8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hold out for that Dream Job

by Evil HR Lady on October 4, 2019

Are you chasing your dream job? Lots of people are. And it’s fine to have a dream, but the reality is much harsher. Settling can be the better choice. Here are eight reasons why.

  1. You have bills. Or at least you should. If you’re still living with your parents and are over 22, that’s super nice of your parents, but you need to start acting like an adult. Take any job that will allow you to be an adult and pay your own bills.
  2. Unemployed people have a harder time finding a job than employed people. If you’re currently unemployed and are holding out for the dream job–even if you’ve got a trust fund–you’re making it harder and harder to get a good job with every passing day. 
  3. Dream jobs are often nightmares. Sure, you thought you wanted to be a sky diving instructor, but it’s only after you got the job that you find out that 50 percent of your job is talking people into jumping out of the plane after they are already in the air. Jobs that sound dreamy on paper come with coworkers, bosses, and clients, and they may or may not end up being nightmares.

To keep reading, click here: 8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hold out for that Dream Job

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny October 4, 2019 at 2:19 pm

I don’t agree that people with options should “[t]ake any job that will allow you to be an adult and pay your own bills,” unless — financially — they have no other option. This is especially true if one is seeking that first “dream job” after college. If your first job after graduation is not a professional position in your academic field of study, the chance of your later finding a good job in your field drastically decreases. Even if it means staying dependent a little longer on your parents — or your spouse, etc. — hold out for your dream. It took me a year after graduation to find my dream job. During that time, I read a lot, did volunteer work, networked like crazy, and actively sought employment. People with whom I worked as a volunteer nominated me for a major, prestigious, position for which I — otherwise — would not even have been a candidate or considered, and it was, indeed, a dream job. That led to a 50-year professional career consisting of a series of escalating dream jobs. During that first job search, my poor Husband was supportive, but — nevertheless — skeptical that I would ever find the job of my dreams. I had turned down a number of job offers because they were either outside my area of expertise, were primarily secretarial or did not pay women equally. Both he and I were extremely relieved — and gratified — when I, finally, landed that perfect opportunity. It actually paid more than his, professional, job, which was exceedingly rare back in the 1960’s. Ultimately, it led to my career far outpacing his, not that it really mattered. If you have to take an interim position while still looking for that dream job, so be it. But, never surrender your dreams!

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Jenn October 7, 2019 at 4:41 pm

Sadly, you can’t take experience from the 60s and extrapolate it any more.

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Kathy October 4, 2019 at 4:12 pm

On the other end of the scale from Grannybunny’s experience, I saw a friend at work laid off. The job counseling service that was part of his exit package recommended taking some time off, coming to grips with the difficult experience, and then not desperately grabbing the first thing that came along but holding out for that dream job offer. He took that advice and turned down some so-so offers. Then the offers stopped coming. He lost his savings, his new house, and his marriage before he had the opportunity again to take a so-so offer, rebuild his life, and leverage his new job into a new career. I’m with EHRL on this one. You need to know when to quit looking for the dream job and settle.

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Elizabeth West October 4, 2019 at 4:19 pm

Number 2 is true. I’m halfway between entry-level and upper level and have priced myself out of the market I’m in. No one here will hire me, and it’s taking forever to get out. The longer this goes on, the worse it’s going to get. 🙁

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Sara October 4, 2019 at 6:54 pm

The ultimate eye-opener that I wish on no one ever is to have health problems that make it very difficult to do ANY job. After being told by private disability that I’m totally disabled but don’t qualify due to an administrative technicality and realizing that I can make more money part-time that I would get from federal disability, there are mornings when all I wish is that I was well enough to sweep that CEO’s floors for eight hours a day. You’re right – all work is honorable and a major accomplishment. All I can say is thank goodness I worked my butt off my whole career and put myself through a master’s program so that I can make enough part-time and at home to survive (barely & it’s beyond stressful just to get out of bed). The only reason I can is that I work for a friend who values my work enough to allow me intense flexibility. I’m pretty sure no one would hire me on the open market. My heart breaks for people who do not have options and live substandard lives on a non-existent safety net (no one realizes this until after they’re disabled) after working very hard their whole lives. I know many of these people now after my body unceremoniously launched me into this world. We all now snicker at people holding out for dream jobs and social warriors who can’t work in offices that are perfectly fine, but they feel are oppressing them. We’d love to just work anywhere if our bodies would allow us to. We realize the amazing accomplishment of working eight hours a day – whether it’s at Twitter or McDonalds, because for us, a major accomplishment is taking a shower. The upside is we don’t have to wait to be on our deathbeds to realize what’s really important in life!

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Mr HIFU October 5, 2019 at 1:26 am

I’m three weeks into recovery from surgery; I hear you. Today is a good day, but some days I can barely focus. Mercifully I have the advantage of working from home: I shudder to think of dragging myself into an office, gray and ashen, then having to repeatedly disappear into a restroom there.

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MariaRose October 4, 2019 at 7:41 pm

At last an article that addresses a key issue in taking a job–the need to support oneself and be financially independent. In the real world, there is no such thing as a “dream job”, there are only jobs that interest us while we work because of various reasons. Unless you create your own field of work (become an entrepreneur), you will always deal with a boss and required work performances and the agreed-upon pay and benefits. If you don’t like the situation at work, there’s always the option to switch jobs. But what I don’t always hear discussed is the issue brought up in this article–the need to be financially self-sufficient. This should be the end goal whenever discussing a career path in education, along with satisfying your interests. The job is not your social life, it is the source of your income to pay for all needs. That means sometimes you have to work at a job that isn’t the “dream job” but it does give you income. I guess most complainers about not working in the ideal position, have never been without a support system in place.

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Ruth (UK) October 5, 2019 at 11:44 am

I generally agree with this though it can be different for different people, depending on their skills and situation. I graduated in 2012 when the job market was pretty bad and worked full time fast food kitchen for just short of 2 years. I was too mentally exhausted to job search (I entered into a bit of a depression after a while. As an aside I won’t get into, I was also sexually harassed by a manager after it came out I was gay) and had to quit to have the energy to job search. I was lucky and got a new job within a month – one reason was that I wasn’t too picky though. I was looking for anything other than kitchen work. I took a call centre job which I stayed in for the next 3.5 years, and job searched from there to get a university admin job (my current job, which I like).

A friend of mine got her master’s degree the same year I graduated and was totally unable to get employment for a while. The master’s was in a humanity and she even tried fast food work too… But unlike me who managed for a couple years, she was fired within a fortnight. She just isn’t very physically coordinated and couldn’t keep up the pace required for a fast food kitchen. She temped for a while and now is also in uni admin and a freelance writer on the side.

It eventually worked out for both of us but she was less able than me to take ‘any’ job and I did end up quitting a job with nothing lined up because it was impacting my mental health too much.

In short, I do generally agree with the overall sentiment of the article, but I think it’s not as black and white as people wish it was or sometimes seem to think it is

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Analyst Robot October 7, 2019 at 6:09 pm

I don’t know any “Dream Jobs” that are entry level, so you will have to accept in-between jobs to get the skills and experience.
Frankly, a real-world dream job is one where you have a good manager, supportive co-workers, are paid well, and daily work that is meaningful to you.

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