The original version of this article appeared on Levo.
All summer, as I was networking and meeting with mentors, I kept getting asked the same question over and over again: what’s your dream job? And over and over again, I was stumped because the thing is, I don’t have a dream job. I’m lucky enough to know what I’m interested in but that doesn’t mean I have a singular career in mind. But I learned quickly, that’s totally OK. There are so many expectations about landing your dream job, but here are the most common myths that, we promise, you can totally let go.
1. You need to know what your “dream job” is.
When people did ask me what my dream job was, I found an easy solution was just to tell people, “I’ll do anything,” but as one woman reminded me, that answer can seem unfocused and uninspired. Instead, I learned to tell people I want to work with a creative and curious team that’s passionate about how digital media can enhance storytelling. It’s not a normal “dream job,” but it’s a clearer picture of what I want to do, and it’s that kind of vision that will help lead me to a dream job in the future.
2. Your dream job exists right now.
As technology continues to change and companies’ needs grow and adapt, it’s important to remember your eventual dream job may not exist yet! And that’s totally OK. It would have been impossible 10 years ago to tell Levo 100 honoree and YouTube star Justine Ezarik that in the future, her dream job would consist of making video content for a website that at that time wasn’t even around.
As you weave through your first few jobs, make sure to keep your eyes and ears open for new opportunities. This might even mean listening to your passions and creating your own dream job. Levo 100 honoree Janet Mock said, “I’ve always said that authenticity is the first pathway to any kind of success. To me it’s my yellow brick road. Only by living my truth have I been able to achieve any kind of semblance of the dream.”
3. Even if you land your dream job, you won’t be able to make enough money.
I’m sure we’ve all had that one person in our lives that has something negative to say when we tell them our dream job. And a lot of times that negative thing happens to revolve around money. (As a journalism student, this happens to me far too often and trust me, there’s not enough side eye in the world for those people.)
Brit Morin, Levo 100 honoree and founder of Brit + Co., knows this all too well. When she was looking to switch careers, she knew she was interested in the creative arts industry. But instead of getting immediately discouraged by a typically difficult field, she did research and found out she could conceivably make money going after what she wanted (turns out the creative arts industry is a $34 billion market!). Morin shows it’s worth really researching and looking into your dream job because often what you find may surprise you. There’s more than meets the eye, and if you’re willing to put in the hustle, you can probably find a way to do what you love and make it work.
Written by: Madison Feller