The One Thing Nobody Tells You About the Dream Job
I don’t know about you, but when I was in college, I had this impression that the epitome of success was finding the dream job. I graduated with a degree in public relations and journalism. I constantly wrote articles and felt so alive when my thoughts would be published. With a history of fan girl-ing over all things The Hills and Lauren Conrad, obviously the dream job looked a lot like working for a fashion magazine in the big city while living in a charming loft with my best friend and adorable puppy.
Exclusive magazine release parties with rooftop views. Coffee runs for my boss---the editor-and-chief---like a Miranda Priestley, with a little less sass. I could totally picture it.
There’s something completely satisfying about dreaming up an idea that is completely contrast to your reality.
My reality: small town girl from a city no one ever knew of so I had to always say I was from the Orlando area...because hello, Disney! I grew up in the same town from elementary to college. I was always heavily involved in the local church so that added a whole other level of everyone knows everyone. At times, I took it for granted because it was a life that was completely contrary to what I’d observe from TV, movies and media.
That’s just it.
Isn’t it funny how we always take notice in the things we don’t have rather than taking notice in the things we do have?
Sometimes we have this idea of the dream job being this glamorous, happy-all-the-time place where everything goes our way and in our favor. Or maybe we think having a certain title will bring a sense of fulfillment that suddenly changes our dissatisfaction with our life.
Since being a freshman dreaming of taking on the big city with my awesome writing skills, I’ve come to the realization that everything has a price.
Sometimes we say we want things without taking a long look at the price tag.
Hear me out! I’m not saying it’s impossible to be the CEO of your own business or to land the dream internship. Girl, you can do anything you set your mind to!
What I’m saying is that sometimes the things we think we want aren’t as perfect as we think they are. And it can instead distract us from the amazing things that we do have in our current setting!
Take a moment with me to review your current job/season. What are the positive things you get to experience in your shoes today? Is it flexibility? Is it stable income? Is it the opportunity to have hour-long lunches with your girlfriends daily?
These are all things to take notice and be grateful for!
If you don’t believe me, ask around. Not everyone has access to the resources or perks that you do in your current setting.
Choose to fixate on what is. And thank God for it. I always say––you could have woken up anywhere in the world today.
But for some reason, God has you in YOUR city! It’s not by mistake. It’s totally on purpose, friend.
If you want to be a successful magazine editor, doctor, CEO, investor...whatever it is, fill in the blank...then go for it. Keep in mind there are always sacrifices and challenges that you will face in order to achieve those dreams.
You have to remember what’s most important to you and ask yourself––is your dream job in congruence with those important elements of your life? For example, if the “dream job” takes you away from your family way too much, then you have to reevaluate whether it’s worth the money.
the dream job changes just like seasons do.
A lot of my career goals have changed since I was a freshman. Today, I’m a social media strategist at an awesome university. My job allows me to combine my love for communications with my love for mentorship with young women on campus. It also allows me to prepare financially for the life I’m going to build with my fiancé as a newlywed––while also allowing me to be close to family. And guess what––in this season––that beats the big city dreams I had as a freshman in college.
I’m not saying I’d never love to move to a big city and live out my magazine dreams, but in this season of life, I’m finding more value in my current situation than wishing I were somewhere else. Comparison will always rob us of our joy. It will leave us feeling inadequate and as if what we have isn’t good enough. When we choose to be grateful for what’s in front of us, we are able to trade our comparisons for confidence.
To be confident is to live with a heart of gratitude...knowing that all we need for today, we have.
I love in the Bible where it says: “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11) God doesn’t withhold good things from His children––that’s you and me. He delights in giving us good things because He loves us. When I feel comparison creep in, I remind my soul who my Father is in heaven and how if I need something, He will provide it in due season.
Maybe you woke up today wishing your reality was different. Keep your head up. Don’t let comparison make you feel inferior or less than. God is always in the business of working all things together for our good. Choose to see the good in your season.
Real happiness comes when we let go of our perfect story lines to simply be present and engage with what we do have going for us. You make the dream job. Maybe your dream job is motherhood. Maybe it's a Tuesday night yoga class where you get to show up for your friend who's struggling. When we develop a rhythm of gratefulness, you and I begin to realign our vision and see things from a refreshed perspective...where we can see the active goodness of God in what we have instead of seeing what isn't measuring up to our unrealistic standards.
Do you current wish your life looked different? What things you can still be grateful for about your current season? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.