Have you always wanted only one job? Unlikely so. The dream job which we had proudly told your elementary school teacher would probably be different from the one that stuck with us throughout our college years. Our current occupation may or may not be the same dream job we’d desired when we were a fresh graduate. As you can tell, changing our dream jobs is not abnormal, neither is it a problem. The problem only arises when we’re engaged in a job that once made our hearts flutter, but not anymore.
While our younger self allowed our dream jobs to change according to our ever-evolving aspirations, we become more apprehensive and hesitant about making new career choices as we grow older. This is so even when we know that our current job may not let us live the lives we want.
What are dream jobs
There is no hard and fast definition of what exactly a dream job is. It is subjective. For some people, it could mean a glorious job title and fat paycheck whereas, for others, it could be doing the things they love and achieving work-life balance. The general rule is that our dream jobs should make us happy, fulfilled and motivated.
What happens when your job is no longer your “dream job”
Our life goals change as we grow and mature. Realistically speaking, our priorities in our early twenties would differ from those in our mid-thirties and even late fifties. At the beginning of our career, we may be more driven to climb the corporate ladder and to make more money. Over time, there is diminishing joy from pay increments and we would rather spend more time with our family and pursue some of our personal interests.
When your job does not keep up or align with your current goals and priorities, that is when you know your current ‘dream job’ has expired. Of course, there may also be the other case where we did not have sufficient experience, qualifications and skills to pursue our ‘dream job’ in the past, but now we do. Whichever scenario it may be, perhaps it is time to move on to your next ‘dream job’.
It’s fine to pursue an alternative job
The conventional career pathway is to progressively move up the ranks in similar job roles. It is a standard route that many of our seniors have taken, rising from an executive to managerial positions. Should we follow suit or should we not? The answer lies within ourselves.
As aforementioned, some of our peers and colleagues may prefer job stability and security whereas the remaining of us may have a greater appetite for risk, greater desire to do the things we like and spend more time with those we love. If so, it would make perfect sense for them to rise up in seniority and for us to pursue an alternative job or even a career path that is less travelled.
There really isn’t a stigmatisation about leaving our current jobs to set up our own business or become a freelancer. More often than not, the shock expressions that you receive when you announce your departure are looks of jealousy – your colleagues may be thinking, why do you have the courage to still pursue your dreams whereas they do not. Besides, there is nothing wrong with chasing our dreams.
Is this acting on impulse?
Could your decision to change career tracks, to freelance, to work from home or to leave your job really be a better choice than staying put in your current job? Would it be yet another unfortunate case where “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”?
Well, it really depends. As such, it is important to listen to your heart and seriously mull over your goals and priorities. Does it resonate with you that it is time to pursue some new goals? If yes, stick to it. Stay steadfast to your decision of pursuing a new ‘dream job’ (what’s yours? Mine is to be a freelance content writer). Often, people give up or fail because they were swayed by cheap thrills or shortcuts such as a slight increment in pay, a new fancy title or a bigger office cubicle. Keep yourself laser-focused on your new goals and do not be distracted.
Can I freelance before making a decision
Freelancing is actually one of the best ways for you to determine if a new career job is the right cup of tea for you. For those of us who do not want to quit our jobs just yet, you may ask for permission to freelance part-time. We have some tips prepared for those who are thinking of freelancing part-time so feel free to check it out.
- Acknowledge that your goals and priorities change over time
- Your dream job from the past may not help you achieve your current goals
- There is nothing bizarre about changing career path if it serves a better purpose