My definition of “dream job” was never constant, and keeps evolving as the years go by.
As a child, it meant being a nurse, not necessarily because I myself wanted it, but because it was my mom’s foiled ambition. But as I grew older I quickly realised that the sight of blood made me feel faint (I would eventually faint over it once or twice as an adult), so I shelved that idea. My brother is actually the one who took over that particular dream and went on to achieve it.
Then sometime in fourth grade, I discovered the Sweet Valley Twins series and idolised Elizabeth Wakefield so much that I wanted to be a writer just like her. I suppose that did come true, in a way, thanks to this blog, am I right?
Then in high school, I discovered computers and fell in love with them and wanted to have a job working with them like writing code, or, at the very least, have a job where I got to work on my very own computer with internet. Well guess what, high school self? You got that last one! Congrats! ;P
After I finished college, I happened to visit Makati City and fell in love at first sight with all the tall, beautiful buildings which we didn’t have in my hometown. I vowed that I would come back and work in one of them someday. Then I went back home and started to look for jobs, I came across an advertisement for Procter & Gamble and realised that it was my dream company. I thought it was an impossibly ambitious dream, though, so I just went to grab the first jobs that came my way.
And then I guess you know what happened next. No? I got both dreams. I took a risk and moved to Makati City, found a job, then less than a year later, switched jobs when I got hired by P&G.
And it really was a dream city and company. But I became unhappy with the nature of my work and with the Philippines, in general. Ever since I was a child I had one constant dream – to leave my country. So when the opportunity presented itself, I took another risk and left.
After that my definition of dream job became confusing. I had several jobs while here in Singapore, but none of the roles I got ever fit the bill of being “the dream.” I wasn’t unhappy enough to quit because I did have bills to pay, but I knew deep in my heart that I didn’t really like what I did all that much.
Then sometime last year, I spoke to a life coach who asked me to define what my dream job was. I had a think about it and came up with these requisites:
– It’s something I like doing and do well
– It pays well
– I have colleagues who are friends
– I have a boss whom I admire and who appreciates me
– It allows me to have work-life balance
After that session, I went on my not-so-merry way at work, trying to be content with what I had because at least I had a job, right? And I did have my own computer with internet, in a foreign country. I had to count my blessings.
But sometimes I could not help but glare at my workflow and bemoan my 11-to-8++ schedule that prevented me from having much of a life during week days. “You know what I wish? I once groaned to my friend. “I wish I had a job that didn’t require charging hours to clients!”
But then last month, while I was intent on crunching numbers on Excel, my VP suddenly messaged me to ask if he could talk to me for a few minutes. What he told me over our meeting was something I would never have expected in a bajillion years. He said that his boss had thought of making a new team that would handle projects and reporting, and while he was scrolling through the list of employees under him, my name popped up, and he realised that I was perfect for the role and asked if I was interested. Was I? OMG yes. A hundred times YES.
Eventually, the SVP talked to me and told me what my role entailed, and that it meant, among other things, that I had a flexible schedule (“You can go in from 9 to 5 if you want,” he said), and that I no longer had to bill hours to clients. OMG YES. A hundred times YES.
As the team is new, there’s just me and him in it so far. I probably should have been terrified that I was now suddenly reporting directly to the boss of my boss of my boss of my boss of my boss, but I wasn’t. You know why? Because he is the boss of my dreams – a guy I respect and admire and aspire to be, but also someone who appreciates me and doesn’t hesitate to say it not just to me but to anyone who cares to listen.
So right now, I think I may have found my dream job. I mean, can you believe it? It’s like the powers of the universe conspired to create this perfect role for me. And I didn’t even specifically ask for it. I didn’t even know it existed. It just dropped into my lap one day, like the perfect surprise gift. And for that I am extremely grateful. I am so happy that I can scarcely believe it, and I have this probably irrational fear that it won’t last long or that I’ll screw it up somehow.
So I really hope that it stays my dream job if not forever, then for a really long time.