CHOOSING A CAREER / AUG. 21, 2015
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Is Pursuing your Dream Job Really Worth it?

There’s a popular saying that often makes the rounds on social media, Instagram in particular -"the dream is free, the hustle is sold separately." We all have dreams and while many of them are crazy and not at all possible -like wanting to be Beyonce, for example- others are more realistic. When it comes to our work lives, we want to find a career that satisfies us, enriches us, allows us to grow and learn every single day, and never feels like a slog, no matter how tired we are. A job that fulfills all of those requirements is typically referred to as a dream job. For some, it means working at an esteemed, established company. For others, it means going out on your own and starting your own business or freelancing. But whatever your vision for your career, the road to getting there might prove more difficult than you would have thought. Below are nine factors you need to consider in order to decide whether pursing you dream job is really worth it.

See Also: How to Be More Realistic About Career Expectations

You Will Love What you Do

This is the number one reason that we have a dream job in the first place. We’re struggling at our current day jobs, hating every moment of them, fantasizing about better days. We just want to do something that means something to us, that makes a difference, that feeds our souls and our spirits. Who doesn’t want to be happy every single day? There’s a huge difference between waking up and groaning because you have to go to the job you hate and turning off your alarm with a big smile because you have your dream career scenario. So if you’re thinking about leaving your crappy 9 to 5 in pursuit of what you actually want to do, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to your happiness.

You Will Be Healthier

No surprise here: happy people are healthier. Unhappy people have more health problems thanks to high levels of stress and exhaustion. You may think that since you are making a living doing something you hate then it doesn’t matter that you are miserable, but that’s just not the case. You risk developing anxiety or depression and neither of those are a joke. So if delaying what you really want to do is making you feel down or even physically ill, then it’s time to reconsider what you’re doing with your life.

You Will Have to Work Extremely Hard

Now here’s when the dream gets tricky. There is not a single person who made their career hopes, goals and dreams come true without working extremely long hours -pretty much 24/7. If you’re not okay with missing out on sleep, friends’ birthday parties, weekends where you do nothing but binge-watch your favorite TV shows, and being able to take several vacations a year, then your dream job might not be for you.

Dream jobs are unique in that they require an incredible amount of willpower and discipline. You can’t achieve what you want by not putting in 200 percent of your effort every single day of the week. If it’s your dream, you might as well go all the way, right? However that requires time and effort, and if you’re exhausted even by the thought of it, then it might not be for you.

You Will Experience Struggles

The one perk of a crappy job that you dread going to every day? You don’t have anything invested in it so you don’t care if something goes wrong.  Sure, you still might put effort into your work, since you’re not a slacker and you do have some motivation, but it won’t be the inspired work that you could be doing if you were at your dream job. So you’re full of mental anguish from your hatred of your job, not from working yourself to exhaustion.

But if you do your dream job, you’re going to struggle simply because you are super invested in getting to a successful outcome. You want to do well, because it matters to you. So the successes will mean more and the failures will hurt more, too.

Others Will Doubt you

No one bats any eyelash when you’re a barista or receptionist -people figure you’re a smart person and can handle those tasks and responsibilities. But tell sometime you’re dreaming of being a bestselling author or owning your own fashion line, and the not-so-desired advice comes pouring in. You’re going to have to develop an extremely strong constitution in order to deal with all the doubt you’re facing from those you know and even total strangers. If you start to experience self-doubt, then this might not be right for you, because you cannot have any self-doubt when it comes to the pursuit of your dream. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? No one, that’s who. This is all riding on you and how confident and determined you are.

Will you Want to Give up?

Even if the answer is yes, you should still pursue your dream job. That’s because even successful people experience fear and the desire to just give up from time to time. The only difference is they push on and continue on their journey. So consider whether you can work through the exhaustion and the bad days and continue to reach for the stars.

You Will Live With Zero Regrets

Having a dream can be a dangerous thing if we allow it to go unrealized for too long. That’s how we end up bitter and unfulfilled and feeling bad about ourselves. One good thing about following your dream is that you believe that you’re worth it and that you can succeed. That’s a pretty powerful thing to think about yourself. If you never try, you’ll never know what can happen, and you will never regret going after what you truly want in life.

You Will Always Be Inspired

At your day job, the minutes seem to last for hours or even days, and you never feel inspired. You just try to get whatever work you have to do as fast as possible so you can leave by 5 p.m. But living for the end of every work day is no way to live. Imagine yourself living your dream job. You’re inspired every day and never have to search for that feeling. You’ll just automatically be into what you’re doing because it’s what you want and it’s what you enjoy. Sounds nice, right? That can be you, if you take a leap of faith.

Can you Afford it?

This is perhaps the most important question to ask yourself when you’re considering whether you should pursue your dream job or not. If accepting your dream job at a company involves a massive pay cut, it might be worth it, if you consider how unhappy you are. Maybe you have savings or a family inheritance or someone who can help you out while you’re getting settled and before you can really start making money. If your dream is to be self-employed or start your own company, that’s an even greater risk since it involves lots of start-up costs. It takes money to make money, as they say. Once you have those questions answered, you’ll know if it’s something you can afford to go after or something that is simply a figment of your imagination.

See Also: 5 Amazing Things That Happen When You Daydream

If you’re considering whether it’s really worth pursuing your dream, the list above provides reasons why you might not want to do it, or reasons why it’s definitely something that makes sense for you. However, We only get one life, after all, and since we spend so much of our time working, we might as well make sure it’s something we actually like.

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