It comes down to three things: your personality, your desired lifestyle, and what makes you smile because it’s just so cool.
If you don’t know the answer to one or all of these questions, don’t worry. We’ll talk through each of them here and soon, you’ll have a clearer idea of what your dream job is.
Let’s Start With Your Personality
Has anyone—a manager, friend, or family member, maybe—forced you to take one of those stupid personality tests? While many of the tests are inaccurate and more damaging than helpful, having a real understanding of perso
nality types, particularly your own, is invaluable in life.
Especially when you’re hunting for the illusive dream job’s identity.
Why consider your personality when choosing a dream job? Shouldn’t you just adapt and call it a day?
No! There’s certainly something to be said for contentment and accepting a certain season in life, but that’s not the same thing as forcing yourself into a career incompatible with your personality type.
Choosing a job that isn’t suited to your personality will make you miserable. Sure, you can force yourself to do it. And if it pays well, maybe the misery is worth it (though it’s probably not).
A deeper understanding of your personality—how your body and mind are uniquely wired and why—will help you understand why you hate the job your currently in. And if you’re on the hunt for the dream job, it will eliminate some possible jobs from the list while making others shine.
For example, lets say your dream is to work with animals—like, the badass ones in a zoo, not just cats and dogs—so you get a degree to become a zookeeper. You enjoy your college experience because you get to work with amazing animals and even take a two-week trip to hang out with elephants in Africa.
Then you get the actual job. You get to spend maybe 20% of your time with some cool animals, but the rest of the time goes to participating in meetings with other staff, giving educational tours to visitors, and calling the fish distributor for the umpteenth time because they screwed up the order for dolphins and sealines again.
That’s a lot of time with people. Strangers. And sadly, zookeeper is one of those awesome jobs that pays more in bragging rights than actual cash.
Now, if you’re an extrovert and you enjoy all that human interaction mixed in with your animal care time, great. If you enjoy public speaking
and like taking visitors on tours and being the person who knows things, sweet. If you have a trust or won the lottery and don’t need to make much or any money to live your desired lifestyle, awesome.
Seriously. If all those things are in your favor, then being a zookeeper will likely be a wonderfully fulfilling job for you.
However. If you’re an introvert, like so many others who seek out a job in animal care and want to work with animals to the exclusion of humans as much as possible, the required human interaction for this job will likely exhaust you.
If you would rather be in the background petting cheetahs and feeding giraffes than talking over a crowd of people about how awesome they are in ninety-degree heat, then this job will not make you feel excited to get up in the morning.
Lifestyle Desires and Circumstances
If having your own living space is important to you or you’re a single parent, then you can’t live on $14 bucks an hour and bragging rights alone.
Now don’t get depressed! This doesn’t mean you can’t have your dream job. It just means that maybe your dream job isn’t exactly what you think it is.
There are all kinds of great jobs for introverts out there that pay a livable wage. With some research, you could find a job much more suited to your personality and lifestyle expectations, and then volunteer at the zoo two days a week to fill that cool factor.
Or you could do something even cooler and spend your PTO on trips to Australian deserts, African safaris, and Amazonian Rain Forests to satisfy the desire to see amazing animals up close and personal.
You may not have ever even considered a non-zoo job that could support a life full of cooler-than-zoo experiences if you didn’t think about how your personality, lifestyle expectations, and wow factor will affect your enjoyment of your job.
So let’s dive into more about personalities, lifestyles, and wow factors so you can get clearer on what your dream life really is and what job will support that best.