The findings of a new survey have been published, on the subject of dream jobs – i.e. those we hankered after when we were children, and comparing them to the jobs we eventually landed as adults.
The report, published by Be a Better You, a provider of training courses, shows that there’s commonly a huge gulf between what we planned to do in our working lives, and what we actually do.
Perhaps influenced by characters in comic books, or heroes depicted on the TV, 72% of adults who took part in the survey admitted wanting to ‘fight crime, or work in the emergency services’ as children. 69% aspired to be a ‘pop star or ‘A’ list celebrity’.
How many respondents achieved their dreams?
Over a thousand people were interviewed, and it was revealed that less than ten percent felt they were doing the job they’d always dreamed of.
On top of that, 59% confessed to not feeling passionate about their current role.
Maybe, as recruiters, that last statistic isn’t surprising to you; it’s perhaps a simple reflection of what you hear day to day. But, think about it - you’re the real life superheroes: putting people on the right path after they’ve felt lost in an industry or role. You help to better people, change their lives, support them as they start new careers - you could even be the one helping to make that childhood dream come true! Who needs Superman?!
Joking aside, why do people stay in jobs they don’t like, or which are far removed from the aspirations they held as a child?
Confidence may be one issue, but a bigger fear is that of uncertainty. “I know I don’t like this job very much, but at least I know this. What if I move to a new role that I think will be better, but which turns out worse than this one?!” Having control of one’s life is a huge anchor in the ground that few would give up for something that’s uncertain.
At the other end of the scale, there may be plenty of candidates more than willing to give up their day jobs for their chance to be a pop star/professional footballer/an aspiration based on a childhood dream – but should this be encouraged? Say, for example, someone came to your agency and asked for roles as a Formula One driver, yet they’d never even passed their practical driving test…would you support their hopes and dreams, or bring them back down to reality?
Though the survey showed that many of us haven’t achieved our childhood dream, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Things change. People change. Our likes, dislikes, hobbies and ideals alter as we get older and as we’re subjected to new experiences.
So, we didn’t all end up being racing drivers, as the next Britney Spears, or as a Secret Superhero….if we feel fulfilled and appreciated in our jobs, does it matter what it is?