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Should You Chase a ‘Dream Job’ To Feel Like a Success?

Should You Chase a ‘Dream Job’ To Feel Like a Success?

Almost everybody has an idea of their ‘dream job’ or what success should be like.

For a lot of people, becoming a billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg is their standard for success. For others, a ‘dream job’ includes unlimited paid vacation, while you close deals at the Bahamas. Think: Richard Branson of Virgin Group. Right now, you probably feel like you’re not living your passions. You may even feel like quitting your job to chase after a dream career.

But what if you knew that ALL of us can, in fact, have our dream jobs AND feel like a success?

The answer isn’t winning the lottery or becoming a freelancer. It’s actually simpler – and less sexy – than that.

Success by the Numbers

You don’t need to search the deep Web to find ‘success stories’ about people who quit their jobs to chase after their dreams. These tales occupy every blog and news site nowadays. You’ll read about dreary work environments, not fulfilling inner passions, and then finally being set free from these troubles with a letter of resignation.

It’s all good. After all, dreams shouldn’t die just because you’ve become an adult. But if there’s one thing these stories don’t tell is WHAT you do afterward.

You’re not an awful person for wanting to be successful like Bill Gates, or to wish for a career like Tim Cook’s. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself WHY you want these things? If you suddenly become Apple’s CEO, what can you bring to the table?

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chase-after-success-suit-tie

    Some people believe that successful businesses and personalities attained their status overnight. But even Facebook, during their first year, encountered financial troubles. If we truly dissect the path of successful brands and personalities, we’ll see striking similarities in their journeys:

    • Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975, but didn’t strike a major deal with IBM until six years later
    • Amazon broke the online shopping bubble seven years after it was founded in 1994
    • Apple didn’t take off until the launch of Macintosh eight years later
    • The famous Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, started selling his chicken as early as 1930, but didn’t earn him recognition until after six years
    • Google beat other search engines for supremacy eight years after it was founded

    Numbers don’t lie: real success takes time.

    Just because you’re Bill Gates doesn’t guarantee that your life will be smooth sailing. Opening an online retailing business is no assurance that you’ll be financially free. And joining the restaurant bandwagon won’t immediately land you 200 franchises around the world.

    The Problem with ‘Dream Jobs’

    In a survey by National Society of High School Scholars, it’s no surprise that millennial participants cited Google, Apple, Starbucks, and Walt Disney as the top companies they’d want to work for. Not only do these businesses boast great company culture, they also offer social responsibility programs.

    To a generation that grew up during the recession, working in an environment that provides purpose, great pay, and flexible scheduling is a dream job.

    But what if you don’t have the necessary skills for the openings they have? Will securing a position at any of these companies really make you happy?

    What if it doesn’t?

    Licensed therapist and Professor of Human Behavior at The City University of New York, Melody Wilding, LMSW, suggests keeping it real when it comes to your ‘dream job’.

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    ‘There is no such thing as a model career. No job has zero downsides, and it’s unrealistic to expect perfection from a particular role, employer, or yourself. There will always be tradeoffs and compromises you’ll need to make in any position no matter how great the organization is or how awesome your boss is – and that’s OK.’

    Assuming you’ll instantly be a success or that you’ll be absolutely happy once you work at your ‘dream job’ is a myth. Like in other occupations, there are good and bad days. One of the main reasons people who acquire their dream careers incur big regrets is because they didn’t align it with their skills. How could you be happy in a job you’re not good at?

    chase-after-success-zenith

      Take it from author, speaker, and consultant Simon Sinek. A ‘dream job’ is not exactly a high-paying career or that sleek office with a view of Manhattan. If you keep chasing a ‘dream job’ in the hopes that you’ll be happier or successful, then you might end up on the wrong path.

      ‘And so living your dream job has nothing to do with the specifics of the job. It has to do with the fulfillment that you get from that job.’

      If you’re a writer today but your dream is to become a nurse so you could help others, who says you’re not doing the same thing now? By being a writer, you’re helping to give readers a new perspective. Who knows how many souls your pen has already inspired?

      In Pursuit of Success: What To Do Instead

      Chasing dreams is not bad. But keep an open mind and try not to jump in with both feet in the water.

      If you believe you have what it takes to bag a job at Walt Disney or Google, go for it! However, do it because you know you possess the skills the job will need. Chasing a ‘dream job’ because you want to escape the challenges of your current career is NOT the way to go.

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      Pursue success with both eyes open by:

      1. Identifying what you’re good at.

      Say you want to break into the healthcare industry, but your current experience doesn’t match anything in that sector. But you really, really want to take care of people. First off: be honest with yourself and identify your transferable skills.

      It’s possible to get the job you want even without experience – but you need to at least have the capability. Are you patient towards others? Can you practice grace under pressure? Are you up-to-date with the latest healthcare trends?

      If you’re having trouble, enlist the help of an objective friend or family member to help you. You can also consult a professional career adviser. Looking for online resources? Try the interactive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) toolkit from Jobs.ac.uk.

      2. Putting in the required hours.

      Now that you know what you’re good at, it’s time to sharpen those skills. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos didn’t become successful by just being good. By working long hours, learning from their mistakes, and observing trends, they became great.

      Excellence, after all, is a habit. Something that you repeatedly over long a long period of time that it’s become automatic to you. Consider the example above. Once you’ve established that you have the skills needed to become a nurse, the next logical step is to learn what you can.

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      This may require you to go back to school. Or maybe you need to take a few courses along with your day job. What matters is that you put in the hours needed so you don’t jump into your dream empty-handed.

      3. Steering slowly in the direction you want.

      Finally, don’t chase dreams head on. This is especially true for people with dependents. If you quickly leave your job or jump into entrepreneurship without a plan, you might end up hurting your loved ones more than yourself. Instead, bide your time but steer slowly towards your goals.

      So if you want to enter the healthcare industry, for instance, try a few volunteer opportunities first. For people looking to enter the business sector, look for apprenticeship from companies in the industry you’re targeting.

      Doing so will help you get a feel of what it’s like working at your ‘dream job’. From there, you can assess whether or not it’s a right fit for you.

      chase-after-success-sun-city

        Nabbing your ‘dream job’ is just the beginning. Like the success stories of Oprah, Stephen King, and J.K. Rowling, you need hard work, failure, and time. You don’t want to become a one-hit wonder. You deserve more than that.

        Go after success that lasts a lifetime. Success that you can give to your loved ones and to your community long after the chase is over.

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        Last Updated on August 16, 2018

        10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

        10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

        When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

        However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

        You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

        A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

        Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

        1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

        It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

        Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

        Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

        A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

        If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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        2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

        Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

        Let me explain:

        A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

        A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

        3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

        Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

        Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

        Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

        Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

        4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

        Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

        A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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        What’s the bottom line?

        Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

        5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

        Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

        Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

        You might be wondering how you can get started:

        • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
        • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
        • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

        6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

        If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

        Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

        Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

        Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

        In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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        Learn how to delegate in my other article:

        How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

        7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

        Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

        Here’s the deal:

        Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

        The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

        8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

        A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

        Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

        For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

        9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

        Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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        Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

        As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

        10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

        Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

        Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

        Here’s what I mean by process over people:

        Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

        Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

        This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

        Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

        Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

        For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

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