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TalentCulture | April 17, 2014

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For Millions, A Dream Job Means Having One: #TChat Recap

Kevin W. Grossman
Kevin W. Grossman
by
July 20, 2011

I love this Dairy Queen commercial:

“We don’t just blow bubbles — we blow bubbles with kittens inside them.”

Brilliant. There’s my dream job. No, make that two dream jobs. One, blowing bubbles with kittens inside them, and two, writing such funny and memorable commercials.

Right on. Absolutely mint.

“Because at Dairy Queen, good isn’t good enough.”

And that’s the rub of the proverbial dream job. The unfortunate fact is that for over half of us, bad dreams are only what’s good enough for now. Consider this from a recent TLNT post titled Survey: Half of Employees Want to Leave or Have Checked Out on the Job:

“Mercer, the global HR consulting firm, just released the results of its new What’s Working survey, conducted over the past two quarters among nearly 30,000 workers in 17 countries, including 2,400 workers in the U.S. It found that nearly a third (32 percent ) of American workers are seriously considering leaving their organization at the present time, up sharply from 23 percent in 2005.

As bad as that sounds, another 21 percent of workers say they are not necessarily looking to leave but view their employers unfavorably and have rock-bottom scores on key measures of engagement, meaning that when you combine the two, more than half of all employees (53 percent) are either looking to leave for a new job or have mentally checked out of their old one.”

53 percent are either looking to leave for a new job or have mentally checked out of their old one. So much for bubbles with kittens in them. Dreams jobs are highly subjective and even if there are universals to them — good money and benefits, family flexibility, guaranteed promotion and success, ample vacation time, constant managerial and collegial support, philanthropic niceties, hugs and kisses (strictly platonic of course) — the believe in them, all of which are intertwined with the great American dream, sets us up for failure early in most of our careers.

I don’t disparage working Dairy Queen; I’ve worked at a few fast food establishments in my past. And although working the grill wasn’t my dream job, I’m sure it’s had the semblance of one for a rehabilitated ex-con, or someone in drug or alcohol recovery, or a physically or mentally challenged individual excited to be making their own money, or simply a struggling mother or father in and out of work just trying to provide for their hungry families.

Again, I’m not making fun of it. One man’s dream job means another man’s checked out of his.

In the world of work, not everyone wins a trophy for having the coolest and highest paying job. Instead, if we get to know thyself by doing and failing and doing and failing and doing and learning and maybe succeeding, we create our own trophies displayed on our desks at work and at home. We’ve been mentored and we pay it forward by mentoring.

But for millions today, a dream job means having a job, any job, in order to provide for family and loved ones. Here’s to bubbles with kittens in them.

Here’s the #TChat preview from @MonsterCareers and Charles Purdy titled Dream Job or Pipe Dream: Are Dream Jobs A Reality?, and here are last night’s questions:

  • Q1: Some elements of “dream jobs” are universal (like pay). What are some of your personal/unique elements?
  • Q2: Do you think the idea of “dream jobs” is good or bad for job seekers – does it encourage or discourage them?
  • Q3: A first step to finding a dream job is defining that term. What are your self-assessment tips?
  • Q4: How much of the responsibility for creating “dream jobs” is the employer’s, company’s, or boss’s?
  • Q5: How does one’s conception of a “dream job” change or effect career decisions?
  • Q6: Finally: do dream jobs really exist?  If not, what’s the reality?

Don’t forget, #TChat Radio starts next Tuesday, July 26. Explanatory post coming soon…

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