You finally did it. You landed your absolute dream job. It’s what you’ve been fantasizing about since you were a kid and why you studied all those years in high school, college and beyond. This is it, right? This is as good as it gets, and you will never have a bad day ever again in your life from now on. This is a common line of thinking -- of course it is. We never expect our dream jobs to suck. But the reality is never as sweet as the career fantasies in our heads. Check out the top 9 reasons that your dream job may not be quite as dreamy as you had hoped and expected.
See Also: Top 10 Kids’ Dream Jobs
1. You Don't Feel an Ounce of Joy
Dream jobs should be joyous occasions. They should make every single day of your life feel like a party because you are having so much fun. Your new job should truly give meaning to the popular saying "love what you do and you’ll never work a day of your life." If that’s not the case and you approach each new work day with as much dread and apprehension as the jobs of your past, then you may need to rethink your career plans and goals.
2. It Doesn't Feel Surreal
An important component of loving your dream job is that you feel it’s completely surreal. It should take you a good long while to fully understand that you have the position that you do, because you should be amazed every second/minute/hour/day/week/month etc. that you get to do what you absolutely adore. If you don’t feel that the situation is surreal, then you might not love your dream job as much as you thought you would. If it feels dull, banal and boring, then it’s not a dream job at all but a total nightmare. It shouldn’t feel normal because how could making partner at the law firm you’ve slaved away at for a decade, feel normal? It should be like winning the lottery or becoming famous -- hard to accept because you’re still shocked that the impossible has been made possible.
3. You Feel Trapped
A dream job should feel full of freedom, because it’s meant to be the opposite of being stuck in a dead-end, crappy job that you hate. If you feel trapped, however, then you might as well be working a drive-through and hating every moment of it. Feeling trapped is never a good idea and it’s a definite warning sign that your situation is worse than you anticipated.
4. You Aren't Goal-Setting Anymore
You can’t expect to land your top position and never plan for the future ever again and never write down any more goals on your to-do list. A dream job is just the first step in landing the career and life that you want. If your mind goes blank any time someone asks you, "what’s next?" that’s a huge clue that this isn’t what you want after all. You need to learn, change and grow all the time, even in your dream scenario. Your dream job should push you to work even harder, so you are inspired to reach the very top and keep moving in that direction. There should always be more things to accomplish and more dreams. Your dream job is like the gateway to a million dreams. Think about anyone you admire, whether they’re a friend, family member, or a well-known figure or personality. They didn’t stop once they published their first novel, got their first teaching position, become a lawyer or yoga instructor. They kept changing and entered contests or competitions, explored the field of writing, got further education to further their careers, and so on.
5. You're More Tired Than Inspired
It’s as simple as this: your dream job and career should energize you. It should make you feel 100 percent awake even as you’re yawning and downing a giant cup of Starbucks. If that’s not happening and you’re more exhausted than usual, then guess what? This isn’t the right position or even field for you. Who wants to be tired every single day of their lives, especially when they’re supposed to be having fun and feeling vibrant and happy because they landed their dream job? Use your constant state of exhaustion as a warning sign that you should get out immediately and find something more to your liking.
6. The Common Cold Isn't so Common
You’re sick again? Your friends and family can’t believe how your nose is constantly running, your throat always sore and you never have no energy. But you can and should believe this: getting sick all the time is never a good thing. It means you’re pushing yourself past your limits and it will result in more serious health problems down the road, and no one needs or wants that. And chances are once you say goodbye to your former dream job, your colds will stop coming on like the plaque every two minutes, too. It won’t be a coincidence.
7. You're Uncomfortable
Sometimes the vision of a certain job in our heads is much better than when we get the job and experience it first-hand. There are a number of reasons why you could be uncomfortable at the office. Maybe you’re not getting along with anyone you work with and that’s incredibly upsetting to you because a friendly, social workplace is very important to you. Maybe you have to public speak all the time and reach out to potential clients, and you’re getting headaches and upset stomachs even just by thinking about it because you’re not a super outgoing person. If you’re uncomfortable in any way at your new job and office, it’s a sign that it’s just not for you.
8. You've Changed
And, well, not for the better, unfortunately. The people in your life often know you better than you know yourself. If your mom says you seem unhappy and in a bad mood all the time, if your best friends ask why you never see them anymore, those are all important signs.
9. You Don't Feel Like Yourself
Experiencing your dream job should make you feel like the best possible version of yourself. It should be like you’ve finally come into your own and figured out who you’re meant to be and what you’re meant to do. It’s like clearing the cobwebs away and revealing the beauty hidden underneath. If you feel off or unhealthy somehow, you should listen to what your body and mind are trying to tell you. Your body might know this job is not the right one for you even before you do: it could develop strange rashes that are a direct result of stress, you could develop a stomach ulcer and you could even develop chronic migraines.
Think your dream job is going to be, well, dreamy? These top nine reasons show how sometimes, what you think something is going to be like, couldn’t possibly be any further from the truth. There can be a handful of signs that will warn you that you need to get out and get out fast, so you can reclaim your love of your career, your motivation for life in general, and find a position that you’re better suited for.
Do you recognize these signs? Do you think you are stuck in a job that you thought would be dreamy? How do you handle this situation? Share your thoughts below.