The dream jobs exist only in employer advertisements.

You have to be thankful that you have a job.

You don’t have to love your work; most people don’t.

Be happy that you get at least paid.  

Every happy career has its big demands and flaws.

You shouldn’t say you hate your job because having a job is a privilege.  

That all is, of course, partly true. Sometimes you don’t need a career change. You just need to change your attitude to have a happy career.

However, that is only sometimes. You have only one life – at least as this person. You have 365 days in a year. You get old, and then one day, you die. (Hopefully, this did not come as a surprise.)

You can’t live your life hating your daily job. You can’t just try to survive the working days and starve for long weekends and summer holidays. It is a terrible waste. It makes you nuts and influences all parts of your life. Your family, relationships, health, energy level, mind, and spirit. Your general happiness.

Fortunately, you have options

There are three options. First, you learn to love (or at least like) your current job. The second option is a career change. You find or build a new kind of happy career and job for yourself. The third option is that you do both.

In the beginning, you must imagine yourself living a happier life. A life where you have a career and job you love, don’t hate.

Do you feel selfish thinking about your own happiness? Your kids, spouse, parents, sister, brother, old aunt, and lovely friends should also be happy. We agree that happiness is a human right. However, it is only you who can make something for your happiness. When you are happy, it is easier for you also to help others.

What could be your dream job and happy career?

Most people know what they don’t want to do for a living. Few people also know what they want to do. If you don’t know that or have too many options, here are some important questions you should ask yourselves.

What do you enjoy doing most? What is easy and natural for you?

What did you love doing when you were a kid or a teenager?

No, I don’t want to hear you liked to smoke secretly in the parking lot or kiss the cute boys, even if that was true. Was there anything else which just you loved doing? Like designing your clothes, writing novels, or playing a florist or secret detective all day.

How would you like to spend your working days? What would you like to do, where would you like to do it, and with who?

What type of work makes your heart sing, smile, and sparkle?

If you had all the power and capabilities in the world and could get any job in the world, what would you work for?

What if every job in the world had the same salary? What would you like to do for a living?

Is it leading a company, teaching people essential skills, motivating others, or writing inspiring stories that make people cry and laugh?

Analyzing companies’ figures?  Doing effective marketing?

Helping kids with behavioral problems? Offering help and support for children, teenagers, the elderly, or other needy people?

Singing, acting, painting, or playing some instrument?

Fighting poverty, violence, energy crisis, cancer, climate change, or other most meaningful problems?  

Take your notebook and write down all your thoughts, ideas, and answers. More, the merrier. We raise a glass when you have some bright and relevant ideas on paper. The second question is, however, more difficult.

Why do you want to change jobs and careers?

You must be honest with yourself. What is the primary reason you want what you want?

Do you want to get rid of something in your current job? Like a nasty or incompetent boss, crazy culture, boring tasks and colleagues, too overwhelming job, bad salary, or what?

Or do you want to get something more suitable for your mind, body, and soul?

Of course, salary, status, and your current experience are usually essential parts of a career, but if your work lacks inspiration and passion, it probably does not make you happy and gives you fulfillment in the long run.

Is your answer coming from your soul and heart? Is it making your heart tick harder? If yes, that is something you probably must do in your life. But not necessarily for your profession.

Get familiar with your possible dream jobs and what they offer

Many professions sound more romantic and attractive than they really are when you have to work there five long days a week from year to year.

Have you ever tried to do your dream job regularly, day after day? If not, now could be the time to try. Start doing it now as a passionate and regular hobby. If you want to be a scientist, study your favorite science topic daily for an hour. If you want to work with children, find a voluntary job you could do, for example in the evenings twice a week.

If you really are interested in something, you find the solution and time.

Another good way to get more information about your dream job is to observe and interview someone who does that already as the primary job. Ask about her working days, main tasks, responsibilities, salary, working schedule and culture,  and the flaws and advantages of the job.

Start your dream job and career first as a hobby

Notice that you don’t have to do everything you are interested in as a primary job. They can bring happiness to your life and career, even if you do them as a hobby or a side job. All your interests might not even be suitable for your main job and career, at least not yet.

Let’s imagine you are a mum or dad working a decent and not too overwhelming job and having a basic salary, not huge savings, and a big house loan. You are bored with your job, maybe hate your boss, and dream about being an artist or novel writer.

I suggest you keep your day job or try to change it to a better one with a nicer boss. That helps you to take financial care of your kids, health, home, and house loan.  Then you start painting or writing in your free time. You negotiate a schedule for that with your family. For example, two hours three times a week. It is your own time when you test-drive your dream career and mission.

Believe me. It is much easier and funnier to be creative and do artistic work when you don’t have to worry about how to pay for your food and housing.

Famous author John Grisham wrote his first novel in the early mornings while working as a lawyer. He lacked time and wrote from half an hour to one hour daily. The first book took three years to complete, and 28 publishers said no thanks. He did not give up but wrote another one. It was called Firm and remained for 47 weeks on The New York Best Times Seller list. You might have read the book or seen it as a movie. After the Firm’s success, he gave up practicing law and started his full-time career as an author.

If you are overwhelmed and exhausted with your job, start with having a rest

It is usual that extremely busy and competent career cannons who have used too long working days, huge salaries, and luxurious living are exhausted at some stage in their career, get burned out, or have serious health problems.

Leaving your job immediately can feel easy, liberating, healthy, and attractive in that situation. Just say goodbye, adios, auf wiedersehen, adjö, heippa. Welcome the new, better life, whatever it is.

Many want to slow down and start a totally different and happy career as a farmer, craftsman, personal trainer, yoga teacher, or artist.

I would advise them to calm down first. You should avoid making big decisions when you feel sick, exhausted, weak, and overwhelmed.

Have rest. Have a holiday. A short Sabbath.  Begin to practice mindfulness, yoga, sport, meditation, or whatever makes you less overwhelmed and gives energy and rest to your tired mind. To get more rest and energy, read our article Bad Habit Examiner. 

When you have had rest and don’t feel just busy and exhausted, think about it again. Are you ready to leave your career, monthly salary, and status and start from scratch a business that might never become a proper job that pays all your current bills?

If yes, are you ready to live on less and tighten up your expenses or use your savings for your living? Maybe you are, maybe you are not.

Consider cleverly all other options and possibilities, and risks they have. Make a plan A,plan B and maybe also plan C. Make also a survival plan if your other plans would not work.

If you decide to stay in your current job and career, try to build a happy career by stopping working overtime and adding your dream to your daily routines. You can do many interesting things besides the day job if you just get more energy and don’t constantly work overtime.

You can even start some passion project or a lovely sidekick and test your new ideas risk-free. Organize a paid annual weekend yoga or sport course for your friends, or start a blog about your favorite subject. Buy or rent a country home where you can test living like a farmer and even sell some products outside.

Small, positive changes in life and career are easier and safer than big ones. They are often the way to bigger life changes, new dream jobs, and happy careers.