A simple question to help you find your dream job

A simple question to help you find your dream job.

Last week I put a simple question to an audience of 150 management graduates at Oxford Brookes University during their annual 'Focus on Careers' eventFor me, it is one of the most powerful ways to evaluate your career and life goals, and since the answer constantly changes as our dreams and aspirations do, it is worth revisiting every now and then whether you are starting out, stuck in a rut or responding to changes of circumstance.

"If you couldn't believe you were being paid to do a job - a job you loved doing so much you would do it for free - what job would that be?"


This conundrum was first put to me a couple of years ago by BaxterStorey's Director of Sales, Simon Esner, who was my business mentor at the time. It was a proud moment to see Simon being crowned UK Sales Director of the Year in the National Sales Awards last week, so for me he embodies the very notion of what it means to have that elusive 'dream job'.

The question caught me off-guard at the time and consequently my answer to him was not a wholly satisfactory one, but not for the reasons you might think. The truth is I've had all of those jobs. The so-called dream job has been ticked off my list so many times, it's ridiculous. In any case, it was for this reason I had sought out his advice in the first place. Over the last three years I have been on a personal journey of introspection to find that elusive next one - the one job I'd do for free if money was no object! - and I needed his help in uncovering what it might be.

Of course you might be wondering why so many, if each one was such a so-called dream job. The thing I've learned about landing a dream job is that it's the journey to get there that makes it special, not the destination. Every time I felt I had 'arrived' (perhaps even getting slightly too comfortable in the role), I knew it was time to dream up another and go chase that. 

As I looked out across my audience, I couldn't help but notice the sheer abundance of potential that illuminated those fresh-faced management graduates. Each of them no doubt has a compelling idea of what their road to success might look like, but many will face setbacks and disappointments along the way. When (not if) this happens, they will feel the worst possible frustration, but I have found that these situations arise to point us towards new avenues of opportunity. And very often we find ourselves in a far more exciting place than if we'd planned for it.


Networking with some great people during the 'Focus on Careers' event at Oxford Brookes University


So consider again the question: if money was no object, what job would you do to fill your day?

If you think of a compass as showing you true North, then your answer to this simple evaluation will point you toward your true happiness and long term success. I've recently landed my new 'Dream Job' and can't wait to get started.

If you are doing what you feel is your dream job, please share your story in the comments below. If you're still looking, then I wish you every success in finding it and hope you can appreciate and enjoy the journey it takes you on. 


Please feel free to leave a comment. And if you enjoyed reading this you may like other related posts listed below. To receive future posts don't forget to subscribe via email (just enter your email above), or by RSS, or why not follow me on twitter @mykitchensync.