Wait! Isn’t this My Dream Job?


What happens when your dream job turns into a nightmare? Everything you thought about your career turned out to be wrong. Now what?

Many years ago I was in this exact situation. I went to college for a very specific degree and after graduation I finally got into my “dream job” – I thought – but it turned out to be anything but a dream job.

Do you know why this happened to me? I didn’t do my research. I got caught up in the hype and how this career was portrayed, either through television and movies or in my own mind. As it turned out this career wasn’t right for me, on many levels. So now what?

If you’re faced with this situation, you’re not alone. This happens to a lot of people. Do you think working in a hospital emergency room is like that old television show ER? What about working for an advertising agency? Do you working for an advertising agency is like the television show Mad Men? And there are tons of examples of this throughout our culture.

The way careers are portrayed in the movies and television and the way they actually are in real life are two different things. In fact, in most cases unrecognizable to the real thing. As you get older you realize this, but when you’re younger looking for a career you can be susceptible to these images and end up in a career that doesn’t fit your personality. Don’t fall for it.

Ok, so if you find yourself in this situation, now what? Well, first of all you didn’t waste your time in college and you can still utilize your education. But now you have to find something that fits your personality. You have to determine what it is that interests you and can keep you satisfied.

You need to forget about the images you see in movies and television. Forget about what others want for you and, most importantly, don’t worry about what others will think about you. In other words, if you want to be a truck driver be a truck driver.

You can make your fortune in anything! I know a lot of wealthy people that are in careers you’ve never heard of and are NEVER portrayed in the movies. Most people find themselves looking into popular careers, but in reality they need to find something that’s right for them.

Do your research. You know what you like and what you dislike. When you’re conducting your research don’t think about the money, it will just cloud your thinking. Keep your focus on the duties and responsibilities of the positions. If you like what you end up doing, the money will follow.

I am currently an owner of an executive search firm and before I got into this business I didn’t even know what an executive search firm was or did. Crazy isn’t it? When I left my supposed “dream job” that turned into my nightmare, I ended up in the executive search business, which turned out to be my real dream job. Fancy? No. Flashy? No. Exciting? No, but it fits my personality and that is the same thing that will happen to you, if you do your research this time and forget about all of the outside images and distractions. Now go get it! I hope this helps.

Good luck to you!

Mike Palumbo