No dream job? That's alright!

Many of us live in a perpetual state of wanting more – and when it comes to our careers, the pursuit of a ‘dream job’ seems to be at the top of almost everyone’s wish list.

Feeling a little resentful that you haven’t found your dream job just yet, or envious of friends who seem to have already struck career gold? Many jobs have the capacity to be perfect for different reasons – so even if your current role doesn’t feel like, ‘the one’, there are four tactics you can employ to extract the best out of the job you have, while keeping your eye out for the job you want.

  1. Change your perspective. It can be easy to focus on the negative, so when you feel stuck in a rut, remember that the one thing you can control is your perspective.

    The dream job can mean different things to different people. It might be a great salary package, a supportive working environment, good work-life balance, the opportunity to make a living doing something you’re truly passionate about, or maybe just a role that allows you to avoid the commute and stroll to and from work.

    Make a list of all the positive things about your current role, and choose to shift your focus to those that increase your appreciation of the job you have.
  2. Create your own opportunities. What if you could transform your current role into more of a ‘dream job’ situation? Would you feel happier at work? Would you be more likely to stay?

    Consider what would make your work more satisfying and enjoyable, and then look to create small, gradual change by talking to your boss about new opportunities within your current role. It might be negotiating some training in a new area, or discussing flexible hours, or asking for more responsibility to keep you challenged. If you can come up with solutions that will benefit you and the company you’re working for, it’s a win-win your boss will find hard to turn down.
  3. Be realistic. While the grass might appear greener at someone else’s company barbecue, remember to be realistic about the nature of work.

    Whoever you’re working for, in whichever industry, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll love every aspect of your work 100% of the time. Every role has rough days – even if you’re working for a multi-million dollar business that pays you double the industry standard, offers unlimited sick leave, and decks their offices out with chill zones and free candy.
  4. Take a long-term view. Just because your job isn’t great right now, doesn’t mean it’s going to be as stressful or dissatisfying this time next week – and it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to be stuck in that situation until you hit retirement.

    Think of this role as a stepping-stone towards your dream job – and make the most of it in every way you can. Take opportunities to learn new skills and improve your existing abilities. Look to use your down time as a chance to study towards a qualification in an industry you’re really passionate about. Do such a great job that when you do find a ‘dream’ role, your current boss will be happy to give you a glowing recommendation.
It can be easy to focus on the negative, so when you feel stuck in a rut, remember that the one thing you can control is your perspective.