Reading the job ads can be dangerously addictive if you are on the hunt for your dream job.
Flexible hours. Sigh.
Global offices. Swoon.
Genuine career prospects... Hire me now!
You haven’t even sent in an application, let alone had an interview, and thanks to a few tantalizing key words you are certain this is ‘the one’.
Jobs can be a bit like relationships. So next time you find yourself falling for a job, pause. Yes, step away from the fantasy. This is an employment prospect, and just like a person, it is going to have its good points and bad. Stop daydreaming about perfection and take a good hard look at what is really on offer.
The difficult questions to ask about your dream job:
1. Does size matter?
Yes. Big companies offer security but sometimes less variety in the day to day nature of your role. Small companies are perfect for people who enjoy variety but you can find yourself taking on a lot more than you expected. Big companies often have politics, owner operated small companies often have a high level of micromanagement.
There are no hard and fast rules here, so look at each company individually and ask others who work there for their insights. Then think about how you like to work and how well suited that style is to the organization. Many truly talented people have made the mistake, and it is a big mistake, of not realizing that the things that make them shine just do not always translate from big to small companies or vice versa.
2. Do you really have anything in common?
Perception is a dangerous thing. Certain brands and certain companies will draw you in like a moth to a flame. You know this is true. We have all heard about someone getting a job at Google, or Facebook or Coca-Cola and gone green with envy. But you really need to dive a little deeper. Just because they are really ‘pretty’ on the outside does not mean the job they are offering you is going to be fun or fulfilling, let alone a good career choice. And we all know pretty things turn really ugly, really fast under those circumstances.
Read more: How compatible is your team?
3. Does your dream come with a horrible boss?
Most of us have a great attitude about horrible bosses. If you call burying our heads in the sand a great attitude. You can screw up your eyes, put your fingers in your ears and scream “la, la, la” all day long but it is not going to change the fact you have signed up to spend eight hours a day with someone you can’t stand. So if you go to an interview and there is a lack of chemistry, think twice. And if you go to an interview and meet a potential boss who starts treating you like an idiot right there and then, save yourself now.
You may be interested in: Dealing with difficult people
4. Are you a gold digger?
Who wouldn’t be tempted by a fantastic salary? It is painful to admit but whoever said money doesn’t buy happiness may have been onto something important. Money buys security. Happiness comes from doing something you enjoy and are good at. So no matter how tempted you are by all the things you could buy with that big fat pay cheque, you must ask yourself first if you will enjoy the job and if you are actually capable of doing a good job. Because if the answer is no to either, or worse, both of those questions, there is a really good chance you are going to end up miserable.
It is easy to get distracted by the shiny things on the surface when you are job hunting. Unless you do your homework, there is a good chance you will discover the dream job is not ‘the one’. We just hope it is well before you sign on the dotted line because the things you found so attractive at the beginning can become downright annoying at the end?
Job searching tips for your dream job:
• Think carefully about the best company for your strength (and weaknesses)
• Don’t be side-tracked by the big brands
• Avoid horrible bosses wherever possible
• Don’t let salary distract you more than necessary
Give it a go:
Try googling ‘best company to work for’ within your city. You may be surprised how few of the ‘big’ brands come up in the list. Fine tune it even more by adding your industry to the search term, then start following those top companies on LinkedIn and check out their career pages.
Have you had a dream job turn into a nightmare? Tell us about it in the comments below.