Some dream of being part of the Facebook product team. Finding new ways to get the global population spending more time on the platform.
Others want to work in a start-up and develop a product all the way from product-market fit through to an amazing IPO.
And there are some who are happy to take a role that allows them to work wherever they are in the world.
Dream jobs vary depending on who is doing the dreaming.
The challenge of course is moving it from a vague dream to an actual reality. That requires effort.
If we listen to the advice of Maria from The Sound of Music, "Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start" and the very beginning when it comes to your dream job is deciding what that dream job actually looks like.
What can you actually write down that describes what you'll be doing in your dream job? Let's ask some questions:
Write down the answers and as you progress through the process you'll likely see a picture emerging.
If you're struggling with the answers to some of these questions, that's not a problem. You don't need to find the ultimate answer in a night.
Take time to consider your past experiences and assess when you were happiest, or delivering your best work. If you think you might be interested in a certain thing, do some research. If you're not sure about some companies, read what their employees say on Glassdoor. If you're uncertain about whether working for a charity will pay you enough to meet your commitments, then do some digging around at job adverts and surveys to see what they're paying.
The important thing here is to start coming up with the vision, not make any decisions on how you get there. That comes in the next stage.
You've been through the first stage of this process and now you're thinking 'Great, but how do I get there?". Now it's time to plan.
Of course, everyone's dream job is different, and everyone's starting point is different, so I'm not able to write out the perfect plan for you here. Instead, we've got more questions:
There are obviously many more things you need to consider, but these questions are a start in order to help you identify the key milestones between current you and dream you.
These milestones give you a roadmap towards your dream. This isn't a one-off exercise, and you should be reviewing your plan as you move on your journey. Nothing ever stays the same, so keep on top of it.
When I was a child there was only ever one job I wanted to do. I was determined to be a professional soccer player. However, by the time I was nineteen my dream was over, and I haven't had a dream job ever since. And this is absolutely fine.
You don't need a dream job, and can make a very happy life for yourself following your heart and making decisions for the point in your life that you currently are.
An opportunity comes up that means you can pay the bills, look after the family, and learn something new, then go for it. If it doesn't work out, then there will be other opportunities that you can pivot to. Not everyone's is driven by a dream.
Of course, it helps if you know where you want to go, as it provides focus, but you shouldn't be following a dream at all costs. It's OK to go with the flow and find happiness wherever it appears.