What’s Your Dream Job?
Your dream job. Do you know what it is?
For many of us, our dream job is elusive—an ever-evolving target, like the proverbial Jell-O that can’t be nailed to the wall.
For others it’s been long settled, and we might imagine that every professional move they make is a deliberate wrung-step on a ladder to this professional goal.
Sometimes, dreams are realized while moving up the ladder of a particular company:
Ursula Burns started as a summer intern at Xerox in 1980. Twenty-nine years later (which also included some lateral moves inside the company), she was named CEO.
Sometimes people simply love the industry they are in and bounce around comfortably, learning at every turn:
Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas took his first restaurant job at age 12. In 1950, during the onset of the Korean War, he volunteered for the Army before he was drafted so he could specifically ask to attend their cooking school at Fort Benning—he became a mess sergeant in charge of serving 2,000 troops every day. Later, he worked for Kentucky Fried Chicken, inventing the use of the KFC “bucket” for serving chicken. Then Thomas created his own dream job: starting Wendy’s, which he was the CEO of for 32 years.
We’ll assume that CEO was Burns and Thomas’ dream job. But of course not everyone wants to be a chief executive. Not everyone wants to be a doctor or a lawyer or an astronaut or the president, either.
Which begs the question: does your dream job exist? Is it an actual job title like “director of sales” or is it an occupation like “certified aircraft mechanic” or “certified public accountant” or attorney? Or could it be even more specific: a certain job at a specific company or institution you respect, say, “Chairman of Disney Parks & Resorts”? (Imagine being in charge of Disneyland!)
For many of us, the definition of a dream job is, say, simply one where we get to pay our bills by doing what we love most: make music for a living, work with horses for a living, build things for a living, write for a living, design things for a living, be outside for a living, help people less-fortunate for a living…
The dream job is something the majority of us are still working to find. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 70% of Americans don’t like their current jobs.
But wait! That suggests that 30 percent of us have figured it out or are satisfied that we’re on the right track.
If you an ultimate professional goal yet, no need to get down on yourself—the realization of what Burns and Thomas really, really wanted to do professionally with the rest of their lives might not have hit them right away.
More real-world experience—maybe even the next book you read or job you take—will help you realize where your passions, skills and spirit perfectly meet the world of work and commerce.
Thirty percent of Americans have found their home in the world of work. For many of them, we’re sure, it was a process, too.
Best of luck!