Dream jobs, or mere daydreams?
Your job and your work are not always the same. Here's why.
A colleague asked me whether I think dream jobs exist - and if so, are they worth striving for?
First, it depends on what you mean by a "dream job." To be sure, some roles are a better fit for your skills and interests. Some managers are more supportive than others. Some work environments are more conducive to growth.
But no job is perfect. No role is without its drawbacks and challenges. Even if you are your own boss, you still have to deal with frustrating situations and people - at least on occasion.
I once heard a doctor put it this way: He does his job in order to do his work.
What does that mean? His work ultimately is to see and treat patients. That is what he trained for. That is what he's passionate about.
His job, however, involves all the other stuff too - meetings, paperwork, arguing with clueless insurance representatives - things he'd rather not spend time on. Things he hates doing.
But again, he does his job in order to do his work.
Likewise, we each do our jobs in order to do our work. Sometimes the things we dislike are part and parcel to our roles. Even in a desirable position. Even in a "dream job."
In the end, it's a matter of tradeoffs: Are the downsides worth it to you? At what point are they no longer acceptable? At what point does your job get too much in the way of your work?
These are questions that each of us must decide for ourselves.
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