Why do you want a 'dream job'?
We’re all familiar with the idea of a ‘dream job’. And some of us are even lucky enough to have our dream job.
There was a time when your job was just the thing you did so you could earn money for your life. And then you built your dream life. But now apparently we dream of a job.
The cynical side of myself sees this switch to the ‘dream job’ idea as proof that our capitalist society is trying to make us feel good about working crazy hours and sacrificing everything else in our life for work.
The less cynical side says it’s wonderful that were putting our attention on building fulfillment into our work. It does take up a lot of time so it’s great that we’re making sure we’re doing things we like that are hopefully contributing to the world at large.
My concern is that either way you look at it. Work is becoming so central to our lives that it is easy to assume that the dream job will fulfill us and make us happy. And we are often coached by our schooling to find work that we enjoy that we’re good at. And at no point to we discuss the realities that come along with our chosen work such as the hours, the location, having to work with assholes etc. And at no point are we asked to think about our dream lives.
This is not the bit where I now sell you on some program or style of work where you get to travel the world, do fun things and yet somehow get paid for it. There are enough people out there selling you on a life style we are trained to want. We want to be thin and beautiful and smart and talented and have lots of money. But I would ask you to pause and consider why it is you want these things.
Being beautiful in a very refined made up way, and being thin are the markers in our society of a successful happy life. Being smart and talented are way in which we can prove our worth to others and ‘show off’. And money is both a marker and a chance to show off. These are things we do so that others can see we are happy and successful.
You do not spend all day looking in a mirror, in fact you spend very little time seeing your own reflection. So how does beauty make you happy? How does being thin make you happy? It is in the way others respond to you better. Find you more attractive, consider you successful and want to spend time around you… this is all very flattering to our egos.
Equally with being smart and talented; how much time do you spend enjoying your own intelligence and talents purely for how they make you feel? Mostly our knowledge in a particular field whether it is sports stats or quantum physics is enjoyable when it is showcased or used in debates with others.
And money… that sweet substance we all want. How much of what you earn do you actually spend on things you truly enjoy that give you happiness? And how much goes to rent, crappy take away food eaten at speed, travel costs for getting to work and so on. Considering you are trading your time for money so you can be happy and do the things you want, what percentage of your life is actually spent being happy and doing the things you want.
As I said before I’m not here to recruit you to some life changing anything or try and tell you to become a freelancer and you can work from the beach and finally be happy. I just want to ask you a questions that perhaps no one ever bothered to ask you before.
Why do you want these things? Money, beauty, intelligence?
The 'dream job' is the great new panacea. The cure to the lives we lead. Perhaps it is an idea to consider, not the dream job, the money, the status and how having more of all of these things will set you free. And start thinking about why you want them and why you can’t be free right now to design the life you want.
And if this has all sounded like a bunch of waffle you can always listen to Alan Watt’s opinions on money. He is a trusted authority on these things ;)