THE INC. LIFE

Anatomy Of The Dream Job: Here Are Nine Key Ingredients

A lot of people want to land their dream jobs, but how do you know once you have it?

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BY Jared Carl Millan - 28 Jul 2017

dream job

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Another week is over, and it’s been yet another blur of meetings, met and unmet deadlines, and conference calls. By now you’re probably starting to wonder, is this really all life has to offer?

It’s inevitable to face this question at one point, to start yearning for a job you are passionate about and in which you can shine.

Finding out what your dream job is, first and foremost, involves figuring out what you are passionate about—and it’s a process that can sometimes take years to accomplish. To help jumpstart that discernment process, here are the key ingredients that make a dream job:

1. It challenges you

Anything worth pursuing must challenge you as a person—both personally and professionally. The same is true for your dream job. It needs to push you to your limits and force you out of your comfort zone. “What is often overlooked is that any dream job comes with its fair share of tedious tasks that have to be completed,” says Varun Panjwani, CEO of Singapore start-up Global Health and Travel. True growth stems from hard work and overcoming challenges.

2. Your boss is your friend

“Friend” may not be the first noun that comes to mind when you think of a boss; we have been inundated by popular culture with stories and images of horrible bosses throughout the years. You know you’ve landed your dream job when your boss is someone you can have a few beers and share stories with, and, ultimately, someone you can trust to have your back when things get rough.

3. It complements your strengths

What are the things that you’re good at? Do you have any skills you particularly excel at? And do you get to utilize these skills every day? These are the questions you need to ask yourself. You should be able to shine in the workplace by using your strengths to your advantage.

4. You’re energized to go to work

Mondays don’t feel intimidating. Gone are the Sunday night blues. The people you work with inspire and motivate you. Sure, this won’t always be the case every day, but if you often find yourself looking forward to getting work done, then you’re on the right track.

5. You take pride in your work

People who don’t care about their jobs do only the bare minimum. As a result, the quality of their work suffers. If you’re doing something you’re passionate about, you take great pride in it and it shines through your output. Not only that, you also find meaning, fulfillment, and joy in it.

6. Money is a non-factor

Of course money is an important factor when it comes to any job, but when it becomes the least of your professional priorities, it’s usually because you genuinely enjoy the work that you do, which is a good thing.

7. You get compensated for it

On the other hand, you still need to be properly compensated for the work rendered. Your expertise has monetary value and you should be recognized for that.

8. There are health benefits

In one’s life, there are very fewer things more important than your health and wellbeing. Your dream job should value and nurture that. This can either be through a positive work environment, good relationships with your colleagues, or a management team that allows you to take a break when your body (or mind) needs rest.

9. You love what you do

As trite as it may sound, love does fuel one’s actions. It gives you reason to get up in the morning and makes everything you do more meaningful. And at the end of the day, you don’t mind doing it all over again. “I love building companies because I love building teams and seeing my employees go from $1,000 a month to $10,000 a month, and to $1 million a year, and so on,” says Mario Berta, CEO of co-working platform FlySpaces. “I changed the lives of lots of my team member. This is my biggest reward.”