Is Dream Job a Possibility or a Fiction?

Talent Interlock Dream Job

Written by Talent Interlock

Guest article by Michaela Ray de Witters

More than ever before, people struggle with finding their dream job. Merely working and paying bills, isn’t enough. In many countries it would be considered a luxury, but in Belgium, it is a real problem.

Some people expect a perfect job that flows effortlessly, feels like a holiday and earns a lot of money. Their work experience isn’t anything like that, so they lose enthusiasm and quit. They miss freedom and possibility of self-expression. Listening to a boss or following the rules of the society feels limiting: “It is my life, I don’t want anybody to tell me what I have to do. I am here to fulfil my dream!”

The surprising pitfall in the search for a dream job

Questions that come to mind are: “What is it that I really want? Who am I? Where do I belong? What can I get from this life, so that I don’t have regrets later?”

In search for answers, people try different jobs, counselling or extensive travelling and after a long consideration, they conclude, that what they really want, is more happiness, authenticity, freedom and living the life to its full potential. However, there is no obvious job that includes all of this.

Why is it so hard to find a spot in society, where people could be fulfilled? To understand the picture better, let’s say there are three groups of people.

  • First group are traditional people, who have normal jobs, regular paychecks and follow the rules. Society rewards them by perks like promotions, company car or retirement benefits.
  • Second group are people, who look for ways how to profit from society without working. They see themselves as outsmarting the system. Understandably, society frowns upon such people and perceives them as a burden.
  • Third group are people who want to create things, share their ideas and build a better world. They feel traditional jobs are too limiting to express their talents, so they step on adventurous and risky path of developing their own businesses. They have to bring value to people, to make a living, so they ask: “What can I do better than most people, that makes a difference in other people’s lives? What problems can I solve? Is this worth taking the risk?”

People who struggle with their search for a dream job, don’t want to be part of the first group, are annoyed if seen as part of the second group and finally, have not asked the right questions to be part of the third group.

Five human needs, that drive people’s actions in the 21st century

  • Stability
  • Variety
  • Love and belonging
  • Significance
  • Contribution to the world

In the past people worked, so that they can feed their children and have a place to live. Thanks to generous social system in Belgium, everybody can have stability and that by itself isn’t enough motivation anymore. People want satisfaction and freedom, without being judged as irresponsible or lazy. If it is not happening, they may quickly point finger at the “bad” society, infringing their free spirit.

The rules of society are not against people, but they have to follow economic principles, which is something that many people don’t realize. With a degree in National Economy, I will try to explain it in a simple example: Society works like a family.

                    Phase 1: Support of individuals

In a family, parents have to provide everything, while small children only enjoy the benefits.

Similarly, social system takes care of the old, sick, unemployed and distributes public services. However, somebody must pay for it. The money comes from the taxes of the working people. In Belgium tax is particularly high, but that’s another topic. Without taxes, there would be no schools, no health care, no unemployment support, …

                     Phase 2: Payback to community

When children get older, they can contribute to the family with the chores, and learn reciprocity by thinking in terms of “us together”, in contrast with an earlier “everything for me”.

Similarly, society expect people to work and pay taxes during their productive years. Anybody who tries to escape the reciprocity rule, is judged by the society.

You may wonder, what does economy have to do with your need for self-expression, freedom and happiness? Why should you care about community, when your own needs aren’t met yet?

Where is the space for self-expression in the economy?

A teenager who doesn’t want to clean the dishes, but offers to make a dinner instead, has just created an opportunity to express his talents. Thanks to a skill of “seeing what is needed” and being proactive,he not only doesn’t have to do the dishes, but he earns family’s recognition. True satisfaction comes from expressing talents and being seen by others.

From economy point of view, self-expression is often connected with self-employment. If you find the traditional jobs limiting, start volunteering your special talents in the community. How can you contribute with something you are passionate about, instead of just general volunteering? This way, you can test out, whether people have a need for what you enjoy doing. Their feedback will give you insight how to refine your services or choose between multiple ideas. Eventually you find something you like doing, that people are willing to pay for.

A great place to test your talent and receive feedback is Open Space for Integral Growth, organized in Brussels by Peter Moreno.

Don’t try to figure out your dream job independent from the society. Start seeing yourself as part of the community. Consider what you want to bring to this world, instead of what you want to get. By doing so, you reach the human need for belonging, for creating something significant and for giving your contribution. It will bring you feeling of authenticity and ultimately happiness.

The Belgian dream program, that other countries can envy

The Belgian government puts a lot of funding into helping people find their dream job. For example, “VDAB Loopbaanbegeleiding” program offers personalized consulting about career choices, talents or business aspirations. It is an excellent place to start when your ideas are still vague, and you want to make it more concrete. This service is available to working people and to those, who recently lost their jobs and are still under the severance pay.

Another initiative in Vlaanderen is Starters Labo, a unique organization for guiding aspiring entrepreneurs. I am truly grateful for being accepted to this program, where community-oriented leaders generously share their support and resources. Exploring my talents, while receiving their support, is a dream opportunity. I am so happy that something like this even exists.

On the other hand, there is nothing more satisfying than hearing, that I made a difference in people’s lives, that they were able to move forward or overcome a difficult situation thanks to my talents. Some people told me that my humble beginnings and courage inspired them to finally go for their dream job: “When this girl can do it out of her living room, so can I!”

Your place in society is found through people’s hearts

I came here five years ago, due to job transfer from America. It seemed that the Belgians were closed. However, it was my selfish expectation, that others should be welcoming to me. Once I turned things around and started providing value first, situation changed. People respect me, when they see, that I truly care about helping others. The same Belgians, I once perceived cold, opened their hearts and want to help me succeed. I have only started building my business and I know I have a long way to go, but I already feel more included and ultimately part of this country, that I can now call my home.

If you want to find your dream job, your place in the society and the ultimate happiness, start by providing value to others and let things develop from there.

About the author:

Michaela, originally from Slovakia, has a background in finance and personal interest in psychology & NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming). Her analytical mind, combined with care for people and need for connection, motivates her to share her knowledge via training and writing. She found her talent in helping people see the big picture, behind complicated topics.

With her insight from working in multiple continents, she compiled an article about the structure of the Global Cash Management. It was published by TMI and earned the company she worked for a global award – “Treasury of the Year 2017”(most prestigious award in this field), competing with 500 world’s largest companies.

In 2018 she left the corporate world and began developing her own application of NLP. The model “Creative Dating Loop©is inspired by people with exceptional success in overcoming dating struggles as well as her personal story. Michaela believes this model will help people simplify the path towards love and happiness. More about the dating project at www.michaelaray.com.

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