Not Your Dream Job After All?

It is possible that your dream job was everything you’d hoped it would be.  Start formulating an action plan to turn it into a career. But what if you found that your dreamjob wasn’t as dreamy as you’d expected? Perhaps there were too many aspects of the job that you found unappealing. Perhaps the rigors of the job preclude the balance you want in your life. Perhaps you found that you don’t want to own your own business after all, or you want to dabble in that area but not turn it into a career.

That is fine! That is all good news. It was precisely to get that kind of feedback that you went on your testdrive. The point was to learn those things now, risk free, before you invested years and money in a career you didn’t love. Your goal, remember, was not necessarily to make this job your career, but rather to make yourself happy, to find work that serves your heart. Your testdrive has taken you a long way down that path. You learned how to research a career and find a mentor; you examined your values and lifestyle and determined what you want in a new career; you proved that you can stay true to yourself in evaluating future prospects. Most important, you’ve opened the door to change. This was not your dream career – but now you’re a lot closer than you were before.

Acknowledging that your dreamjob wasn’t your dream can be painful though. Not only is it disappointing, but it opens up a troubling question: Now What? If this isn’t my dream career, what is? One of the pleasures of pinpointing and researching a dreamcareer is that it gives you the beginning of a vision for your future. As long as you hold that vision you feel reassured; this is where I am heading; this is what I want to do; this is who I am. When that vision crumbles, that reassurance disappears. You find yourself looking into a hole where you once saw solid ground.

If you find yourself facing that hole, you may be tempted to continue pursuing the career you have been focused on rather than admit that it isn’t right. But that would be penny wise and pound foolish. You began this process in order to make yourself happier and more fulfilled. Don’t detour from that long term goal because of discomfort at this moment. You’ve already taken one of the hardest steps – overcoming the inertia of the status quo. You hatched a dream and made concrete progress toward it. Everything you’ve learned in investigating this career will help you find the one that is your dream.

Consider a Related Career.  Before you completely write off this career, however, consider another option: perhaps there is a related career that suits you better, a career that has many of the elements you do want and lacks some of the ones you don’t. So ask your mentor or others familiar with that field if they can recommend related jobs that may work better for your needs.

Reassessing Your Existing Job.  Sometimes the best thing that comes out of a testdrive is not a new career but a new perspective on the old one.  The greatest value of doing a testdrive is not the transition to a dream career, it is the insight you gain about yourself. Even people who never move to their dream careers find that the testdrive sparks a remarkable amount of growth and change. Simply going through the process requires you to assess your life, take stock of what’s important and create a vision for the life you want. It forces you to break out of your mold, meet new people, and learn new things. It gives you a chance to watch yourself in an unfamiliar setting, seeing how you respond and how others respond to you. It provides you a mentor and a cheerleader whose insight and honesty help you see things you might not otherwise see. The process of testdriving helps you reconnect with your deepest self, that place where dreams are kept, so that you can choose to live in a more whole way. So whether you decide to pursue the career you had a testdrive in, or a different career, or make no career change, at all, consider your testdrive a success. You will have given yourself an experience that has the potential to change your life.  

Your Travel Guide


Story teller Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey en The Hero’s Journey and an accomplished speaker worldwide. His books and stories about the Hero’s Journey – making money doing what you love – have reached millions of creative professionals worldwide in the last decennium.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of The Hero’s Journey in Paris – Testdrive Your Dreamjob

What Can I Expect?

Here’s an outline of The Hero’s Journey in Paris – Testdrive Your Dreamjob.