Here's Why Your "Dream Job" is Bullsh*t

18 Apr 2024

Picture this: You're stuck in another soul-crushing Zoom meeting, fantasizing about your escape. "If only I found my true calling, then work would be amazing!"

Sound familiar?

Spoiler alert: that elusive dream job doesn't exist.

The whole concept is designed to keep you spinning your wheels, never taking real action.

Let's break down this comforting lie.

The Dream Job Delusion

We're spoon-fed the idea that out there is a magical job that will be fun every day, effortlessly match our skills, and change the world (all with flexible hours!).

Problem is, this is a fairy tale, and it's harming more careers than it helps.

Here's the harsh truth:

  • The Fun Mirage: No job is a non-stop joyride. Even passion-fueled work has grunt work days, difficult clients, and setbacks.

  • The Skill Lottery: Waiting to find something you're already good at limits your growth. Real fulfillment comes from tackling challenges and getting better over time.

  • The Unicorn Syndrome: That perfect-sounding job posting? Written by an HR person, not your guardian angel. It probably involves 10 roles crammed into one impossible package.

Mythbusting the "Perfect Fit"

Here's the thing about career fulfillment – it's usually a messy, iterative process. Some of the most successful and satisfied people:

  • Fell into their paths: Chance encounters, side projects, and "good enough" opportunities turned into something amazing with time and effort.

  • Made their own damn job: Instead of seeking the ideal company, they carved their own niche, often finding more freedom and influence than on a traditional path.

  • Prioritized people over job titles: They found a team or a boss who believed in them, creating space to grow and experiment far beyond the original job description.

The Power of Doing Over Dreaming

The antidote to the 'dream job' paralysis? Relentless action, guided by a few core principles:

  • Seek the Stretch Zone: Where could you deliberately choose a bit of discomfort in exchange for massive growth potential, even if it's not a fairytale "fit"?

  • Bet on Yourself, Not a Job Description: What problem can you solve, with or without a company backing you? Developing this skill makes you invaluable.

  • Optimize for the Day-to-Day, Not the Title: Who will you be working with? What will you actually do? That matters more than prestige.

The Choice Point

It's tempting to cling to the dream job fantasy. But the really empowering question is this:

How badly do you want to build a career you love? Enough to embrace some discomfort; to be more interested in doing than in finding the abstract ideal?

What’s The Solution?

Now… we’ve demolished the myth of the effortless, pre-destined "dream job."

The good news is, that's way more liberating than it sounds.

Instead of chasing an elusive target, what if we shift to a mindset of building the kind of career that truly empowers you?

This is where the concept of a Power Portfolio comes in.

What the Heck is a Power Portfolio?

Think of it as a diversified collection of income streams, projects, and skillsets that grants you leverage and fuels a  fulfilling career journey:

  • Multiple Revenue Streams: Not just your salary. Side hustles, small-scale experiments, or even building skills to consult in your niche down the line.

  • The "Slash" Mentality: You're more than your job title. You're a marketer/writer/budding coder. More slashes = more optionality.

  • Network as Net Worth: Prioritize real relationships with people in diverse fields. These connections become opportunity generators.

  • Ownership Mindset: You're not a cog in a machine; you're a CEO even within a traditional job – seeking to expand your impact, not just complete tasks.

Why a Portfolio Beats the Dream Job Hunt

Here's where this gets strategically powerful:

  • Recession-Proofing: If one income source falters, you have a safety net. Plus, diverse experience makes you more adaptable in a changing market.

  • Negotiating Power: When you're not wholly reliant on one paycheck, you can walk away from bad situations, demanding the treatment you deserve.

  • Discovering Hidden Opportunities: Side projects often turn into full-blown businesses or unexpected career shifts. This beats applying for jobs blindly.

  • The Anti-Fragile Career: With a portfolio, you're constantly learning and evolving alongside market needs, not scrambling to catch up.

How to Start Building Your Power Portfolio

No need to quit your job tomorrow (unless you REALLY want to). Start small:

  • List Your "Weird" Skills: The thing you do for fun but never put on a resume? That might be your niche consulting angle.

  • The 5-Hour Side Hustle: Can you carve out 5 hours a week to build a tiny product, offer a service, or write a newsletter in your field?

  • Micro-Mentorship: Find ONE person whose career you admire. Don't ask for a job, ask for a 20-minute informational chat. Connections compound rapidly.

  • Document, Don't Just Do: Turn your work wins into case studies, and share your process on social media. Visibility = unexpected opportunities.

The Power Portfolio Shift

Building a career you love isn't about luck or finding the ONE true company. It's about cultivating a set of skills, revenue streams, and relationships that make you indispensable in any environment.

It puts control back in your hands, even in chaotic times.