Recently, a friend encountered a situation at work where his dedication was causing him an additional amount of work. He was convinced that he was getting more items added to his workload, since he was more responsible or focused than his peers.
I found out about the situation, because we had planned to meet at his house one day after work. When he didn’t show up and I asked if everything was okay, he provided the background information.
I could tell my friend was frustrated at what his “dream job” had morphed into – due to his desire to be a dedicated, responsible and focused individual. Up to this point, he was excited to head to work each day. Now, he walked with his head down… wondering what unexpected item might be added to his list.
Thinking back at my prior jobs, it was easy to find similar situations that I have encountered. Interestingly enough, it seems like in more cases than not, the “dream” disappears from your dream job due to circumstances not related to the job itself. Even more so, those dream-job killers are not items one expects to encounter prior to accepting employment in the first place.
In my friend’s case, it was an over-abundance of work. I tried to paint his situation into a compliment, but it just was not happening. You see, for him to get all of this work done, he has been putting in a tremendous amount of additional hours – which has started to impact the relationship with his family and commitments outside of work.
I would say the biggest dream-job killer has to be related to peer jealousy. In this situation, the peer (whether it be a coworker, manager/supervisor or even someone at the executive level) has made the conscious decision to oppose you working with them. Depending on the peer’s level of influence, the impact to your dream job can be minimal or can be intolerable. Thus, the ability to “keep the dream (job) alive” can range from turning to the other cheek or (eventually) turning to alternative places of employment.
With my friend, I don’t expect him to look for alternative places of employment. If I know him like I think I do, he will simply ride through this wave of extra work and hope it calms down soon. I told him though, if it only gets worse, I am certain he will find another dream job opportunity. The pearl from his experience is that he’s been through this type of situation now and can use that experience to help him in the future.
For me, I try to take not only the great things from my prior employment opportunities, but also take the not-so-great things as well. Those who know me often hear stories from both sides of my prior job experiences. The cool thing is these experiences all have the following things in common:
- They are in the past, no need to worry about them.
- I learned something from the experience to keep in mind and hopefully not repeat.
- They tell a story… one which I will try to use in order to make someone smile.
When I left a not-so-great job years ago, my dad reminded me “you were looking for a job when you found that one, so go find another one.” He would have been 74 years old this year and that is probably the one piece of advice I remember the most from him.
Just remember, there is always a dream job out there for you! You just have to look for it.