Why Trade Your Dream Job for a Dream Life

Fairy God Boss has given permission to Career Step Up to republish this amazing post on why you should trade your dream job for a dream life.

“I no longer aspire to have a career.”

So reads the title of YouTuber Kathout’s video that grabbed over half a million views and nearly 8,000 comments — most of which agree with the video’s title:

“I just want to be financially stable while still having a life.”

“A career is not who a person is and I think people are just getting sick of working so hard for little to no gain sometimes.  It gets frustrating and all I want to do is enjoy my life for a change.”

“I work to live, I definitely don’t live to work.”

In the video, Kathout, a self-described former “hustle-culture-obsessed college vlogger,” argues for a life where she doesn’t dream of labor.

Also read: How to Skyrocket to a Successful Career Change at 40

We might think we don’t “dream” of labor, but many of us have had a “dream job” — the dream being that we’re doing a job that aligns exactly with what we want to do.

The “dream job” is the job that makes us feel like we have a purpose.

It’s what we believe we’re supposed to be doing, even if it means it consumes our lives.

A 2017 study found that four out of 10 adults believed they already had their dream job. 70% thought having their dream job was possible.

Our dream jobs were so important to us because our lives revolved around work.

But in 2021, a newer study reported that 93% of Americans aren’t currently pursuing their dream career. Almost 60% are rethinking their career; 1 in 3 are considering leaving their jobs.

Why? The new way of working has turned what many believed were dream jobs into nightmares.

Living to Work vs. Working to Live

For many corporate workers, recent events brought a shift in the physical way they work. Gone were commutes, in-person meetings and 8+ hour days in cubicles.

Remote work didn’t just take away what office workers were used to; for many, it gave them much more. It gave them time with family. It gave them more sleep.

It gave them the ability to be home for dinner; do their laundry in the middle of the day; take a walk around the neighborhood; work from a beach in Hawaii; to have more flexibility and structure in their life.

Work was no longer a barrier to living life as they desired.

It gave them the ability to work to live, instead of living to work. We didn’t just change the way we physically work, we reevaluated our relationship to work as a whole.

Also read: Must Watch Indicators for Real Estate Investors to Warn of a Housing Market Crash

We’re rethinking our priorities and what we want out of a job. We don’t want to work for companies that don’t care about us.

And for many, what we want out of a job has little to do with what the job actually is. It’s about what the job can give us and how it can fit into our lives.

With the right support, flexibility and benefits, our work can be just part of our lives, rather than all-consuming.

Living the Dream

So, what does a world look like when the dream job is dead? It looks like a world of “dream lives.”

Instead of dreaming about what we’re doing for work and what title we’ll have, we think about jobs as a piece of our life.

Does this job pay what you need to live how you’d like? Does it provide the benefits you want? Is it flexible to your schedule? Does it give you the work-life balance you want?

It’s a world where we get to think less about our jobs as crucial to our identities. Our jobs become less of something that defines us and how others perceive us.

Instead, we see our jobs more as a way to support ourselves financially and live the lives we want to when the workday is done.

Also read: Dividend Kings: What are They and 6 Great Stocks You Should Add to Your Watchlist

This world of dream lives, not dream jobs, sheds light on those who never were able to achieve a dream job in the first place: people who had to take certain positions to support their families; who couldn’t afford to go to school and get a job that required a degree; who were discriminated against in the hiring process; who had to settle for the “good enough” job that gave them the flexibility to care for others at home.

It takes away the pressure to get a “dream job,” when for many, the dream job was never possible to begin with.

Focusing on dream lives rather than dream jobs dares us to dream about what our lives are — and who we are — outside of work.

Of course, we can’t expect this to be done just by changing the way we think about work. We live in a world where we need to work to live.

There are times when we can’t always work the way we want to, or get the salary we need from one job to support ourselves, or land even the “good enough job.”

Also read: Dividend Aristocrats That Might be a Great Addition to Your Portfolio

But even by shifting our mindset away from the dream job, we get one step closer to our dream lives.

We start to value ourselves not just for the work we do, but for the lives we live outside of work.

So maybe it’s not that the dream job is dead. It’s that the dream job as we knew it — focusing just on doing what we love, what our purpose is, for 8+ hours a day — is dead.

Now, a dream job is one that fits into our dream lives, not one that our lives workaround.

Our dream job is less about what we’re giving to our work but rather what our work is giving us, whether it be a certain salary, benefits, convenience, or flexibility.

Work becomes not a way to live but literally a way to make a living.

We no longer dream of serving to do a job; we are dreaming of lives, and jobs, that serve us.

More Articles From Career Step Up Partners

Learn how to diversify and hedge your long-only stock portfolio. We’ve partnered with Tim Thomas to give you the opportunity to sign up for a free insight into the Swing Trading 101 program. The program has been developed over thousands of hours of trading over hundreds of thousands of dollars across stock, commodities, options, and cryptocurrencies. It’s designed to empower you to take a unique but strategic approach to the markets. Learn more about swing trading.

This post was produced by FairyGodBoss and syndicated by Career Step Up.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock