You might have read the heading and thought I’m playing with words. Surely your dream career and your career dream are the same thing. I don’t think so and here’s why …
For most people career dreams are symbolic of what they want not an achievable end goal. Often the reality of the career is a lot different than the dream. We tend to ignore the downsides when we think about our career dreams. Mine was flight attendant and, having now done some work for a major airline where I got to spend time with them, I can see that the reality is nowhere near the dream I’d imagined.
A career dream is usually a specific role that you’ve fallen in love with because of the way it’s been marketed to you. It usually comes with wealth, status or fame as the main feature. When we dream about this type of career we don’t think about the hard work involved to get there, just the end result. Career dreams often give you little control and require you to confirm to very specific characteristics to succeed.
So what’s the alternative?
A dream career allows you to be the most authentic version of yourself. It offers numerous ways to achieve success and gives you control over the outcome. It’s not just one job title, it’s a range of options you get to choose from. That way your likelihood of success is far higher and your career can adapt as your personal circumstances change. Plus, it’s realistic when considering what your career will actually involve including the downsides. Dream careers aren’t perfect. They have their challenges but that’s part of the attraction.
I encourage people to stop pursuing career dream and start designing their own dream career. In fact that’s the starting point for my 6 week Dream Career Program: defining what your dream career looks like by analysing your career dream. So my advice is shift your focus just slightly and you may find that your dreams really do come true.