We’ve all heard the phrase, “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” We see it plastered around the Internet and share it with young people who are trying to forge their path. Is this idea even realistic, though? Is this a good way to approach your career choices?
Here’s your answer: It’s not.
Work is work. Now, that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t seek out a job that you’ll enjoy… because you absolutely should. No one should suffer through a miserable job day-in and day-out (at least not in the long-term). However, it’s important to understand that our workplace will not always feel perfectly blissful . Work stress is unavoidable, regardless of your industry. Therefore, it’s unfair to suggest that someone who has found their dream job “never has to work a day in their life.” No job is perfect.
In other words, dream jobs don’t exist…
This idea of a “dream job” can cause people to feel like they’re missing something in their life. If someone doesn’t love every second of their job, somehow that means that they should keep searching until they find some utopian career in which everything is easy, exciting, and fulfilling. That expectation is simply not fair.
First off, the idea that there’s such a thing as a dream position will always make people feel like their perfectly solid job isn’t good enough. It’ll always feel like something is missing. As a society, we already have enough feelings of inadequacy to deal with. We don’t need to feel like we’re “missing out” on our dream careers, too.
Second, scouting out a “dream job” makes it seem as though work defines our lives, which it doesn’t. Having a job is a means to an end: You contribute to an organization in order to earn income, which in turn supports your lifestyle. In that equation, the important part is the lifestyle, not earning the income. Some people discover that working fulfills them, but work shouldn’t becomes everything in your life, even if you’re a serial workaholic.
With all of this said, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a great job. If you enjoy your job, that’s wonderful. If you don’t like your job, then certainly consider looking for a new one. Figure out what employers look for, do your research on potential companies, and get your resumé out there! A better position is well within your reach. Just don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have the perfect “dream job.” Your job is a part of your life, not your entire life.