If you follow a lot of career coaches on social media, as I do, you will find that you are bombarded with messages about how you should chase your dreams, find work you love and not settle until you do. Now, I am all for finding a way out of a job that makes you miserable, and doing what you can to reach your potential and find career satisfaction, but I’m not sure that all these messages are helpful (although they probably do generate business).
Is this expectation that we should all have a job we love unrealistic? Are these messages just making anyone who does not have a job they love feel like a failure?
If you mainly enjoy your job, find the rewards outweigh the benefits, can pay your bills and feel that your work sits comfortably with your values, surely, you are a success already! You have achieved something pretty good there!
Of course, maybe you don’t wake up every Monday morning eager to get to work. Maybe there some things about your job that irritate the hell out of you or even just bore you a little. In the real world, very few jobs are perfect – that is just life! It doesn’t necessarily mean that there is any problem in settling for a job that on the whole meets your needs.
Some people do, of course, feel inspired to make a dramatic change and re-train or set up their own little business that they truly do love. A Career Coach can do a lot to help them analyse the options, do their research, make a plan and cope with setbacks. But if, on balance, someone decides not to change, and to stick with their existing path, perhaps because it provides for their family, then this choice should be honoured too.
It’s a beautiful thing to be an ordinary human being, doing ordinary things – walking the dog, playing with the kids, getting your work done, hanging out with friends, dancing, singing, running, or whatever it is that you do.
Maybe we should be doing more as a society to honour the people who cook, clean, care, make things and provide services? They probably don’t love their jobs but where would we be without them? A toilet cleaner is often thought of as the lowest of job roles, yet at least they are making the world a better place.
The problem with setting your sights very high is that you are going to experience a lot of frustration along the way. Those of us who are happy to be ordinary are probably going to be more easily satisfied because we have set the bar low.