Could you make your job a dream job?

Kris Dunn, on the HR Capali$t blog, wrote recently about Dream Jobs. What’s at the intersection of stuff you love to do, stuff you’re good at, and stuff someone will pay you to do? He had engaged in a conversation about, “What would your dream job be?” at a group function and it was now on his mind. It’s now on my mind, too.

He paraphrased that while the specific answers on dream jobs were all different, they all had the following in common:

I wish I could do a job that had more purity in purpose, and had none of the political and red-tape BS I currently have to deal with.”

What leaped out at me most with this response is that most people will never achieve that dream without all of us making some big changes. We live in a world where business-as-usual means working through office politics and around hierarchy before even getting to do our jobs–let alone the rest of what we know needs to be done.

Many people have long-since abandoned any hope of not just raising their hands to help when something is wrong–but stepping up and leaning in to take action without permission free of fear from retribution.

It’s up to all of us, as the individuals who make up organizations, no matter our level in the pecking order, to create safe nests for others to fly in, then from.

  • In some cases that’s two lineworkers realizing they trust one another deeply enough to help each other out, even if that’s pushing company policy.
  • On a work team, that might be setting aside time each week to ask how to be more helpful to one another amid what’s narrowly defined as the job.
  • Division leaders could begin auditing the indirect costs of the people playing politics and the time required to hold up the façade of the hierarchy itself.
  • At the C-level, executives may look for feedback loops that up-regulate people working in honesty and good faith, and down-regulate practices that marginalize people doing what’s right.

Rather than look for new gigs, perhaps we should begin looking at the indirect costs to our employers and ourselves when we accept disconnection and playing win/lose games as the norm.

It’s time to use our talents and energy to systematically remove the obstacles in our paths and seeking out new healthier ways to play so our jobs can be interesting again and our dreams can become real.


Photo credit: We are only as strong as we are united by Juliana Coutinho

Could you make your job a dream job?