Does our dream job really exist? If we have our dream job, does that mean we are following our passions?
There are several articles lately, and a personal observation, that makes me think we are chasing something that does not exist for many of us.
I was sent an article from the Wall Street Journal – Scott Adams Secret to Success: Failure!
For most people, it’s easy to be passionate about things that are working out, and that distorts our impression of the importance of passion. I’ve been involved in several dozen business ventures over the course of my life, and each one made me excited at the start. You might even call it passion.
The ones that didn’t work out—and that would be most of them—slowly drained my passion as they failed. The few that worked became more exciting as they succeeded. For example, when I invested in a restaurant with an operating partner, my passion was sky high. And on day one, when there was a line of customers down the block, I was even more passionate. In later years, as the business got pummeled, my passion evolved into frustration and annoyance.
On the other hand, Dilbert started out as just one of many get-rich schemes I was willing to try. When it started to look as if it might be a success, my passion for cartooning increased because I realized it could be my golden ticket. In hindsight, it looks as if the projects that I was most passionate about were also the ones that worked. But objectively, my passion level moved with my success. Success caused passion more than passion caused success.
Are you passionate because you are successful or successful because you are passionate?
The Myth of the Dream Job
Bassam Tarazi writes:
Consider this: a job is a way to pay the bills, a career is a path toward increasingly better work, and a calling is work that’s an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity. In Cal Newport’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Amy Wrzensniewski, a professor of organizational behavior at Yale University, shares research revealing that“the happiest, most passionate employees [who see their jobs as a calling] are not those who followed their passion into a position, but instead those who have been around long enough to become good at what they do.”
So yes, you can learn to love a job that no third grader ever dream’t about. That job can feel like your calling. The more years of experience you have at any task, the more effective you feel. You’ve built relationships with coworkers and seen the results of your work helping others.
Did you learn to love your job?
What if you are not passionate about anything?
The most read blog post on this website is What if you are not passionate about anything?
I wrote this post based on my Birkman Assessment where I had many interests but nothing totally drives. Believe it or not, this post is found by online searches 50-100 times a day! I am not alone.
I usually last 3-5 years in a job before I get bored and want to move on to the next. My coach taught me that I will probably have to change my business a little every year to keep things interesting.
You might call me a multipotentialite, as I am someone who has many interests.
Do I have a dream job or do I have many?
Does this sound like you?
What if you cannot make a living from your passion?
I have since learned from analyzing well over 300 Birkman assessments for clients that a lot of you who are driven by the arts or music. As you might have guessed by now, most of you will never make a living in the arts or music.
What I have done with multiple clients is to re-ignite this love for the arts and music outside of their career.
A classical example is Sharon Birkman Fink. Sharon is president of Birkman International but is a classically trained singer and musician with a masters degree from the University of Texas in Music. She runs the family business that is the center of my business. She knows she needs to get her musical fix or she will not be happy.
Sharon is very successfully and happily running the family business but is it her dream job?
Is there a balance?
There has to be a balance between what society needs and is willing to pay for, and what you want to do. There may not be a cross-section of these two things.
What if you are a multipotentialite like myself? I know I have lots of things that drive me and there is no one real dream job.
What about you? Do you know what your dream job might be? Does your dream job exist?
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