It’s astonishing how many people are striving for ‘the one’. Moving along in the (desperate) search to figure it all out, to find a true calling and go on to live a fulfilled, happy life.
But, like ‘the one’ in romance, does your soul mate job really exist? Is there only type of work on the entire planet that can complete you? And do people really have a true calling?
When clients come to me and say, “I want to change my job” and I say, “OK, what are you thinking?” there are some that know and some that don’t. That’s fine. But, almost half of those who don’t are searching for ‘the one’ – that elusive, previously undiscovered, perfect fit job that will bring them life-long fulfilment, happiness and contentment. Oh, and it has to pay well. And not be too far from home. And offer good benefits. And some work-life flexibility.
“Hmmm…” I say I, “Bit tricky that one. Let me look in my treasure trove of ideal jobs and see what glittering jewel I can find for you.”
I think a calling can exist. Some people find a profession they love or mission that motivates them, that makes them feel fulfilled. But I think they are in the minority.
When we dig into it, most people want work that, well, works for them. Challenging but not too difficult, interesting but not overly demanding, pays well, reasonable commute, good benefits, nice offices and some decent colleagues. But is that settling? Are we compromising on perfection?
Is good (or good enough) sufficient to shower us with happiness and soothe us into working contentment? Should we instead hold out and search for perfection?
From my experience, I think not.
I think, like a life partner, a ‘good match’ job is what we should strive for. We should pursue something that works for us, makes good use of our skills, helps us grow and do better. Something more realistic and attainable. And with that, we should accept that it won’t always be perfect. It will have some highs and lows, some wins and some compromises but, overall, we’ll reflect on what we’ve got and feel satisfied.
Like people, jobs have imperfections. Those that do look amazingly perfect are often far too high maintenance to sustain a relationship with or their perfection diminishes on close inspection.
I don’t believe the perfect job exists. And, even if it did, I’m not sure it would stay interesting for very long.
If you’d like to stop chasing an unattainable dream job and focus instead on what will make you happy at work, why not try a session of Career Therapy.