A dream job is one that allows you to do something you truly enjoy doing, allows you to achieve a goal or ambition, and is a role in which you’re capable and confident.
We think about a dream job, or dream situation that enables us to be financially independent with enough to provide for our loved ones, both now and into the future.
When you are working in a dream job you love coming to work – it absorbs you, you relish each day, you are stimulated and feel good about life!
Some people do say they have this experience. They may even work for a dream company with these three essential qualities:
- Cares about your well-being;
- Provides opportunities to learn and grow; and
- Promotes a healthy work-life balance.
Perks can be more powerful than a pay rise!
Highground in the US gives us an insight into what makes for a dream job and a dream company.
For example 57% of people said perks and benefits were top considerations when job hunting and four out of five people prefer them to a pay rise! This is especially so for young people and women.
The unpalatable truth is that a large of number of people have to compromise on their dreams during their career or job cycles. For some, the harsh medicine comes early, working numerous often simultaneous casual positions as money is scraped for rent, food and further studies. For others, compromise comes during middle years when they are juggling family and work.
Meanwhile, many are discovering they may have to work into their old age (assuming there will be jobs for them), simply because they do not have enough to retire on.
Your “dream job” may never eventuate. But workplaces and one’s work life can approximate a happy dream.
Money is money
No amount of reassuring talk about intangibles (your personality, your potential, their inherent ethics) will drive the proverbial wolf away from most people’s door. Just about all of us need to pay rent / mortgages, expenses and frequently commute long distances.
The company that pays on time, and that makes an effort to monetarily value what a task is worth, is already delivering part way on the social contract that exists between employer and employee. Without reasonable pay, people can only subsist so long on an inner glow generated by the nature of the work or the company cause.
Invest in professional development – #1 priority
It is astonishing how the number of companies that do this is diminishing. A recent LinkedIn survey ranked staff with tech skills more highly than soft skills, but no matter how good a person may be at building a website or mining data, they still need to cooperate with their colleagues, and be able to communicate sensitively and constructively.
The company or sector that privileges one skillset over another, or which cares more about products than its people, does so at its eventual peril.
According to Highground, 90% of employees believe it is important that a company is committed to professional development with learning and training opportunities. And 75% who consider their companies to be ‘a dream company’ say they are provided with opportunities to learn and grow.
It may be in the form of career advancement opportunities or simply opportunities to use their skills and abilities. Networking opportunities and company-paid training are all valued, as is an education subsidy.
And a workplace that encourages work/life balance AND a happy, well-rounded social culture, is clearly a company that most will want to stay with.
Self-management and flexibility
Workplaces that encourage people to work their own hours, offer quality food and fitness, and perhaps even job-sharing, are well down the path towards 100% employee contentment. Most of us, even when in the career we’ve wanted, know how quickly dreams turn to dust under rigid, myopic, inept management, or when the culture is toxic. Despite the stats about people job-hopping, a great many want to stay put (for all kinds of reasons, both economic and emotional).
A perceptive, lateral thinking management realises that while all work-associated duties may not constitute “dream jobs”, people will go about their tasks far more willingly and happily when there’s some perks and flexibility.
Some organisations are enabling parents of young children to have additional weeks leave to coincide with their children’s school holidays through regular leave without pay. Some are giving every Friday or alternate Friday off.
Eve Ash is a psychologist, author, filmmaker, public speaker and entrepreneur. She runs Seven Dimensions, a company specialising in training resources for the workplace. See the rest of Eve’s blogs here.