Your Dream Job: Do You Really Want It?

- by Elizabeth Redfern

Although affective forecasting may sound like a financial term, it isn’t. We all use affective forecasting without realising it when we make decisions about our life and our future. All of us make decisions at some point in our lives based on what we believe will make us happy. We decide who to marry and when, what type of house to buy and in what area, and what our dream job is. We start to predict our future based on our emotional state at an early age and we base our future decisions on dreams and ideals. But just how many of these dreams come true and mirror our desires? Are our dreams too obscure for us to achieve or do we just have unrealistic ideals? Do our dreams live up to our expectations?

In this article, Cashfloat explores why going after your dream job may end up as a nightmare.

Dream job - Cashfloat

Why do we get it wrong?

The process of predicting our emotional state in future years begins at an early age. The choices we make, unfortunately, can be the wrong decisions and can lead to regret and unhappiness. We base our future happiness on who we will marry, for example. So many people realise further on down the line that they got it wrong, and that happiness ends in divorce, but why do we get it so wrong? No one can answer this accurately. However, some theorise that it is due to unrealistic choices, making decisions too early or not being fully aware of everything that is required to achieve that happiness. Marriage is only one example; incorrect decisions can also be made concerning the careers you choose or the house you buy.

So what makes someone settle on their dream job?

Illusion and Glamour

Remember when you were so sure you'd be a footballer or actor? Younger You would be so disappointed… Click To Tweet

Remember your school days, when you were asked what you would like to be when you grow up? How many of you answered an actor or a musician, a footballer or an astronaut? As young children, we are attracted by the illusion of the glamour and excitement that many careers offer, but we do not understand the reality of these dreams or what comes with these hopeful careers.

What do Britons dream about?

Ever wondered what jobs everyone else dreams about? Here is a list of the top 10 dream jobs in Britain:

Britain’s Top 10 Dream Jobs
1Footballer
2Private Detective
3Actor/Actress
4Spy
5Becoming my own Boss
6Singer/Pop Star
7Vet
8Astronaut
9Dancer
10Mad Scientist

Source: Independent Oct 2015

You have your dream job, but do you still want it?

It quite often happens that people choose a career and then years into it, they realise that it is not what they dreamed of all those years ago. How many of you have achieved your dream job and then realised you do not actually want it? Sometimes, you may even hate it. It’s more common than you think.

Examples of dream jobs (and their realities)

Hiding from the Truth

We make decisions that we believe will make us happy. Often, though, we only see the good side of these choices – we do not look at the hard work needed in order to achieve them. We anticipate what we think will make us happy and we do not dare to consider the hidden truths or additional work required to make that happen. People do not like the truth, especially if it makes them feel sad or upset, so we tend to hide from it. This can be our downfall, and we are not as happy as we anticipated when we reach our goals.

I want a Change

We are all encouraged to get that dream job that will make us happy, but it is not that easy or simple. Some people get a job that they have studied and worked hard for. Others fall into any job they can get because of the current supply of the job market. Regardless of how you achieved your job, if you are happy, then you are one of the lucky ones. If find that you are just going through the motions and think you want a change, remember the hard work and sacrifices you went through to get to where you are. Do not forget how difficult it was to get here. Could you go through all of that again for a change in career?

Job Satisfaction

Whether you are a fighter pilot or an award-winning actor, whether you are a cleaner for a local office block or a cashier for your local supermarket, the important thing is job satisfaction. You spend a large proportion of your life working, so you need to be happy with it, and job satisfaction plays a big part of this happiness. You may be a top actor who has won many awards, but you feel trapped in a life where you cannot look out of your window without being photographed. Maybe you clean the local office block, but people do not appreciate their clean surroundings and dirty the floor you have just mopped. Either way, the job satisfaction and pride you once felt may turn into hate and resentment.

Job satisfaction gives us a sense of pride and happiness, and you do not have to have an exotic job to get this. If you take pride in the work you do, and you work with passion, almost any job can provide you the satisfaction and happiness you desire.



Constant Change

So many people are attracted to the idea of our dream job, or the perfect home or the perfect life, they do not consider the reality. As you develop and grow, so do your expectations. It is important to continually change and adapt your ideas and expectations to maintain a happy state.

With so many of us getting it wrong first time, or being unhappy, it is understandable that we would want to change things. Make the right decision next time, however; do not rely on your gut instinct or your intuition. Look at all aspects of the change you are considering and be confident that you know what you will get, good and bad.

Your dream job - Cashfloat

Making changes

Expectations are followed and sometimes the heart rules, but you should do what is right for you. Following your heart is not always the correct thing to do, but it should beat with passion and pride regardless of your chosen career. Whatever work you do should be approached and carried out with pride, and this will give you satisfaction, which in turn will make you happy.

So many of us make the wrong career choice, and it is only after we have spent years of hard work that we realise our dream job is no longer making us happy. It may lead to broken relationships or cause our health to suffer before we realise this, but when we do, we also realise that we have been doing it for years and it is perhaps too late to change things. If you do not make the right decisions early enough and you find yourself in this position, it is essential that you decide correctly now. Understand the amount of time and effort it will take to change, appreciate the amount of extra work and costs it may take. If you can deal with this for the change, then do it, if not, look at ways in which you can enhance your job. Even small changes can have an enormous impact on your emotional state, and this is what we are all striving for at the end of the day – happiness!

For further information on Affective Forecasting visit:



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About The Author
Elizabeth Redfern
Elizabeth Redfern is a born and bred Londoner who loves the city life. She is a proud chocoholic who enjoys reading, jogging and eating - especially chocolate! Elizabeth attained a first class degree in Mathematics but chose to make a career out of her real passion, writing. She has published many poems and short stories, but decided to join the Cashfloat educational channel writing team because she is passionate about helping people take care of their finances leaving them free to enjoy the finer points of life - most notably (in her opinion), chocolate!
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