proaction value way more than any knowledge learned in crapy job. I guess in the end, it might really be all about finding your passion.