A dream job is a myth and here’s why

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) 2018 data, an estimated 61.4 to 3.5 million of the total 5.7 million individuals 15 years old and over are actively engaged in the labour market either working or looking for work (labour force participation). The labour force expands yet opportunities for employment contracts. Developing countries like the Philippines account for 73% of the 1.3 billion global workers, and millions that are underemployed, an ILO study also bared. Clearly, there is a dearth of jobs to accommodate the flux of employable youths. As the World Bank also projected that more than 600 million jobs must be created in the next 10 years to prevent the ballooning of unemployment rates.

The murky labour market situation, however, is not dimming the hopes of job seekers to land their dream job. What qualifies as a dream job varies for different people. But essentially, a dream job is one that pays well for tasks that one would enjoy doing or is passionate about. Perks like travels, cars, vacation leaves, ample commissions, educational benefits, social interactions, reduced workdays, and more are cherries on the icing.

I have noticed not a few so-called dream jobs being posted online, especially ones that require settling on remote, “exotic” islands with “scenic views” and “peaceful ambiance” to care for turtles or cats, or goats; or to tend to lighthouses, resorts, heritage structures or bookshops; or to scoot to a real palace to cook for the royalty. Sounds fun?

But dream jobs may not keep you in a “star-struck” mode for a long time. I’ll tell you why:

1). As it says, a dream job is a JOB. You are required to abide by the rules and terms of the company, the employer or the manager. And I can bet that these are not simple rules! In other words, you are still working for someone else to build their dreams, not yours.

2). You are paid to work, not to have a vacation. Sure you’ll have the scenic views, from sunup to sundown, but in between, during “office” hours, you are expected to roll up your sleeves, do paperwork or cuddle animals and not have an island holiday.

3). Multitasking is very much alive in jobs that promise high pay and fun perks. Especially if your managers are not physically around to see what you are doing, they will likely fill your plate to the brim with tasks, including those that may not be your liking.

4). Think about isolation. This is also especially true for work from home staff that, in the long run, may start associating the home with work. Social life will cease to exist as work will start to seclude you from the outside world, yes, like a hermit that the traffic noise will soon become music to the ears and the clouds, a calm reminder of the passing of the season.

5). Are you sure it’s a dream job and not a career suicide? Sometimes, certain skills and tasks required by some jobs can kill or atrophy skills or capabilities you already have and are qualified for. For example, a former “dream job” demanded that I write technical reports (a task which accounts for a large bulk of my work). The “switch” from creative writing (which is my orientation) to technical writing “hurt” my marketability as a creative writer.

Weigh carefully your options before pursuing that job in your dream industry. Your time is a precious commodity, and it should be spent on an undertaking and occupations that will hone your expertise while at the same time highlight your worth. There may be other preoccupations that in the long term, will feed your own dreams. Nonetheless, go ahead and try. It’s part of learning!

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