It’s probably fair to say that no one grows up wanting to be an anonymous office drone or production line worker, doing work that they don’t enjoy, for a boss they hate, in order to make enough money to pay the bills and put food on the table. But, unfortunately, that is the reality for a substantial number of people in the world today.
As we grow up, our dreams of being explorers, firefighters, doctors, and more, often give way to the general apathy and nihilism of our teen years, followed by the scramble to get whatever work we can in order to support ourselves, afterwards.
Some of us do stick to our dreams and visions, and put in the hard work to become what we dreamt of being as children. Others discover their true calling later in life, and then put in the considerable amount of work required in order to achieve their dream jobs, whether becoming a doctor, author, or firefighter.
Still others, however, know what it is that they’d really rather be doing, but don’t feel that it’s reasonable, or perhaps even possible, to expect to achieve. These people — a major proportion of society — put off the pursuit of their dream jobs indefinitely. “In another life”, or “one day, maybe,” they think, as they keep doing work that they hate, day in and day out.
But there are serious costs down the line to living a fundamentally unfulfilling life and failing to pursue your dream job. And there are many benefits to taking the risk, making the plunge, and pursuing that dream job.
Here are some reasons why it pays to pursue your dream job, even if it’s a long shot.
Pursuing your dream job will justify all the hard work
Life is fundamentally full of difficulty, and your job is likely to be no different. Whether or not you’re trying to get by on “cruise control”, and whether or not the work you’re doing is unskilled or highly skilled, you are being paid to produce results for someone, and you are going to need to grind and work hard on a regular basis.
When you’re grinding and working yourself to the bone for a boss and job you hate, it can be almost unbearable waking up in the morning.
When you’re pursuing your dream job, however, all the hard work is justified, and may even be welcomed, because you know that it all goes towards bringing you closer to your goals and serves a higher calling that you find meaningful.
Becoming a pilot, for example, is hard. You need to identify the best aviation courses from universities across the UK, and then you need to subject yourself to the gruelling process of logging the right number of hours in the air, securing a job, and so on.
But if your dream is to be a pilot, all that hard work is worthwhile, and seems infinitely more manageable.
Pursuing your dream job will help you to keep up the vision and enthusiasm needed for success
To succeed in any field, you really need a good degree of vision and enthusiasm. You need to feel positively motivated towards a future state where you can see yourself succeeding and enjoying the fruits of that success, and you need to be able to hold that positive vision in your mind consistently until you achieve it.
You also, of course, need the enthusiasm to keep moving forward instead of just taking it easy and coasting as much as possible.
Pursuing your dream job is perhaps the best way of helping you to maintain the vision and enthusiasm necessary for success. It’s relatively easy to force yourself to visualise a bright and happy future when you’re chasing the job of your dreams. It’s much harder to force yourself to visualise a bright and happy future when you work a job you hate, for no reason other than paying the bills.
Even if you don’t land your dream job, or don’t land it on your first attempt, the attempt itself can take further than you imagined
There’s a saying that goes something like “if you aim for the stars you might hit the moon, if you aim for the moon you might crash into the ground”.
The idea here is that you should make a habit of setting your sights as high as possible, not because this guarantees that you’ll succeed, but because it means that you’ll at least go a lot farther than you would if you’d aimed for something meagre and small.
While pursuing your dream job, you have to nurture a sense of confidence that you’ll achieve your goal, if you want to have any hope of success. Nonetheless, success isn’t guaranteed. Even if you don’t land your dream job, or don’t land it at once, though, you might still end up in a better place than you’d ever previously imagined being in. And if you want, you can then regroup and give it another shot.
Life is short; it pays to live yours with integrity and pursue the things that you find meaningful
Believe it or not, but life is about more than just money, fame, and all that stuff we envy celebrities for having.
At the end of the day, we all need to live with ourselves and find some meaning in life that helps to motivate us forward, and sustain us during the hard times. Much of this meaning is to be found in things like our families, but much is also found in living with integrity.
Living with integrity is all about living true to your values, in a way that you find meaningful. By pursuing your dream job, you are much more likely to live a life of integrity than otherwise. The alternative; doing a job that you hate and don’t believe in, is infinitely more likely to mean that you’re living out of alignment with your values and are lacking some of the positive meaning that affirms life in and of itself.
So, pursue what’s meaningful to you, and live your life with integrity.