Most of us are not employed to do what we really love, and the notion of landing our dream job has unfortunately disintegrated into a distant hope. Is it time to stop chasing the dream, and settle for what we’ve got?
The year is 2012, and looking for a job, any job, whether you’re a student, graduate or an experienced member of the employment pool, has become exceedingly tough and discouraging. Landing that ultimate dream job appears to be even more implausible.
Even veterans of the interview are watching their backs, waiting for the latest trend-whoring whipper-snapper to snatch that company car and Bupa healthcare package from their desperate hands. Like a first date, the interview processes has become a make or break situation as you place all of your tricks into one exceedingly nervous moment; taste too strong and you’ll come across annoying; too weak and you’ll be overlooked. Employers these days are after some seriously specialised porridge.
While people typing their fingers to the bone yearn to be free to follow their dreams, others dream of expelling themselves from the clutches of wastefulness and yearn to type their fingers to the bone. From sole traders, to engineers, teachers, vets and shop assistants, the entire mind-set of society’s eligible employment sector screams irony.
Whose dream is it anyway?
Having the dream job is not exclusive to people that look the part, have the talent and kiss the right arse – or arses if your boss has a fuller figure. “It’s all about how well you do at university!” chant the government. “It’s all about who you know!” whisper the executives.
If we delve deep into the abyss of emotional and material satisfaction, throwing a few haymakers in the direction of the cast of TOWIE, it’s what we truly desire from our time on this planet that will dictate how we perceive our dream job, and others that appear to have it all.
Some people are content bouncing from job to job, making their way through life with just enough money in their back pocket to buy the latest PlayStation game or Pandora accessory. Others are more driven, feeling the need to leave their mark on the world of capitalism, making their way up the ladder until they’re looking down on the masses, whisky in one hand, Porsche keys in the other.
And then there’s the person that we all want to be, the one and only opportunity we’ve been looking for as we turn off our computers at night and settle down to an evening of Celebrity Juice and a tube of pringles. The type of person that will give it all up, the money, the friends, the family and ultimately the security of continuous employment for that one chance to make a go at their perception of the dream job, whether it be a fighter pilot, a singer or a mother.
Diversity spreads itself across this country like marmite on toast, and no matter what creed, colour, race or celebrity you follow on Twitter, you either love it or hate it. It’s in our nature to seek to define ourselves, whether it’s through the company we keep or politics we follow.
But no matter how big the salary, fast the car, or busty the wife, surely we must crave to ultimately define ourselves as happy? You may have all the wealth, but you’ve got no one to spend it on. You’ve got someone to spend it on, but they don’t reciprocate your affections. You’ve got the girl and the affection, but also a job that doesn’t pay enough to let you treat her the way you want to. You might not even have a job. There’s an unquantifiable amount of versions of this nightmare, making the quest for serendipity even more damaging.
In today’s society, the advertising industry portrays the dream job through every car advert and through every Rolex-sporting celebrity. But in order to recognise our dream, we have to separate materialism and happiness, which increasingly get mashed up in the hustle and bustle of the 9-5 grind to form this illusion most of us call life.
The dream job is the profession that allows us to experience life, happily. If you are able to be content, and acquire the balance between finance, family, and your own personal aspirations, then surely whatever employment you find yourself in has to be the dream job. If your profession allows you to make others happy by the way you conduct yourself through life, no matter what the salary or how far you progress during your career, you’ve achieved the perfect job. In these tough times, being content is the most desirable job on the planet. If you manage to get to that convivial state, amongst all the other pressures of day-to-day living, you’ll be the one who is envied.
Zoe is a business blogger who is currently writing on behalf of Brookson (http://www.brookson.co.uk/), to help promote their contractor accountancy services.