The Battle Between Money and Heart Why We are Confused about Dream Jobs

Posted On : 22nd September 2022

There's always been this battle in the modern workforce between working for your "passion" (what you will want to do) vs your "profit" (what you will do to get paid).


For many of us, the goal of working at our current job is to one day do the work that we "really want to do". We often dream of working at a job that we're absolutely amazing at, doesn't feel like work, and makes money easily.


Unfortunately, that's not reality.


If you've been in the workforce for longer than a day, all of us have worked in a job that we knew wasn't our "passion". Even if we couldn't define what our "passion" was, we knew that our current job wasn't it.


So we switch jobs...or read another article about a happy person who found their "dream job" and is now living happily ever after and plan to switch jobs.


Unfortunately, this isn't reality either.


Let's get this upfront: There is no "dream job". There are jobs and then there are jobs that are more aligned with your interests, skills, goals, and personality (aka "passion"). As a job seeker, it's your job to find the :job" that is as close to your passion while also paying your bills.


Unfortunately, we're led to assume that if you find your "dream job", that everything else will magically work out.




Your Dream Job Isn't a Dream, It's Action

What is more likely is that you will have some jobs that are close to your "passion" or might utilize most of your interests, skills, and goals, and personality....but you'll also have some wrong turns. You might take that higher-paying job and realize that it's more work than your previous job. You might take that lower-paying job and love it. You might find a job that meets most of your "passion", but lacks one or two essential ingredients.


That's the lesson Chris Goode shared in his talk with Ken on The Adverse Effect: It's much easier to dream a "dream job" than to actually figure it out. Chris went through a couple of industries on the path to finding a job that is aligned with his vision as the owner of a juice bar. He worked in call centers and as an event promoter on his path to being an entrepreneur.


Chris didn't plan for his career to go the way it did, but he actively took charge of it. By taking chances, reflecting on those choices, he was able to make the decisions that worked for him and helped him land where he wanted to land.


That's the magic in all of this. Your "dream job" is not some vague position out there somewhere. It's a position that you choose.


By taking steps forward in the direction you want to go and reflecting on those steps, you can bring yourself closer and closer to your dream job. You might take a wrong turn, but you will get data about where you do want to work and who you want to work with and the kind of money you want to make. Understanding this information is crucial to helping make the decisions


The Caveat: Your "Dream Job" May Not Appear Like You Think

There is one slight caveat to the whole "dream job" concept. Even while you're busy figuring out what job matches your goals, interests, and talents, there is always the elephant in the room: Money. While many career advice articles will skip this aspect of job searching (or overemphasize it), it's important to realize that getting a job also includes doing work for money. It doesn't matter if that work is for an employer, your own business, or whatever, work is done for money.


Work isn't only done for money, but it is a big part of the equation.


Understanding that money is important to work is crucial, because it shapes your decisions about the work you choose. If your primary motivation for working is money, whether to survive or get more stuff, that will influence what work you choose to do. In other words, if you want a BMW, you probably wouldn't choose working as a fast food cook as path to getting that car.


What we're getting at is that your "dream job" may not be around your passion. It can also fuel your passion. For example, let's say you love to make bird houses, but have not found a way to make this a business (or you choose to keep it a hobby), your motivation for work could be to work in a job that allows you the time and income to keep building bird houses.


The point is, your "dream job" doesn't always have to be your source of income.


The Other Caveat: Your "Dream Job" Might Change

Another caveat to the "dream job" concept is the concept that your "dream job" is one specific thing. It doesn't happen.


People change. Your situation might change.


A job that you might have a single person may not work for you when you get married or raise a family.


That's why it's so important to reflect on your career choices. Check in with yourself at work to see if your job is fulfilling. Not every day has to be perfect, but the job should fulfill your primary goals. Are you reaching your financial goals? Is this job moving you closer to your intended career? Is this job your destination? Ask yourself these questions periodically to see if you're going in the direction you want to go.


If you need to make a change, ask yourself: What would that change look like? Is it asking for a raise or looking for higher-paying work? Is it taking on more responsibility or saying no to "taco Tuesdays"? Ask yourself and start creating a plan.


"Dream Job" is a Relative Term

No matter what job you choose, it's important to realize that the chase for a "dream job" is relative. A "dream job" for you could be totally different from someone else. That's OK because we all have our own situations and goals that we are seeking. The important thing is that you're taking the time to move closer towards a better life. That could mean working as a fry cook or a Wall Street executive, either way you are shaping the dream.


That is your job as a human.