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What makes people happy isn't whether they have a
high-profile or high-income position, but whether they are doing work
they feel is important and gives them a sense of satisfaction
Do you know what your dream job is? Do you really understand all that
it involves or are you only focusing on the good parts? Too often
people pursue high-profile careers without taking into account the
downsides and write off potentially great careers as settling for
second best. Here are some things to think about before deciding what
your dream job is.
Glamour industry = ruthless competition
Who wants to be a famous actor, rock star or sporting legend? Well,
just about everyone, which is exactly the problem. Many people believe
their dream job involves working in a glamour industry without
realising millions of others feel the same way.
The end result of a lot of people chasing very few rewards is intense
competition for even entry-level jobs, and very long odds of reaching
the top of the industry in question. For example, the overwhelming
majority of actors, musicians and professional athletes have poorly
paid and insecure employment with only a fortunate few enjoying the
kind of showbiz lifestyle the media provides so much coverage of.
Lots of money = lots of stress
Whether you're a CEO or brain surgeon, the way the labour market
functions means that those who earn large salaries also have to meet
large demands. If you're happy to work 80 hours a week, travel
frequently, miss out on important family occasions, shoulder lots of
workplace responsibility and be on call 24/7 in order to rake in the
big bucks, that's fine. But don't imagine you can earn an
above-average wage without an above-average workload.
Fulfilling work = dream job
Researchers have consistently found that what makes people happy
isn't whether they have a high-profile or high-income position, but
whether they are doing work they feel is important and gives them a
sense of satisfaction. That's the reason it's not uncommon for people
to walk away from what are widely considered dream jobs to do work
that's less celebrated.
To take just one famous example, Bill Gates walked away from running
one of the world's largest and most successful corporations to set up
and oversee a charitable foundation – granted, that was after he made
So pursue your dream job by all means, just don't be too quick to
decide exactly what it might be. If you are looking for a career
change, there is a wide variety of courses available at TAFE NSW.