So you've made it through the hellish journey that is job hunting in a world rich with unemployment and competition saturated with nepotism and inflated qualifications.
Let's get you a goddamn beer.
And as if job hunting weren't hard enough, scoring one you love and look forward to every day can feel like that empty golden seat on a crowded subway with your name bedazzled on it. In which case, let's just be honest with ourselves and get straight to the bubbly.
You've been #blessed with your dream job. Or I mean come on, you EARNED it. So now comes the expectation that it should be perfect and wonderful and you'll be living your best life. Right? Obviously not.
As with all of life, the most worthwhile things come with a healthy dose of balance.
We can't always be riding high up on those smooth waves in beautiful sunshine. Things would get a little boring, anyway.
And what the heck would the takeaway even be? So though you may be surrounded by the most inspiring of people and doing all you want to your heart's content, that doesn't guarantee you'll love it every day, nor that you should. Here's why:
1. Work is called work for a reason, even at your dream job.
If your job didn't come with its series of challenges, I'd be a little concerned. Things can get frustrating, especially when an idea doesn't pan out the way you had envisioned. You're struggling with a new project, not every day is the most exciting or maybe you can't quite see eye-to-eye with one of your co-workers. It should come with its difficulties, if only to push you and remind you of how much more you can do with what you love. Otherwise, it won't nearly be as rewarding.
2. Every day SHOULD be different.
Another great part of doing what you love -- and loving what you do for that matter -- is how dynamic the experience can be. It doesn't have to be enjoyable every second, and maybe it won't always be fulfilling in the grandest sense of the word. You don't have to write a masterpiece every day or nail every pitch. Because yes — failure, disappointment and mental blocks also come with the best of jobs.
3. Hyped-up, inflated expectations can easily disappoint.
We've all heard that high expectations are bound to set us up for disappointment. Like when you start seeing someone and you're already envisioning the montage of your future together played out with a sappy indie rock track in the background. And it's just… well, not that. So maybe I'm projecting a little here. But you get the point.
You have every right to be excited as all heck about this job you love and all the opportunities and invaluable experiences you'll gain. And sure, you should set high standards and challenging goals for yourself. But remember that whatever we've fantasized or plotted out in our heads rarely, if ever, plays out exactly that way.
Be aware that as weird as it is, there's a lot more pressure that can come with doing something you really enjoy versus something you don't care as much about. You want to do it well, you want every second to count, you want to get along with everyone, you set the bar higher for yourself, etc. etc. And that in and of itself can be emotionally taxing. Just keep that in mind; don't allow it to put too much strain on you and get in the way of doing what you need to do.
4. Evaluate why you love it and what can be better.
It's always helpful to do a little introspection and look at the big picture here. Especially when you've known what you've wanted to do since the beginning of forever, it can be easy to lose sight of what it is about it that drives you. More can be overlooked.
Maybe you're finding that things have gotten a little repetitive, or you don't feel as challenged as you thought you'd be. Ask where you can lend a helping hand or volunteer to do more work. Explore other areas in the field that you hadn't considered!
Or maybe it's the opposite. You love the work you're putting out, but it's just too much. You won't be admitting defeat if you're honest with yourself and just speak up and say you don't have the bandwidth. Whatever it may be, really try to home in on what it is that's irking you and tap into the ways you can change that. Because you can. A lot more is in your control than you think.
Landing a job you really love is such a rewarding accomplishment, certainly not to be taken lightly. And one of the best parts about that is — despite how much you think you may have it all together — you're still figuring it out along the way, every day.