Career Management – Why Most Don’t Get Their Dream Job

Career Management – Why most don’t get their dream job

Your Dream Job

Everyone wants their dream job.  They want to get paid for doing something they love.  This cute little diagram has been circulating on Linkedin.  There is a lot of truth in the diagram, but in my opinion the diagram is grossly in error.

The biggest misconception in the diagram is that “someone will pay for” ‘what you’re good at.”  This is just not true.  Good is just too commonplace to be of value.  Good is everywhere.   And someone will pay for good when it is convenient and/or cheap, mostly cheap.  Someone will always pay for exceptional though.  Someone is always willing to pay a higher price for the best.  Many companies have gone out of business being good.  Many people have been laid off with good skills.

Why Most Don’t Get Their Dream Job

Most don’t get their dream job because they don’t put in the daily work, over a period of months and years to make themselves exceptional. They settle for good.   One of my favorite quotes is from Thomas Edison who said “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”  Prudent career management means you put in the work to be exceptional.

Today’s environment is just too competitive to settle for being good

If you are just good expect to be laid off more frequently and out of work longer.  How many have had a job for years, even decades and find themselves laid off (for whatever reason) and then decide they may need to work on increasing their skill set and start networking.  Increasing your skill set and networking are continual activities in today’s economy.  It is not optional.  As Hugh MacLeod stated “The biggest mistake young people make is underestimating how competitive the world is out there.”  Newsflash – Older people make this mistake too.

You Get Exceptional by Putting the Work Into What You Love

Interestingly, you will also find the opposite is often true.  Put enough work into something to become exceptional, and you will love it.  The common denominator in both of these statements is work.  Work over and above what you do for the daily job.  The simple recipe most “success gurus” advocate boils down to at least an hour a day reading about, studying or practicing the skill you love and/or want to be exceptional at.  The cumulative effect of this over a period of just a few years is what makes you or anyone else exceptional.  Please note this applies to leadership, which is a skill! 

Without that work and commitment expect to be good and enjoy all the benefits of just being good, which means in that cute little diagram the intersection that identifies your dream job will be very small, exceptional makes the intersection large enough to have choices and enjoy the freedom that choices bring.



Posted by Dr. James Brown in Career Management.


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