The Top 5 Aspects of My Dream Job

Just as my Google Reader (I mean Feedly)  is a central place to stay current with my favorite blogs, I use a podcast app to collect my favorite podcasts. Some are NPR shows that I can’t listen to at the time of broadcast.

This week Marketplace Money spent the entire show on issues related to job search, requesting raises, and dealing with the dreaded office kitchen.

In one section of the show, the idea of landing the “Dream Job” came up. Like many such discussions, the focus was on the job itself. My perspective, however, is that a dream job includes a number of components.

1. The work itself. I like variety, and I like to problem solve. If my work doesn’t involve the identification of problems and developing solutions to resolve them, then I won’t be happy. That’s part of the learning process – each new problem presents an opportunity for learning more and for applying recent learning.

2. The people I am working with. The team I am a part of needs to be diverse in terms of skills, experience, and thinking processes. I am fortunate to work with a collaborative group with a broad range of backgrounds.

3. My boss. The most frequent constructive feedback I get (if I am still getting it then I must not be changing, right?) is that I don’t appear to be working with urgency, but then when it is time for my work to be front and center, it is clear that I have been. It’s part of the introversion. I don’t blow my own horn. I let my work speak for itself. My boss needs to understand that I am getting it done, and learn to trust me. Again, I have had that pleasure quite often in my career.

4. Reasonable expectation of time commitment (aka Work/Life balance, which is a phrase I’m not that keen about). I don’t mind working longer hours for certain projects or to achieve a specific result, but not as a standard for “how we work”. I once knew an HR manager who never left before 6 or 6:30 in the evening, complaining about how behind he was. His team always felt that they had to work long hours as well, all the time. Unreasonable. For me, anyway.

5. Possibilities. With every job I’ve crafted a new version of what my (next) dream job would be. And in most cases, it was built on what I thought I would be learning in my current position. Each job puts you in a new opportunity, and you start to see new possibilities that you may not have even been aware of before.

I didn’t mention pay, office space, technology or anything like that. They are part of a total job package, of course, but they are secondary to the day-to-day aspects that make up the job.

Are you in your dream job now? Are there other considerations that you think are equal to the five above?

2 Responses to The Top 5 Aspects of My Dream Job

  1. This post is too perfect for words. Is that allowed, for me to just put that out there as blatantly as this? I relate to every one of your points. It’s like you reached into my head and wrote my thoughts down (which likely means that I need to write my own blog more often).

    However, point 5 hit me hardest in that this is the point I dwell on most when considering my own career. It seems to me that, barring some real challenging roles or workplaces, possibilities always exist to make a difference, to learn something new, to take a role (new, current, future) and make it have vital and even unexpected impact – for the company and for the employee himself or herself. Maybe that kind of thinking is a little too Pollyanna for some… I don’t know.

    What I do know, though, is that this post alone has me hooked! Subscribing now, and can’t wait to read more posts, both past and future. Thanks!

Leave a reply