We definitely don’t live in an ideal world; I don’t even think we’d want to. Just think about it, with so many people’s desires and values running in the complete opposite direction or even clashing on a daily basis, an ideal existence for everyone would have to be seriously drastic.
Maybe it would be a bit like the Matrix, where everyone just exists in their own little world: going to your dream jobs (or sitting on the couch) all day and coming home to Mr/Mrs Ideal who just so happened to have cooked your favorite dinner. Well that’s some people’s ideal situation at least.
The problem with “ideal” is that it’s about as subjective as you can get. Today’s blog post is all about what conditions would add up to make your ideal job, not your Mom’s ideal and not an ideal based on…well, ideas. When you’re trying to figure out what would make your job ideal, it’s down to you and the things that you want and need out of your professional life.
The best place to start when looking for the ideal is to think about how that dream situation would be different from our present reality.
How would you change things around at your job to make it your ideal job?
Would you give yourself more creative or budgetary control?
Would you give yourself a promotion?
Would your ideal job be at another company or even in an entirely different industry?
The first thing to figure out when you’re trying to picture your ideal job is whether your current job fits in anywhere near that ideal. Has this job just been paying the bills or do you actually get a decent level of satisfaction out of it? In other words, could your current job become your ideal with a few tweaks?
If your answer is no, then that’s too bad. Even if you can’t realistically change companies right now, try to keep your ideal in mind instead of just mindlessly slogging through the day to day. Hopefully, this will help motivate you to look for a different job later down the line.
Now, even though we’re working with a lot with fantasies and other abstract junk, this exercise is most effective when grounded in a little bit of reality. Sure you’d like to be a hot lawyer by day and a Harlem Globe Trotter by night, but that may not happen. If your ideal job is in an entirely different industry, reaching that ideal will be tough, but not impossible by any means.
Before you do anything drastic (quitting, joining the forestry service, etc.), you should definitely do some research on the specific requirements of the career change that you’d like. First, find out exactly how much schooling is required. Do you have the time and the money to go back to school for 2 years? For longer than that? If you feel passionately about changing careers, then figuring out the logistics will help you to plan out the nitty-gritty of getting your professional life on the course that you desire.
The next thing you want to consider is the risk associated with starting over. Do you have any contacts in the industry that you’d like to get into? How hard is it going to be for a newly trained unknown like you to break into that dream job of yours? Do you already have some skills that would make you attractive to an employer in that industry?
Before you take any real-world steps toward your ideal job, it’s important to understand what, exactly, you’re getting yourself into. Failing to do so can put you in a situation where you wish you never left that not-so-ideal job in the first place.