For many, the daunting question of "What do you want to be when you grow up?" causes that lump in your throat to grow a little bigger. As you think about what you say, you find yourself at a standstill and a bit confused. If you were like me two years ago, "I don't know. I just want to be happy and make a lot of money," would be your answer. However, that answer does not cut it with your parents or your relatives. "Being happy doesn't pay the bills", right? Wrong. There comes a point in your career when happiness does bring in that paycheck bi-monthly and you have finally found your dream job. Here are 3 ways you know:
1. Your 9-5 is not long enough. They say time flies when you are having fun. Some may argue that work isn't supposed to be not fun but I disagree. For a job to be your dream job, you must fall in love with it - every part of it (even the dirty work). You find your eight-hour workdays too short to allow you to finish up your big, personal project that you have been dying to show off to your boss. You find yourself thinking another hour or so will help you crack an office obstacle you and the co-workers have been working on for the past three weeks. Feel free to call yourself a workaholic, but provided that your paycheck is matched with intense satisfaction and dedication to your dreams, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the label.
2. You are proud of yourself for beating minor hurdles to achieve your dreams. You realize that all your hard work paid off. Forget about all the parties that you have missed, all the miscellaneous events you couldn't make it to, and all the times that you were coming back to your home from work as your friends were leaving out to clubs and parties. You have gained a love for your work that has allowed you to become successful in your own way. You always have to be the hardest worker in the room and be willing to sacrifice short-term pleasures for long-term goals.
3. You don't imagine yourself doing anything else. Simple as that! Your current job fulfills all your needs: pay, environment, workload, goals, and even work relationships. You never imagined that it was so easy to be friends with co-workers as you all completed tasks on time and got paid - until it really happened.
Everyone has their own pace as to when they will achieve their career goals. I have only had the chance to intern so far, but I was lucky enough to fall in the right place and declare my dream job at a young age. No matter the time frame, it is crucial to stay attentive to yourself and what you expect to gain from the current job/position. If your current job is nothing like your career goals, there are many opportunities for you to come with more time and perseverance.