Ever since I’ve started blogging, I’ve openly written that my dream job was to be a writer. At first, I meant fiction writer, but as adulthood and the realities of the real world sank in, I diverted to becoming a freelance writer.
Being a freelance writer was not too bad. But at the end of the day, I was like: ‘is that it?’
Is this what ‘living the dream’ meant?
It was exciting to finally get paid to write, yes, but there was nothing more to it. So I started questioning myself: was being a writer really my dream job? Was this what I wanted to do for the rest of my life? The answer arose almost immediately: no.
That was when I decided to ‘change career paths’ and divert to digital marketing. However, my previous freelance work kept attracting companies and writing opportunities, so I ended up merging both my interest in marketing and my content writing skills.
I ended up writing more.
Fast forward to graduating from university and looking for a job. During my first interview with my to-be manager, the latter asked me a question that started the idea for this very blog post:
“Do you write for a particular niche?”
In my mind, I skimmed through every writing job I had ever done: I’ve written about the startup and digital lifestyle, healthcare in the workplace, making the most of a planner, and other random subjects.
‘No’ was my answer.
It didn’t hit me there and then, but I finally came to realise that I have been asking the wrong career question all this time. We shouldn’t be asking ourselves, “what’s my dream job?” but also, “what industry do I want to work in?”
To be honest, I didn’t enjoy writing for startup-related magazines as much as writing about money saving tips for a banking association.
Sometimes, when you feel like you hate your job, maybe you just hate the industry you are in. Therefore, the next step to take is to shift to another industry, instead of making a ‘radical career change’. (Though I am also aware that some people do hate their job because of the job itself.)
Sometimes, it feels that the industry you are in has a greater impact on your job satisfaction than the job itself. For instance, I’ve come to realise that I love the performing arts industry so much that I never really cared which role I was given: from being an actor to a backstage helper, I still enjoyed the work I did.
I currently work in the tourism industry, and I’ve noted that many of my colleagues ended up where they are because they’ve always been interested in (and have studied) that very industry. This is where they want to be.
Which made me think, “and what about me?” Where do I want to be? For which cause do I want to work for?
And what about you?
Are you in your dream industry?
D. K. Waye.
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