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What Do Your Dreams Tell You About Your Work and Career?

What Do Your Dreams Tell You About Your Work and Career?

Though not everyone concerns themselves with the content of their dreams, certain symbols can correspond with common work and life stresses. Unsurprisingly, recurring signs may indicate subconscious struggles or emotions in our waking lives. Especially when it comes to work, understanding your latent desires can help you better handle real life. Decoding the following eleven dream patterns may uncover hidden stresses and opinions, letting you function more effectively.

Houses

Houses are believed to be complex dream tokens. Different rooms in a house may be analogous to different parts of your mind. Each room may represent a memory, an event, an emotion, or an interpretation of events. For example, basements usually reflect emotions or experiences you’ve suppressed or neglected. When it comes to work, dreaming about a house could reflect a desire to compartmentalize your life, or it might be a sign you are nervous that you’re missing something.

Demons

If you’ve been dreaming of demons, this may also stand for repressed emotions. When these troublesome creatures pop up, it may be a sign that your heart and your head disagree. Especially when it comes to your career, demons may personify past conflicts you’re still struggling to get over.

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Animals

On the other hand, animals are believed to represent the parts of us that are connected to nature. Animals may connote primal urges or a need to survive, which makes them common symbols if work stress is infiltrating your dreams.

Murder or Violence

If you’ve ever woken up confused from a strangely violent dream, don’t panic. Killing in dreams is thought to be an expression of your wish to kill off challenges in your own life. A dream about killing usually symbolizes hostility towards a person, and may symbolize conflict at work.

Dying

On the other hand, dreams about dying yourself signify big changes in life.  Dying in your dream is thought to reflect the end of one thing and the beginning of another, and may pop up when you’re taking on new projects at work.

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Being Chased

Another common dream is being chased by something. When you are being chased by something in a dream, it’s usually a reflection of feeling threatened. Unfortunately, these uncomfortable dreams are all too common when we are under pressure at work. Though the anxieties we feel dreaming about being chased are real, it’s better to focus on what you’re trying to get away from in your career.

Transportation

Missing a flight or train usually shows the frustration over missing out on opportunities.This dream will usually come up if you’re facing a big decision at work. However, dreaming of taking transportation is often a symbol of how much control we feel we have over life. If the car, train, or plane you’re on is in control, it may symbolize successfully completing a career task. However, an out of control vehicle could reflect your fear of challenges that lie ahead.

Flying

Another way in which our dreams show how in control we feel are dreams about flying. How adept you are at flying in your dream and what you are flying away from expresses how prepared you feel for upcoming work challenges. However, both at work and at home, dreaming about flying can be an indication of trouble letting go of certain things or feeling out of control in your waking life.

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Money

Additionally, money is believed to symbolize self worth. Especially if you are exchanging money, this may be a subconscious sign that you are putting yourself in a compromising position at work.

Other People

If you are seeing groups of other people in your dreams it may be a reflection of your own different qualities. Other people we talk to in dreams are believed to be projections of different sides of yourself. Conversations you have with these apparitions could be indications of repressed feelings at work.

Water

Finally, a common dream symbol that has different meanings, depending on the way it appears, is water or bodies of water. Believed to symbolize the unconscious mind, calm pools of water tend to appear when you’re generally peaceful and feel in control of your career. A choppy surface on an ocean or lake usually indicates inner tension, which may be a sign you need to take time away from work to relax.

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Featured photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker via flickr.com

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Alicia Prince

A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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