Are more people today settling for any job as opposed to finding their dream job?

Having the job of your dreams. Is that where you are at today? Or do you often find your mind drifting off and you think to yourself, ‘Is there something more than this?’

I brought up this particular topic because I often find that I am the ‘go to’ person for advice from friends of mine that are either looking for work, or have been in a role with a company for a while and are not particularly happy.

I remember times when I have been unemployed, and I have to admit, when a source of income is lacking and having the reality of bills coming in, living expenses, and those unplanned emergency spendings, you begin to feel anxious and sometimes desperate to get back on track.

When I am taking calls and passing on the details of candidates to our recruitment consultants, I often find that applicants are even applying for positions to which they do not have the qualifications for. This often makes me wonder if it is the job market that is so competative out there that candidates are willing to try something outside of their comfort zone, or whether the candidate is just wanting to fill any role that is available, regardless of what the role requirements are because they need it right now!

I was amazed at the honesty of your responses as 75% of respondents said that they are happy to settle for a job that pays the bills whereas only 12.5% said they are striving for the job that they love. Your responses were also very honest:

I believe they are definately settling, as times are tough at the moment, and it’s not really the best time to be going out on a ledge, and making that leap. It’s better to be safe at the moment, and I think that is the perspective of most employees and individuals finding their dream jobs etc.

So is it just money that is preventing us from persuing our dream job? I tend to think that while money is a major factor, a lot of the time what prevents us from taking the steps that we want career wise is usually psychological barriers.

A website called outlines the barriers in which we can often create that prevents us from persuing our dream jobs:

Barriers are most often imaginary obstacles that seem very real at the moment. When trying to find your dream job, these barriers seem very real and scary. We come up with practical, realistic reasons why something won’t work. What you must realize is whenever you find yourself resisting anything during this dream job process, make sure you realize it is fear talking in most cases… A barrier rises up and we second-guess ourselves with self-doubt. Your subconscious whispers how much easier it would be to stay with the familiar and avoid taking a chance on that unknown. But if we listen to the siren song of self-doubt, we will forever flounder on the becalmed sea of indecision.

I think fear of the unknown is a very common feeling amoung individuals, and I think the more responsibilities you take on the more you can feel at risk of losing what you have worked hard to achieve. Or you may just be very comfortable with the way your job is going that you would rather stay in that ‘bubble’ so to speak as long as you can. The reality is however, that often life doesn’t stay the same, times change, work structures change and adapt, companies flourish or fail, and if we get caught up believing that we are always ‘safe and secure’, will we ever be prepared for life’s little surprises?

Every cross-road that we face in life has some element of risk, the only thing is, we often won’t know if it is ‘good risk’ or ‘bad risk’ until after we have made that choice. As much as we would always like to be in control of everything we do there is always going to be some level of unpredictability. And you will usually find that the things we want the most are often the things we need to work the hardest for.

With that said, I’m sure some of you have faced the road less traveled to follow a dream and it may not have gone according to plan. However, how can we ever learn and grow if some of the decisions we make are not meant to be? The biggest mistake I tend to think we make is not doing anything at all!

Settling for a job less satisfying can also result in the following behavior according to a website called

  • You procrastinate
  • You spend Sunday night worrying about Monday morning
  • You’re really competitive about salary and titles
  • You don’t feel like helping co-workers
  • Work days feel looooong
  • You have no friends at work
  • You don’t care. About anything.
  • Small things bug you
  • You’re suspicious of other people’s motives
  • Physical symptoms – insomnia, headaches, low energy, muscle tension etc.

I have seen on many occasions how a dissatisfying job can effect someone in a negative way. If responses are fairly negative towards work and you are not often finding the time to see your friends or family due to the hours you work, it may be time to start looking into something more suited to your needs before the bitterness bug gets the better of you.

Does any of the above sound like your current situation or relatively close? Well, an article on gives some very simple steps to finding your passion and how to best pursue your dream job:

  1. Understand that it will take time to discover your passion and shape your vision – Do not look at your circumstances but look forward to your vision and future.
  2. Do your research and explore – You cannot expect to discover anything without exploring different options.
  3. Establish a plan with main goals. Include items that can hinder you – Life happens and brings about many unexpected issues to handle, when this happens… adjust accordingly and keep working towards your goal.
  4. Take action based on your planNow that you have a plan it is time to use it.
  5. Track your progress – It is important to track your progress; document and remember your small successes.

Well I hope you have found some of this information to be useful, and if you know anyone who may be experiencing the above this may be something worth sending through for a bit of encouragement. As some of us would be happy to dip our feet in the water, why not take the plunge and see what happens?

Haven’t had your say? We would love to hear from you, otherwise you can participate in this week’s online poll: Do you prefer to drive to work or catch public transport? You never know, your participation could win you a Hoyts Cinema Double Pass!